Like many other parents, I want my daughter, Natalie, to consume more omega-3 fatty acids; several studies suggest that they improve focus and concentration in kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). When it comes to taste — especially the taste of fish oil, a common source of omega-3s — children can be choosy. So ADDitude asked three kids — Natalie (age 10, ADHD), Harry (10, ADHD), and Katie (7, ADD) — to try several popular omega-3 products.
Although none of the products caused the dreaded fish burp — a deal-breaker for adults and kids alike — some of them needed to be hidden in other foods to get past our tasters' picky palates. Here are the results, along with some frank comments from our panel.
Carlson for Kids (lemon flavor)
Benefits: Made from cold-water fish caught in Norwegian waters; bottled in Norway to ensure maximum freshness
Serving: 800 mg of omega-3s/ 1/2-teaspoon serving
Comments: Our testers preferred it mixed with a favorite food. Harry has his mixed in chocolate milk. Try it in a spoonful of lemon yogurt.
Coromega Kids Omega3 Squeeze (orange flavor)
Benefits: Portable, single-dose packets; clinically proven to deliver 300 percent better absorption than softgels
Serving: 284 mg of omega-3s/2.5-g packet
Comments: Our tasters weren't thrilled with taking it straight. Mixing it in a smoothie or yogurt helped a lot.
Barlean's Kid's Omega Swirl (lemonade flavor)
Benefits: Nine times more absorbable than regular fish oil; has the taste and texture of a smoothie
Serving: 720 mg of omega-3s/2-teaspoon serving
Comments: All three kids liked it straight. Says Harry: "Double thumbs up." Says Natalie: "Mmm, ahh, yummy. I could drink it all down."
SaviSeed (cocoa-kissed flavor)
Benefits: Super-seeds from the rainforests of Peru; richest source of omega-3s, 13 times as much per serving as wild salmon
Serving: 7 g of omega-3s/ 1-ounce serving
Comments: All three testers liked the taste at first, but were less pleased when the chocolate coating gave way to the earthy taste of the seed inside. Try having kids wash it down with chocolate milk.
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Effervescent (creamy orange flavor)
Benefits: Fun to drink as the powder creates fizzy bubbles when dissolved in water; convenient single-serving packets; added vitamin D3
Serving: 670 mg of omega-3s/9.7-g packet
Comments: One of the three testers went for this one. Natalie: "Mmm. That's good!" Instead of water, try mixing it in lemonade or orange juice.
More on Fish Oil and Other Supplements for ADD/ADHD Kids
This article appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of ADDitude. SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.