BACKGROUND: Tracking of fatty acid (FA) contribution to plasma or serum lipids over time was shown in children and adults. However, the potential role of FADS gene variants has not been investigated. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Serum GP FA composition of 331 children aged 2 and 6 years, participating in an ongoing birth cohort study, was analyzed. Correlation coefficients were estimated to describe FA tracking over 4 years and to assess the influence of FADS variants on tracking. We found low to moderate tracking (r = 0.12-0.49) of FA compositions and concentration between 2 and 6 years. Concentration changes of total monounsaturated FA and total saturated FA over time correlated closely (r = 0.79) but percentage values were unrelated (r = -0.02). Tracking for n-6 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) concentrations was lower in subjects homozygous for the major allele of FADS variants and higher in carriers of at least one minor allele, whereas for total n-3 LC-PUFA concentrations and compositions this was vice versa. For individual n-3 PUFA inconsistent results were found. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Serum GP FA composition shows low to moderate tracking over 4 years with a higher tracking for LC-PUFA metabolites than for their precursor FA. Serum PUFA levels and their tracking seem to be more influenced by lipid and lipoprotein metabolism than by FA specific pathways.