By now you have probably heard that fish oil is good for cardiovascular protection, healthy skin, for mood issues such as anxiety or depression, and pretty much everything else. Did you know that your child can benefit from fish oil as well? Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) that have profound anti-inflammatory effects on the body. While in general I believe it is best to get your nutrition from food rather than supplements, there are a few that I highly recommend and Omega-3's are one of them. Read more about Anti-Inflammatory nutrition.
Benefits for children? DHA in particular supports neurodevelopment and is really important in pregnancy and infancy. Fish oil may be helpful in managing inflammatory conditions like asthma and eczema. Omega 3's can also help with behavioral difficulties like hyperactivity and inattention.
Fish oil is safe for babies and there are several products specifically for infants. As with all supplements, quality is important. Nordic Naturals makes some infant fish oil drops, as do Carlson's. Barlean's also makes a gel version that is great for kids and can be mixed in oatmeal or yogurt or taken from a spoon.
Fish oil should be given with food if possible, ideally with an adequate amount of fat. I still suggest fish oil even for children that consume fish. If mom is breastfeeding, baby will get a good dose of DHA provided that mom is receiving enough in her diet or through supplementation.
What do we do? I give my daughter fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) from Green Pasture. I'm lucky that she loves it, even though I can't stand the smell and have to take the capsules myself:) Anecdotal - but I think starting really young helped. We used Nordic Naturals drops until about 6 months, before I started the FCLO. Lately we switch between the two.