In the '80s and early '90s, initial research suggested that infants who received DHA-enriched formula experienced improved cognitive development, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in 2001, to allow infant formula to be supplemented with the brain-building omega-3, DHA. Since then, the proof keeps piling up. A 2003 study in the journal Pediatrics found that mothers who took omega-3 supplements during pregnancy and lactation increased their children’s cognitive abilities at 4 years of age. In 2005, another study revealed that schoolchildren who were given omega-3 supplements showed improved reading and spelling scores. Since a child’s brain grows fastest prenatally and continues to grow rapidly in the first year of life, tripling in size by the end of the first year, this is an ideal time to get DHA into his diet
These fantastic fatty acids have also been linked to improved immunity. In one study, Danish toddlers who consumed formula supplemented with fish oil had much higher levels of a protein that’s key to healthy immune function than those who drank plain formula or cow’s milk.
Except for shellfish, you can serve your baby puréed or mashed fish as early as 6 months when he starts eating solids. Fish may seem like a “grown-up” food, but it is the ideal fare for infants. Read on for serving ideas.