“I am formula-feeding my baby. I have heard that formula companies are planning to add DHA and ARA (two essential fats) to formula next year. I have read how important these fats are for my baby’s brain development. How can I add these fats to his formula now?”
DHA is probably the most important fat for infant brain growth and nerve and eye development. Breast milk does have DHA. There is no DHA in formula, although formula companies have known about its importance for many years. Formula all over the world has DHA in it, and the U.S. will be one of the last countries to add it to formula hopefully sometime in 2002.
So what should you do in the meantime? You can buy DHA oil capsules at most vitamin and health stores. I suggest the brand Neuromins. If you can’t find this brand, be sure to find one made from sea algae. Other brands are made from fish oil, and these can be contaminated by heavy metals such as mercury.
Simply buy a bottle of 100mg DHA capsules, poke a hole in one with a knife (carefully!), and squirt the oil into one bottle of formula once each day. This will provide the much-needed DHA for your baby’s nutrition.
The oil doesn’t mix very well with the formula. So when your baby is over 6 months of age and you start foods, you may find it easier to add the oil once a day to some food.
How long should you add DHA to your baby’s diet?
It is beneficial for at least the first two years of life.
What about the ARA fat?
This fat is also important for infant nutrition, but luckily your baby can convert the regular fat in formula into ARA via his own metabolism. Babies cannot do this with DHA. So you do not have to go out and hunt for ARA fat to add.Click here for a complete discussion about the benefits of DHA.