Well, before you buy the tennis outfit and start those tennis lessons, you need to ensure junior’s poweful forearm swing will actually connect with that tiny tennisball i.e. your kid needs good hand-eye coordination.
Recipe for hand-eye coordination
A good set of genes is imperative. Think the Williams sisters.
Regular ball work, will refine the inherent skill i.e. practise, practise, practice.
But, the secret to getting the racket and ball to connect, is all in the first serve. Babies getting high doses of omega-3 in utero, pop out with a huge advantage.
The omega-3 advantage
Research published in Archives of Disease in Childhood found high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in cord blood, conferred an advantage to toddlers.
The finding comes from a study which provided 98 non smoking, non fish eating, pregnant women with a daily “oil” supplement from week 20 of the pregnancy, until junior popped out.
Half the women in the study, swallowed 4 g of fish oil a day, the other half, ingested the same amount of olive oil.
When the children were two and a half years old, the research team gathered the toddlers and put them through their paces.
In all, 72 children were assessed (33 in the fish oil group and 39 in the olive oil group).
The researchers checked overall growth and development. Specialized tests assessed language, behaviour, practical reasoning and hand-eye coordination in all the youngsters.
Forty love in favour of fish oil tots
There was no significant differences in growth between the two groups of toddlers.
The fish oil babies talked a lot more consistently, scoring higher on measures of average phrase length and vocabulary. They also scored higher on measures of comprehension.
In addition to being able to talk a hind leg off a donkey, they exhibited superior skills at smashing balls and things – due to improved hand eye coordination.
A winning volley
Take home message, supplementing with fish oil in the second half of pregnancy, gives baby an advantage – in the long-term at least. Granted in the short-term a highly co-ordinated chatter box two year old, might exaggerate the agony of the terrible twos a smidgen. Leaving you wondering about the advantage.
Game, set and match !
The omega-3 advantage might not be enough to lift the Wimbeldon Title, but will at least ensure your toddler is a star performer at play school and help set them up to win the game of life.Antenatal fish oil supplements boost kids’ hand-eye coordination – press release appearing on EurekAlert !
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