Importance of Vision for Healthy Development in Children

A big part of your child’s brain is devoted to visual processing and is the vehicle which your child will use for enrichment and learning of their surroundings. Among their other senses for taste, touch and smell, vision trumps importance in your child’s day-to day-life for healthy development. This is why it is important to recognize the signs when your child is having vision problems and the steps you can take to provide treatment. Steps will range from eye doctor appointments to knowing which nutrients they need the most for eye and brain development.1


Which Healthy Eye Development is important for Growth and the Brain

Your child’s eyes are their window to the world. They are the ultimate tools on deciding the “what” and the “who”. Or in other words, the early years are when most of the key developmental milestones happen for the eye and brain connection and is when children develop basic understanding of the social world. It is from that point on, with experience, your child will mature (cognitive development) and recognize the intentions and goals of others. With this, if vision problems that could potentially show up are not corrected, the child could have cognitive and social interaction issues.13

Four Signs Your Child is having Vision Problems

Sometimes eye issues do not have any visible signs from a parent’s visual perspective, they are encouraged to have regular eye exams for their children for even minor conditions. Here are four signs to look out for to see if your child is having vision issues.12

  1. Having to turn or tilt their head to look at something
  2. Frequently squints, blinks, or look out from one eye for a clearer vision
  3. Poor hand-eye coordination
  4. Frequently bumps into or drops things (eg. Astigmatism, depth perception issues)

How Nutrition can help Power Both

The first important nutrient for the eyes is Lutein. Related to Vitamin A, it is considered an “eye vitamin” that is responsible for protecting eye tissue from sunlight damage. For the brain, lutein helps support visual processing and memory. So, if a child eats enough egg yolks, leafy dark greens, corn, and grapes, to name a few, both the brain and eye cells will be supported.45 Another key nutrient is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that helps prevent oxidative damage to increase resilience of cells in the eyes and brain. When in sufficient levels (eg. fatty fish for high quality DHA) in the body, it helps enhance mental performances.47 The third nutrient HMO (Oligosaccharides), which mainly stimulates the good gut bacteria to boost the immune system, also supports the brain. HMOs are a good source of sialic acid, which is essential for optimal brain function.67

Seeing is believing and the brain is key to understanding all of it. Because of this importance, supporting your child’s vision health is a means for a healthier development in their younger years. To help a child eat, offer both your child’s favorites with new items while encouraging them to try it without force. When food alone is not enough, an alternative growing up milk option Similac Gain IQ  can help.7 It has an exclusive nutrition system with LuteinDHA & RRR Natural Vitamin E to help support brain & eye development.8,9 With an addition of 2’‐FL HMO (Fucosyllactose & Oligosaccharides) & Nucleotides, it is the extra layer to help support immunity of your child. With this, your child can both enjoy learning and thrive.10,8

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  8. Auestad,Halter et al.2001,
  9. Auestad,Scott et al.2003
  10. Buck R et al. 2004, Schaller et al 2004,