Which Fats Are Best for Baby's Brain Development?

Deborah A. Klein's picture

QUESTION:

Dear Livitician,
Should I be eating extra fats to support my baby's brain development? What are good food sources of those fats?

Thank you!

ANSWER:

Essential fatty acids are critical for your baby's brain development -- specifically, omega-3 fatty acids. Add into your week:

  • Wild fish -- wild salmon, halibut, sole, orange roughy, haddock (2 times per week is fine in regards to mercury (3 ounce portions twice per week)
  • Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of ground flaxseeds into your whole grain cereal or in yogurt.
  • Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of shelled hemp seeds into your cereal or in salad dressing or in spaghetti sauce with your whole wheat pasta (e.g, Manitoba Harvest or Nutiva brand-available on line or at health food stores). Shelled hemp seeds are also a great source of protein, which is also important for your baby's growth.

    Also, some prenatal vitamins (check yours) include omega-3 fatty acids, which is a fantastic way to provide insurance that you are getting what you need on a daily basis.

    Healthy Pregnancy and Healthy Baby!

    Please keep me posted on how you are doing.

    --Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD