Scores of animal studies demonstrate that seed oils replete with linoleic acid and very low in linolenic acid fed as the exclusive source of fat through pregnancy and lactation result in visual, cognitive, and behavioural deficits in the offspring. Commodity peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils fed to mother rats, guinea pigs, rhesus monkeys, and baboons induce predictable changes in tissue polyunsaturated fatty acid composition that are abnormal in free‐living land mammals as well as changes in neurotransmitter levels, catecholamines, and signalling compounds compared with animals with a supply of ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acid. These diets consistently induce functional deficits in electroretinograms, reflex responses, reward or avoidance induced learning, maze learning, behaviour, and motor development compared with ω3 replete groups. Boosting neural tissue docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by feeding preformed DHA enhances visual and cognitive function. Though no human randomized controlled trials on minimal ω3 requirements in pregnancy and lactation have been conducted, the weight of animal evidence compellingly shows that randomizing pregnant or lactating humans to diets that include high linoleate oils as the sole source of fat would be frankly unethical because they would result in suboptimal child development. Increasing use of commodity ω3‐deficient oils in developing countries, many in the name of heart health, will limit brain development of the next generation and can be easily corrected at minimal expense by substituting high oleic acid versions of these same oils, in many cases blended with small amounts of α‐linolenic acid oils like flax or perilla oil. Inclusion of DHA in these diets is likely to further enhance visual and neural development.