Problem solving skills in childhood related to omega-3 fatty acids intake


Children face many challenges as they grow, and the ability to make decisions and solve problems develops as they learn to cope with daily challenges. Problem solving is a critical cognitive skill that develops from the earliest years of life. Planning to achieve a goal is present during the second year of life, but the earliest phases of this process begin in the first year.

Problem solving skills (that involve identifying the problem and to find solutions and try them out) help the children to find solutions to everyday problems and make decisions for themselves, making them more independent and responsible, and helping them feel confident about themselves (an important part of mental health and wellbeing). As a result, children are better learners, have stronger relationships and are better able to meet life’s challenges. How can we help our children to incorporate future-oriented thinking into their own decisions? We must bear in mind that playful, exploratory learning leads to more creative and flexible solutions than does instructions from an adult. In addition, pre-schoolers appear to innately enjoy problem solving.

Furthermore, prenatal (before and throughout pregnancy) fish oil supplementation, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, has positive effects on child neurodevelopment later in life. In line with what we are talking about, there are four types of mistakes in children’s problem solving: the problem is not anticipated, the problem is not perceived after it has happened, the problem is perceived but nothing is done to remedy it, and solutions are tried, but fail. Well, the risk of failing in a problem-solving test is significantly lower among children up to 3 years of age of women who took fish oil before pregnancy and during pregnancy. This is another evidence in favour of prenatal fish oil supplementation.