Why is it important to consume foods with DHA omega-3 fatty acid?

DHA can help support your baby’s brain development. In this article, Enfamil discusses sources of DHA you can incorporate into your diet. Read on to learn more.

The brain contains Omega-3 fats, and most of that fat is DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, an important building block for your baby’s developing brain and eyes. Both during pregnancy and after birth, your baby will need a good supply of fats to support brain development. This supply of fats has to come from you—that is, from the foods in your own diet. That's why it's so important for you to make sure your diet is rich in foods with DHA omega-3 fatty acid. In fact, experts recommend that women who are pregnant or breast feeding get 0.2 grams of DHA per day in their diet.

Sources of DHA

One 100 gram serving of Atlantic salmon delivers about 1.1 grams of DHA.
A 100 gram serving of herring offers a large helping of omega-3-fats, including about 0.8 grams of DHA.
A 100 gram serving of canned anchovies provides over 0.9 grams of DHA.
A 100 gram serving of sardines contains about a half a gram of DHA.
"Omega-3 eggs" are fortified with Omega-3 fats and are sources of DHA, typically containing between 0.08 and 0.135 grams of DHA.

If you introduce baby formula, it is important to choose a formula that contains DHA. That's why, to help your baby get DHA to support healthy brain development, you can turn to DHA-enriched baby formulas.

Our DHA-enriched Enfamil A+ is the #1 infant formula recommended by pediatricians and chosen by pediatric hospitals, so you know you're using a trusted source of nutrition.

Sources of DHA for Mom

Salmon

Great grilled, baked, or really any way you cook it, salmon is a common fish that’s readily available for purchase in most regions. It’s a fatty and flavorful fish, and it’s one of the richest sources of DHA you can find. One 100 gram serving of Atlantic salmon delivers about 1.1 grams of DHA. Filets of salmon can be enjoyed on their own with your favourite seasoning or even on a sandwich.

Herring

Eaten and enjoyed all around the world, herring is another fish that's a great source of DHA. 100 grams of herring has a large helping of Omega-3 fats, including about 0.8 grams of DHA. Just like the salmon, this fatty fish is full of flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Sardines

While they're certainly small in size, sardines are no small source of DHA. A 100 gram serving of sardines contains about half of a gram of DHA. Sardines can often be found canned in oil, but they can also be found fresh, and they make for a great part of any meal when they're grilled or smoked with the seasoning and garnish of your choice.

Anchovies

Typically known as a pizza topping, anchovies are nearly a chart-topper when it comes to foods with DHA. A 100 gram serving of canned anchovies provides over 0.9 grams of DHA. You can take anchovies beyond pizza and include them in your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Eggs

While many eggs don't typically contain a substantial amount of DHA, you can now find a certain kind that do. "omega-3 eggs" are fortified with omega-3 fats and depending on the type of omega-3 fat they can be a source of DHA, typically containing between 0.08 and 0.135 grams of DHA. And since eggs can be used in a wide range of foods, omega-3-filled eggs can be an easy way to fit the daily recommended value of DHA into your diet.

Sources of DHA for Baby

Baby Formulas

In addition to breastmilk, baby formula is another good source of DHA for your baby. If you choose to use baby formula, it's important to choose a DHA-enriched formula to help your baby get DHA to support healthy brain development.

Enfamil A+ formulas are enriched with DHA to deliver the nutrients your baby needs. In fact, our DHA-enriched Enfamil A+ is the #1 infant formula recommended by pediatricians and chosen by pediatric hospitals, so you know you're using a trusted source of nutrition.

Moms face enough tough decisions while trying to provide for their baby. With the help of this guide, you can make the right dietary decisions during and after pregnancy to give your baby DHA to support their brain development—so that you can reach milestones and make memories together.

Are you interested in learning more about DHA? Read additional info on DHA and its benefits for your baby today.