Why Your Child Needs Omega-3 Milk More Than Ever

In a city like ours where accessibility to the web is limitless and mobile devices are aplenty, most children are likely to rely on technology for their play. Undesirably, this produces a child with poor attention and concentration skills; often accompanied with restlessness, agitation and fidgeting. While efforts to increase the frequency of exercise, participation in offline concentration games and routine patterns contribute to increased attention spans, they are still dependent on your child’s active involvement. Tweaking your child’s diet on the other hand is a much simpler method – for both parent and child, to alleviate learning and iron out behavioral issues.

It’s a no-brainer that taking your child off foods with additives or added sugar, and increasing the intake of nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables will balance moods and set a better tone for learning. However in the attempt to significantly improve attention spans and concentration levels, specificity is key. As such, the essential fat, omega-3 is an element that should be included in your child’s diet.

While supplements are almost as good as the real deal, swallowing large pills have proven to be an obstacle for both parent and child. Move away from all that unnecessary haggling and simply include the power packed combination of omega-3 milk in the diet of your growing child instead. Not only is this milk[1] full of natural hearty goodness, it is also 25% lower in saturated fat and higher in calcium compared to regular milk!

So, what is it about omega-3 milk that can help your child to focus better? Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Consultant, Dr Sabina Dosani states omega-3 fatty acids have a pivotal role in brain cell development because almost half the fat of a brain is made up of one of the Omega-3s – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In other words, your child’s brain requires a good supply of fat to function and develop effectively.

Think of DHA in omega-3 acids as the legs of runners in a relay race. In order for the runners to pass the baton to one another, they first need their legs to carry them forward. In the presence of DHA, messages get transmitted within the brain quickly; which is what will make your child focus better, longer. A sufficient amount of DHA also ensures that the brain does not overwork itself by regulating the energy it uses.

10 years of trials conducted by Professor John Stein from Magdalen College, Oxford allowed him to conclude that the most striking effect of omega-3 is the ability to concentrate. This does not change the fundamental intelligence of a child but it creates a better mental environment for the absorption of information that results in learning. Pre-school children were also seen to have benefited from similar trials with better attention spans. Both Dr. Alex Richardson, a senior researcher in physiology at Mansfield College, University of Oxford and Dr. Madeleine Portwood, a special educational psychologist for Durham Local Education Authority observed that children who were six months behind seven and half months’ worth of progress within a mere five months.

Albeit mostly applauded for building and maintaining healthy bones, calcium also value-adds to the nervous system, improves muscular functions, circulation and regulates the release of hormones in the body. Vitamin D is another nutrient found in fresh milk that supports the absorption of calcium into the digestive tract, when it enters the body together with calcium. And since Vitamin D cannot be found in natural food sources like fatty fish and fish oils, it must be obtained from fortified foods, with milk being one of the key sources.

In order to get your child to consume chocolate omega-3 milk on more frequently, entice them with a Hot Omega-3 Milk Chocolate Sauce with Chocolate Pancakes!

Making Sure Fresh Milk is Safe for Consumption

When stocking up on any fresh milk, be sure that it is fresh and safe for consumption at all times. While milk is pasteurized to make it safe to drink, the nutrient-laden creamy beverage still remains a delicate fresh produce. Once a carton of milk is opened, it is exposed to oxidation, loses quality and begins to lose its freshness rapidly.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) recommends that milk when opened be consumed within two to three days[1]. Milk opened any longer than this runs the risk of becoming infested with unhealthy bacteria.

Since every child’s immune system is different from another, some children may experience mild stomach cramps, while others severe food poisoning. In some unfortunate cases, the consumption of milk that is not fresh may even trigger illnesses such as soaring fevers, blood in stool and even chronic diarrhoea. It is therefore advisable for all children (and even adults) to consume milk within three days, as it is during this period that milk stays its freshest after its seal has been broken; and also to ensure that the milk is stored properly both before and after it has been opened.

Simply follow these three short and sharp guidelines to ensure the freshness of your fresh milk: Preserve, Store, Consume:

  • Preserve the cold chain from supermarket to home by refrigerating fresh milk immediately upon reaching home
  • Store fresh milk at the back of the refrigerator instead of having it near the door, where its most likely to be exposed to bacteria
  • Consume it within two to three days of opening
  • You should too change up your supermarket shopping habit to purchase two 1-litre cartons of fresh milk, instead of two 2-litre bottles.

 [1] The description for oat milk is in reference to Magnolia’s Omega-3 Lo-Fat Hi-Cal Milk

 [2] http://www.ava.gov.sg/explore-by-sections/food/food-safety-quality/good-food-safety-practices