While I am not big on taking supplements, I try to make sure that everyone in our house has a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil. This nutritional powerhouse provides Vitamins A and D, plus Omega 3's, DHA, and EPA. Weston A. Price's studies showed that the diets of traditional people contained ten times the amounts of Vitamin A and D present in modern diets, and this higher nutrient-content led to people with robust health and virtually no cavities, heart disease, or cancer. Cod liver oil is also a great supplement for boosting the immune system.
You Want Me to Eat That?
We never had any problems taking the original Green Pastures cod liver oil. But once they switched to fermented cod liver oil, things started to get interesting. The flavor of fermented cod liver oil is not the best. Some bottles I've had have been okay, and some have been downright disgusting (this coming from someone who has been taking cod liver oil daily for over 6 years). I can make myself grin-and-bear-it, though, especially if I immediately chase it with a sip of water. But what about the kids?
Tips for Getting Young Kids to Take Cod Liver Oil
I've had to be fairly creative to get my kids to take cod liver oil on a daily basis. They are both under five years old, and can be pretty stubborn in their refusals if they don't like a certain food (especially my youngest). I have to remember to be patient and try new methods when they start to fight about taking their cod liver oil. Some methods that work well for us are:
- Singing: I sing the kids' favorite song of the moment right as I'm bringing the spoon to their mouths. For the last few months, I've been singing Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, and for many months before that it was My Favorite Things (from the Sound of Music). I've even made up strange songs, like the Cod Liver Oil Robot song (which I sing in a deep, scratchy voice). This method has turned something that could be a daily hassle into a daily happy time.
- Rewards: Sometimes, I have to bribe the kids with a whole foods vitamin bear. This is usually only necessary for a day or two when they are feeling particularly stubborn. These vitamin pills are treated as treats only, so the kids are always excited to get one.
- Variety: In our house, we stock 4 flavors of fermented cod liver oil. The kids each have their favorite, and it works well to let them choose what flavor they want. This gives them at least a little control over the whole process.
- Modeling: I make sure that the kids see me taking my daily dose, and that I smile when I do it! Hard as it may be sometimes, keeping myself from grimacing is very important to getting the kids to take their dose with no troubles. For my youngest, watching his big sister take her dose is a sure way to make him excited about having his as well.
- Chaser: Let the kids choose their favorite drink to chase the dose with. I like water myself, but my kids prefer raw milk. This can really help to soften the strong flavor.
- Persistence: When my son was under a year old, one dose of fermented cod liver oil was enough to turn him off from it for quite a while. In fact, it made him distrust any food I wanted to give him for a little while. I refused to give up, and kept trying until he finally started taking it. Keeping a positive attitude was crucial for this, as was asking his sister to help out by looking happy when she took her dose. I also had to try a few different flavors to get him to readily accept it.
This post is part of Monday Mania, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways and Fat Tuesday!