Best DHA Supplement for Babies (9 Top Picks For You)

DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid, also known as healthy fats, gotten from breast milk; they help grow and develop the brain and nervous system in babies.

As you may know, mothers supplement breast milk with formula hence the need for DHA formulas.

Infant body systems can manufacture DHA from other essential fatty acids in their diets and even from the ones in their infant formulas.

However, this doesn’t rule out the need for DHA supplementation, especially for babies born prematurely.

This article lists the best DHA supplement for babies to help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of DHA for Babies and Toddlers

DHA has undoubtedly gained a lot of attention and appears in all places, from eggs, baby food, and milk.

As a parent, providing this nutrient is essential because it is a beneficial fat. DHA plays a vital role during infancy and the early years of childhood.

For Babies  

DHA plays a vital role in the structural component of the brain, eyes, and nervous system. Breastfed babies have good mental and visual acuity because breastmilk is high in DHA.

For Toddlers

The brain rapidly develops and increases to about four times its total mass from the early infant until five years of age.

Adequate DHA intake during these crucial years is needed for optimal development and enhancement of cognitive functions.

Research has shown that children who have a good intake of DHA until the age of five have better IQ scores, retentive memory, good reading skills, and strong vision.

This proves that children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) may be undergoing DHA deficiency.

Recommended Dosage

While there are no guidelines for a daily DHA dosage for children, specific recommendations exist for DHA intake plus eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.

For Babies

Breastfed babies receive most of their DHA intake from the milk. Breastmilk is known to be high in DHA content.

Mothers should increase their intake of DHA-rich food while breastfeeding.

A breastfeeding mother should aim to consume at least 600-800mg of DHA daily through natural sources or supplements.

For Toddlers

Children between the ages of 1.5 and 5 are recommended to consume 600 milligrams of combined DHA and EPA every day.

Read Also: 12 Best Lactose-Free Toddler Formula

Best DHA Supplement for Babies

The following is a list of DHA supplements that you can give to your baby when choosing the best DHA supplement for babies.

  • Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA
  • Nordic Natural DHA Chewable Softgels
  • Carlson Baby’s DHA
  • Barleans Omega Pals Lipsmackin’ Citrus Omega 3 Fish oil
  • Garden of Life Kids Plant Omega-3
  • Smarty Pants Baby Multi and DHA Liquid Multivitamins
  • Enfamil DHA and ARA Infant and Toddler
  • Mary Ruth’s Infant and Toddler Omega-3 Liquid drops
  • Minami MorDHA Kids 3+

1. Best Overall: Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA

 
This DHA supplement comes in capsule form that you can to your baby’s formula.

This product is a naturally balanced source of omega-3S EPA and DHA, and it is suitable for the holistic health development of babies and children.

A ½ teaspoon of this supplement provides your baby with 530 milligrams of omega-3s (170 milligrams from EPA, 255 milligrams from DHA, and another 105 milligrams from other omega-3s).

It is manufactured solely from pure arctic cod liver oil, and it is also easy to chew and free from strawberry allergens.

It is effective in aiding the learning and cognitive development of your baby, and its strawberry taste is top-notch.

Do not be in haste to start introducing this supplement to your baby; always consult your baby’s pediatrician or healthcare practitioner before giving your baby this food supplement.

Pros

  • Friend of the Sea (FOS) certified
  • A Certificate of Analysis is available for each batch of fish oil produced.
  • Triglyceride form
  • Dosages are adjusted for children from the age of one to six.

Cons

  • Must refrigerate after opening

Dosage:

A daily dosage of ½ teaspoon recommended from 1-6 years

2. Best Chewable: Nordic Natural DHA Chewable Softgels

 
This is another Nordic DHA supplement in capsule and gel form.

It provides 480 mg of omega-3 DHA that aids in the boosting of memory and cognitive and emotional well-being development.

Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA Chewable is an excellent option if your baby wants something to chew instead of a liquid.

Three chewable soft gels provide your baby with 636 milligrams of omega-3s (165 milligrams from EPA, 375 milligrams from DHA, and another 96 milligrams from other omega-3s).

Your child will need to be able to chew and swallow soft gels before trying this supplement comfortably.

Like Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA Liquid, the chewable version is made solely from arctic cod liver oil and offers triglyceride form to allow for the best absorption.

In production, strict manufacturing principles are followed; the final product is non-GMO, sustainably sourced, and third-party tested.

A Certificate of Analysis is available for any product, so you can always see the testing performed on your bottle before use.

Do not just be in haste to begin introducing this supplement to your baby. Always consult your baby’s pediatrician or healthcare practitioner before giving your baby this food supplement.

Pros

  • Friend of the Sea (FOS) certified
  • There is a Certificate of Analysis available for each batch of fish oil produced.
  • No added sweeteners

Cons

  • It has multiple soft gels to meet serving size
  • Pricey

Dosage

A daily dosage of 3/day recommended from 3-6 years

3. Best Liquid: Carlson Baby’s DHA

 
This is a liquid DHA supplement that contains a wide range of vitamins from vitamin A-K, minerals, and omega-3s.

Omega-3DHA in this supplement supports a healthy brain, vision, and nervous development in growing children, especially during the first two years of their lives.

The product also supports the development of a healthy heart in children, and it offers 800 milligrams of omega-3s (400 milligrams of EPA and 250 milligrams of DHA) in just a ½ teaspoon serving.

Pros

  • Friend of the Sea (FOS) certified
  • Three flavor options
  • Non-GMO and free of artificial preservatives

Cons

  • Must refrigerate after opening

Dosage

A daily dosage of ½ teaspoon is recommended for 2+ years.

4. Best Budget-Friendly: Barleans Omega Pals Lipsmackin’ Citrus Omega 3 Fish oil

 
This supplement provides your baby with 750 mg of omega-3s (455 milligrams EPA, 295 milligrams DHA, and 185 milligrams of other omega-3 fatty acids) in a serving size of 1 ½ teaspoon.

The texture is more like a smoothie than an oil. So, your child may take it straight from the spoon or mix it into yogurt, oatmeal, or applesauce.

Barleans prefer oil from small-bodied fish (anchovies and sardines) with low mercury content.

Barleans also adheres strictly to NSF Good Manufacturing principles to ensure quality, and each product they manufacture is third-party tested.

Pros

  • Top pick by ConsumerLab
  • Four flavor options
  • Small-bodied fish oil has a lower risk of heavy metal contamination
  • It is non-GMO and free of gluten, dairy, artificial flavors, and colors.

Cons

  • Must refrigerate after opening
  • Contains sugar alcohols

Dosage:

A daily dosage of 1 ½ teaspoon recommended from 4+ years

5. Best Vegan: Garden of Life Kids Plant Omega-3

 
This supplement is the best choice when looking for a vegan option to meet your child’s omega-3 needs.

This vegan supplement contains 880 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (100 milligrams of EPA, 265 milligrams of DHA, and 500 milligrams of ALA) in 2.5 milliliters or about ½ teaspoons.

This is a good amount, especially if your child lacks omega-3 food sources in their daily intake.

Pros

  • Non-GMO, certified vegan, gluten-free, and kosher
  • FOS certified

Cons

  • It contains tree nuts (coconut) and alternative sweetener (stevia)
  • It is not the third party certified
  • It is slightly lower in DHA & EPA
  • You must refrigerate after opening

Dosage:

Daily dosage of ½ teaspoon recommended from 4+ years

6. Best Multi with Fish Oil: Smarty Pants Baby Multi and DHA Liquid Multivitamins

 
This is a DHA supplement with pediatrician’s approval designed with omega-3 DHA and 13 premium nutrients that boosts the development of your baby’s health.

It is suitable for babies from 6 months to 24 months, and the essential fatty acids are sourced from algal oil.

This supplement contains vitamin D3 for bone health, lutein for eye health, and iodine for cognitive development. It is also lutein free and does not contain GMOs.

This product also lacks sugar, colors, and artificial sweeteners; it is free from milk, eggs, shellfish, soy, wheat, fish, peanuts, and tree nuts. Shake before use.

Pros

  • NSF and Clean Label Certified
  • Multivitamin and Omega-3 in one
  • Free of artificial dyes, flavors, and major allergens

Cons

  • Includes added sugar
  • Must be refrigerated after opening
  • You’ll still need additional omega-3 foods to meet your daily needs

Dosage:

Daily dosage of 4 gummies recommended from 4+ years

7. Enfamil DHA and ARA Infant and Toddler

 
This is a DHA supplement from the Enfamil brand that supports brain development also. It is gluten-free and lacks artificial flavor, colors, or sweeteners.

Enfamil DHA-in-Sol has been formulated based on the expert’s recommendation. 1ml serving includes 55mg DHA.

It is suitable for babies from 0-24months and supports the holistic development of your baby’s eyes, nervous system, and immune system.

You can use it for breastfed and formula-fed babies.

It can feed it your baby quickly. All you have to do is dispense it into your baby’s cheek or mix it with your baby’s food or milk.

Pros:

  • It is also free from allergens as it doesn’t contain lactose, fish, egg, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, or soy and lacks gluten.

Dosage

If your baby is aged six months or below, then 1ml of this product can be sufficient for your baby, but if your baby is above six months to 2 years, then you can increase it to 2ml.

Read: Enfamil NeuroPro Vs Gentlease- Which one is the best?

8. Mary Ruth’s Infant and Toddler Omega-3 Liquid drops

 
This is a liquid DHA supplement that contains a wide range of vitamins, and it is sourced from Algal oil.

Each serving (1 mL) contains 378 mg Algal oil (208 mg Omega-3s: 200 mg DHA and 2 mg EPA).

It is non-GMO and vegan, and the nutrient content of this product supports the immune system.

It also aids in a child’s cognitive development and supports the holistic development of a child’s overall health.

Pros:

  • Easy to take

Cons:

  • it has a strong fishy smell

Dosage:

Add 30 drops (approx. 2/3 dropper) to your child’s food or drink once daily.

9. Minami MorDHA Kids 3+

This soft gel product supports heart health and contains a high concentration of EPA, providing essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth.

The fish oil content of the supplement contains EPA and DHA, which have been scientifically proven to aid in the development of healthy blood pressure and heart.

The product is also eco-friendly due to the fish oils not gotten from endangered species of fish, and its flavor is orange; as a result, it goes down the esophagus of your baby quickly.

Pros                                                      

  • Easy to swallow
  • It’s high quality and smells nice

Daily usage of at least three months is recommended for best results and to see significant changes in your child’s health.

DHA Rich Food for Babies and Toddlers

There are certain DHA-rich foods that you can include in your child’s diet. Here are some of them.

DHA Food for Breastfed Babies

The best source of DHA for breastfed babies is breast milk. DHA varies according to the mother’s diet and the quantity of omega-3s and DHA the mother receives.

Nursing mothers should include fish, eggs, yogurts, and dried nuts in their diet to help babies receive DHA for the healthy development of the brain and retina of the eye. 

Formula-fed babies get their DHA intake only if the formula has DHA, so it is essential to read the labels.

DHA Foods for Babies and Toddlers

There are several varieties of DHA-rich food for toddlers and kids. These foods could feature in your child’s regular diet, and they include:

  • Salmon: Salmon contains the highest levels of DHA of all fish varieties and provides a good balance of omega-3 fatty acids
  • EggsThey contain small amounts of DHA naturally, but you can also buy DHA-enriched eggs from chickens fed a supplemented diet
  • Yogurts: DHA-rich yogurts are a staple on supermarket shelves, and they make a great breakfast or snack for children
  • Peanut butter: You can substitute this for the sugar-rich jam as a spread to morning toast for kids
  • Walnut: Give your child a handful of walnuts as a delicious or healthy snack.
  • Formula milk: Some formula milk now has DHA as manufacturers have realized the benefits of DHA for babies. Some products are specially designed for children aged one year and above, and you could buy them after thoroughly checking the label.

Read Also: 7 Formula Milk That Has DHA

Fish Oil Dosage for Toddlers

According to the guidelines, children should consume 4-6 ounces of fish every week. Despite that, most children fail to reach that quantity,” says Manaker.

Due to this difficulty in getting your children to meet the guidelines, you may want to begin having them take fish oil supplements.

Always consult with a doctor or nurse before introducing a supplement into your child’s routine to ensure that the supplement is suitable for your child’s needs and that you know the appropriate dosage.

Except for ALA, experts have not established recommended amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States has established average daily ALA recommendations for people of all ages and genders.

  • Birth to 12 months – 0.5 g (total omega-3s instead of ALA alone)
  • Children from 1-3 years – 0.7 g ALA
  • Children from 4-8 years – 0.9 g ALA
  • Boys from 9-13 years – 1.2 g ALA
  • Girls from 9-13 years – 1.0 g ALA
  • Teen boys from 14-18 years – 1.6 g ALA
  • Teen girls from 14-18 years – 1.1 g ALA

How Much is Too Much?

According to the FDA, adults should consume no more than five g/day of EPA and DHA combined from dietary supplements. Sadly, there is no known limit for children’s fish oil supplementation.

Side effects such as bad breath, nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea, fishy odor, and headaches can be extremely unpleasant. According to the package directions, when it comes to dosing, only give your child what they need for their age.

It can also be beneficial to consult with a pediatrician to determine whether your child requires a supplement and how much.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been reported to associate with an increase in the risk of bleeding.

Before beginning supplementation, anyone with a family history of bleeding disorders or taking anticoagulant medications should consult with a healthcare provider.

Are DHA Supplements for Infants and Children Safe?

Many scientific studies have covered the effects of DHA supplements on childhood development.

Some of these studies prove that supplements affect the behavioral and cognitive abilities of a child.

DHA supplements are given to children with learning disabilities and aid in developing their mental abilities to some extent.

DHA supplements, however, are not recommended as a treatment for any condition in children due to a lack of research.

It is possible to meet the requirements by including fatty fish, nuts, and eggs in your diet.

Consult your pediatrician about giving your children DHA supplements, and follow his advice on the best DHA supplement for toddlers.

Precautions to Take while introducing DHA Supplements to your Baby

When consumed in excess, mercury levels found in seafood may harm a child’s cognitive development.

When this happens, parents turn to DHA omega-3 supplements for children.

Fish oil supplements are purified and free of contaminating metals and minerals. Toxins may still be present in trace amounts.

DHA drops for infants can be purchased in India for breastfed babies. An excess of fish oil, on the other hand, may cause bleeding in children.

As a result, you must consult with a pediatrician before administering DHA supplements to determine the safe and effective dosage.

DHA is an essential nutrient that promotes your baby’s healthy development. DHA levels that are well-balanced have been linked to good retinal health and cognitive ability.

The best way to incorporate DHA into your child’s diet is to make every bite count by avoiding empty calories and selecting superfoods that will provide your child with the essential nutrition.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has provided you with knowledge on the best DHA supplement for babies to choose from.

There is quite a wide range of DHA supplements for babies. Choose the one that works best for you and your baby.

Also, do not just be in haste to start giving your baby this supplement. Always consult your baby’s pediatrician or healthcare practitioner before giving your baby this food supplement.