Are Your Kids Getting Enough Omega-3s? Probably Not.

Are your kids getting enough Omega-3Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health. Biologists have noted that in pre-historical times, while the human brain underwent rapid expansion, most people lived near lakes or oceans. Why? That’s where the fish were — and fish are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. (They’re also found in seaweed, walnuts and flaxseeds.) 

Kids and Omega-3s

Everybody needs Omega-3s, but kids in particular need to have an adequate supply. That’s because children’s minds and bodies are developing quickly, and Omega-3s help fuel that growth.* Unfortunately, most American kids don’t get enough.

How Much is Enough?

While Omega-3s are known to be essential, a daily value has not yet been established. However, the Institute of Medicine has established an adequate intake of 500mg for babies just born to 12 months, 700mg for toddlers 1-3, 900mg for kids 4-8, 1,000-1,200mg for kids 9-13 and 1,100-1,600mg for kids 14-18. Health Canada has issued similar guidelines. Sadly, most Americans fall far short of these goalposts, consuming less than 100 grams daily.[2]

Most American Adults are Deficient

To measure Omega-3s in real life, scientists developed a tool called the “Omega-3 Index.” This simple test measures the amount of Omega-3s in a person’s blood. High blood levels (8% of more of total fatty acids) are associated with a heathy heart, while the opposite is true of low blood levels (4% or less of total fatty acids).*

Unfortunately, a study of global consumption of Omega-3s found North Americans tend to have “very low” blood levels of Omega-3.[3] In fact, according to one expert using data from a large-scale study of heart health, 70 percent of Americans are deficient in these essential fats![4]

What About Kids?

American kids aren’t faring any better than the adults. A study of 219 children aged 7-12 found that “very few American children met even the lowest recommendations for EPA and DHA intake.”[5] Indeed, the average American child only consumes 50 milligrams of EPA/DHA per day.[6]

That’s why many parents turn to fish oil or vegetarian flax oil supplements to fill the gap. And Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega Pals products are so tasty, they change Omega-3 supplementation from trick to treat!


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[1] Kuipers RS, et al. Br J Nutr. 2010;104:1666–87.
[2] Nutraingredients. 2005 Jul 20.
[3] Stark KD, et al. Prog in Lipids Res. 2016 Jul;63:132-52.
[4] Murphy RA, Devarshi PP, Ekimura S, et al. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid serum concentrations across life stages in the USA: an analysis of NHANES 2011–2012. BMJ Open 2021;11:e043301. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043301
[5] Sheppard KW, Cheatham CL. Lipids Health Dis. 2018;17:43.
[6] National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. 2021 Aug 4.