PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study says fish can make children smarter.
Getting kids to eat fish may be a little tricky but when they do, scientists say they get a brain boost and better sleep.
“Fish is very high in protein as well as good healthy fats, particularly the omega 3 fatty acids, these are going to be found in fish like salmons, sardines, mackerel,” Diana Schnee, a dietitian, said.
And for kids, fish can be especially helpful.
Seafood is a nutrition super-star loaded with vitamins, minerals and more.
Researchers looked at a group of more than 500 children and found those who ate fish at least once a week scored four points higher on IQ tests compared to kids who rarely or never ate fish.
The children who ate fish also experienced fewer sleep disruptions.
The main health benefit of fish comes from the omega three fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation and are good for brain growth and development.
But many children are reluctant to try fish.
Experts say it helps to try a variety and to make it a fun experience.
“They can also try fish in many different ways. So, you have our typical tuna salad but they might also like things like smoked salmon on crackers. You never know it until you try,” said Schnee.
Children ages two and older are recommended to have one to two servings of fish per week.
Some parents might be concerned about the mercury content in some fish.
Experts say larger fish with longer lifespans like swordfish and tuna have higher levels of toxins, including mercury.