Better Ways to Get DHA/ARA

Better Ways to Get DHA/ARA
“100% Organic, 100% of the Time…”
By Agatha Achindu
Chief Yummy Officer-
Yummy Spoonfuls ™ Organic Baby Food

Every company seems to be jumping on the DHA/ARA bandwagon. Baby food and formula manufacturers have embraced these additives, saying their products will make our babies smarter and healthier. Imagine—a baby food that will deliver better brain development! Who wouldn’t want that for their child?

Here at Yummy Spoonfuls, we’ve been asked whether we’ll choose these additives to improve our product. First, it’s important to answer a few basic questions:  What is DHA/ARA and why do humans need it in their diet?

DHA and ARA belong to a class of fats that naturally occur in certain foods. DHA and ARA provide nutrition that is essential for brain function, eye health, and cardiovascular health, among other things. The undisputed best source of DHA for infants is breast milk. No man-made substance has ever been able to duplicate the dynamic nature of breast milk.

DHA/ARA is a good thing for the diet. We can all benefit from these essential fatty acids by consuming fish, fish oil, grass fed beef, eggs, nuts and flax seeds. Pure, time-honored foods full of good nutrition keep our bodies healthy and strong-and it’s no different for babies and children.

But, make no mistake–the DHA/ARA which is used as an additive in baby foods and formulas is not the same as the substance found in breast milk and nutritious foods. The DHA/ARA food additive comes from chemically extracting single-cell oil from laboratory-grown algae. Commonly, hexane—a toxic substance—is used in this process.

Here at Yummy Spoonfuls, we question the rush to feed yet another additive to our babies. Who knows what the long-term effects might be? No studies have been done to show the long-term effects of these new, highly-processed additives. Babies have sensitive systems, and the benefits of concentrated DHA/ARA are disputed. We believe it is safer to enrich the diet with natural sources of DHA.

Choose wild-caught salmon, sardines and other healthy fish; sea vegetables and mushrooms, whole eggs and grass fed meat are great choices; nuts, nut oils and freshly-ground flax seed can be added to a dish to boost nutrition safely and effectively. The precious oils in these foods do not keep well, so it’s best to use them fresh for the best potency.

In his book In Defense of Food, expert Michael Pollan paints a vivid picture of how food manufacturers use nutritional fads and health claims to sell the unhealthiest of products. Additives are required once nutrition has been stripped from the food. He recommends one practical test: never eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

Simple, clean fresh food is God’s gift to us. Yummy Spoonfuls remains committed to making the purest, best-tasting organic baby food on the planet—with no additives of any kind. That’s something grandmother would approve of!



8 responses to “Better Ways to Get DHA/ARA

  1. This sounds great. I hope Yummy Spoonfuls does some brand extension into the mainstream food market because we need better nutrition in our daily lives

  2. I hit the button too fast. Is Yummy Spoonfuls available in the grocery store or will I have to go to the farmer’s market?

    Rahim Samuel

    • Hello Rahim, thank you kindly for reaching out, yes we are in a series of grocery stores like Whole foods, Dean & Deluca, coming to Earth Fare, little bare bottoms WI, Fiesta Nutrition CTR LA, you can also shop 24/7 on our website or through Amazon. Please visit our website for a complete list of retail locations.

      Once again thanks kindly


  3. That’s great to know. I shop at Whole Foods so I’m good to go.

  4. So where can a newborn/infant get the DHA and ARA when mother cannot breastfeed and they are not old enough to consume the foods that contain it? I have found a formula that is DHA and ARA free, but I would like to use a natural supplment. Any advice would be great.

    • Dear Sarah,

      Thank you for your inquiry about DHA supplements for your baby. First, I need to remind you that I am not a doctor, and nothing I say here should be construed as medical advice. It is wise to always check with your pediatrician before giving your baby any kind of supplements or medicines.

      As you probably know, the best food for infants is breast milk. However, in cases such as yours, where breastfeeding isn’t possible, you want to be sure your baby is getting as much good nutrition as possible. Our article outlines some of the issues with DHA additives. One traditional way to get DHA would be cod liver oil. Traditional cultures (and moms & grandmothers everywhere) have long used pure cod liver oil as a nutritional booster for infants and children.

      If you and your pediatrician decide to supplement with cod liver oil, just make sure that the product you choose is 100% PURE cod liver oil—many brands now dilute cod liver oil with cheaper oils, artificial flavorings, etc. Later, as your baby grows into a toddler, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef, fish, nuts and flax seeds can provide the essential fatty acids needed for health. 

      Thanks again for being in touch—I appreciate your interest!

  5. What is your opinion on the discovery of arsenic in Baby’s One
    Toddler formula?
    The options are few.
    Please help,Thank you.

    • Hello Barbara, how old is your baby? and is there a reason you transitioned to toddler formula? that said you can look at the label and make sure there are no brown rice syrups or DHA listed.Are you needing to find a different milk for your baby?

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