Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting Young Kids to Take Cod Liver Oil

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. 
What methods do you use to get kids to take their cod liver oil?

This post is part of Monday Mania, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways and Fat Tuesday!

40 comments:

  1. The emulsified peppermint and licorice are really NOT bad!! My kids like them (though they often complain they're "spicy"). They used to be okay taking the regular flavor CLO mixed into a glass of milk. Then I got a bunch of pills for me (i'm the wimp around here) and ran out of the liquid, so they started swallowing them. Then, some of the kids started chewing their pills! and liking it! My kids are weird. That is what they do now. My 9 yo, 7 yo and 3 yo swallow theirs, and my 6 yo, 5 yo and 18 month old actually chew theirs and wash it down with milk.

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  2. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
    http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-january-24-2012

    Share your great fermented food recipes at my Probiotic Food Linky – open through Februray 6, 2012.
    http://realfoodforager.com/probiotic-food-challenge-linky/

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  3. It's funny, I started my first on Cod liver (lemon flavor) when she was 1 and she never had a problem. Same with my second. My third is turning 1 tomorrow, so I'll be starting her soon, too. I also wimped out and got the pills, and now the girls chew theirs, too.

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  4. I use regular cod liver oil and I mix it with egg yolk and a little ascorbic acid powder (I know synthetic vitamin and all, but I believe Vit. C is a powerful stuff and there is no way we can get enough from our diet). My nine month old loves this mixture (I've tried it and it is nasty, go figure). I used to try pushing in a teaspoon with CLO in his mouth, but it always ended up all over him. With egg and Vit. C no problem. Hopefully, he won't fight it when he grows up.

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  5. Hearing about the robot song made me laugh!! Love it!

    Bracken has been loving his cod liver oil because we got a new kind from green pastures that is sweetened with stevia. He wants me to keep giving him more! So I've been grateful it's been easy so far.

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  6. My kids used to hate it with a passion, but after the GAPS intro diet it is now used as a bribe to get them to do/eat other things! It really changed their tastes :)

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  7. I'm lucky. My girls, 5 and 7 have been taking it for two years and wish I would let them take it more than once a day. They really like the Blue Ice chocolate flavor. Of course, I hardly let them eat chocolate so it's a treat for them!

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    1. I have two special needs little boys...in order for them to have their cod liver oil I hide it in their daily shakes...I also put it their guacamole...they never know it is there and they gobble it all up :))
      Some little people with special needs have oral sensory issues to textures and smells...for us hiding it works best and they don't even know that is in there...
      Works for our family

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    2. Hi, i live in Dublin, Ireland, you cannot buy cod liver oil for kids here, all CLO products sold here state you must be over 12 years of age?? My son was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and i have read that the gaps diet along with a daily dose of CLO could really help him with this, and also a probiotic to heal his gut? can anyone tell me the best CLO to buy for him, he is 5 years old, and the best probiotic? sorry i'm new to this, also what dose should i be giving him? many thanks, Worried

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  8. I made the mistake of buying the emulsified ginger from Green Pastures for my kids. It is GOD AWEFUL. That was a waste of $40.

    I also bought the regular bottle of FCLO Oslo Orange. It's fine. That's what we will be sticking with.

    I've been giving that to the boys, and also taking it myself. I just mix it in a bit of applesauce. They get the full dosage {2 ml}.

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  9. How young were your kids when you started giving them the CLO? I have a 3 and 1 year old. thanks!

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    Replies
    1. We started giving the kids CLO when they were around 8-10 months old.

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    2. Weston Price suggests giving CLO to babies as early as 4-6 months.
      http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/nourishing-a-growing-baby

      We started at 6.5 months

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    3. Yeah, I think it depends on the kid. Both of my kids teethed late, and were not interested in any food (or anything at all besides nursing) when they were 4-6 months old.

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    4. Sure it depends on the baby. My son was an early teether and he loved solids from the beginning. He was eager to try food even before 6 months, but I diligently waited till he turned 6 months:)

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  10. We started out mixing it with applesauce, but now that they're a little bigger, we do a flavored emulsified type, and they think it's a treat. I love the "robot song" mental image, too. :)

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  11. Would you mind explaining the health difference and the way it effects you between cod liver oil and fermented cod liver oil? And perhaps some brands that you recommend and flavors (that are more consciously sourced)? Right now I take Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver oil, and I am not a child anymore, but I still have a hard time sometimes getting myself to take it! I drink raw milk afterwards, and I have been told that taking it with butter oil or just raw dairy in general helps with the absorption.

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    Replies
    1. Most brands of cod liver oil actually use synthetic vitamins. To my knowledge, Green Pastures is the only brand that actually uses the natural vitamins from the cod liver. The fermented cod liver oil is better because it contains more vitamins, and more types of vitamins as well. We also try to make sure to get some raw milk or grassfed butter with our CLO, as they work synergistically.

      This is a really helpful link that discusses the different brands:
      http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics#brands

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    2. We are taking Sonne's #5 Old Fashion Oil.
      http://www.sonnes.com/products_line_5.html
      The company states that there are natural vitamins in their COL
      "Our oil is processed without the use of chemicals or heat. We purposely leave it unrefined, so it retains the natural balance of vitamins and fatty acids. We are NOT interested in refining out its natural "fishy" taste and smell at the expense of the natural nutritional content and balance"
      So it does taste like fish oil, but it doesn't bother me much and my 9 months old takes it well with raw egg yolk.
      And it is relatively cheap. I just can't afford to get BP FCLO at this point, I was comparing the dosage and I would just have to take a double dose if my CLO to get a single dose of FCLO, and it still comes out much cheaper. I can live with 2 spoon of oil instead of one.

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    3. Thanks for letting me know about this. I'll definitely be looking into it!

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  12. I feel for your kids. Taking Cod liver oil isn't the best. The only way I've found it works great for us (and doesn't talk back) is putting it in a protein shake. We use a lemon flavored Norwegian Cod liver oil and you'd never know it's in there. :)

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  13. I am one to smile and say, "Yummmmmm" when offering the spoon. I think it does help. We started about three years ago. My kids, now 9, 5 and 2 chase their plain FCLO with a spoonful of lemon or lime juice. The acid seems to cut the emulsion of the oil and wash it away. My 2 yr. old loves it! The 5 yr. old sort of likes it and the 9 yr. old tolerates it. The latter had to take the Royal Blend for a cavity and thinks FCLO is much better. Ha.

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  14. I gave it to my daughter with a syringe. I initially had to force her to take it by laying her on her back so she cannot spit it out. After a while she realized she would have to take it, so she started to accept it. Recently she started to refuse it again, so I bribed her with something she loves (like probiotic chocolate). Even more recently she loved showing her dad off and teaching him how to take it, as my husband has an impossible time to take it (she is proud that she could take it and he could not). She also sees me taking it and know it is really good for us.

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  15. Cod liver oil are nutrient-packed super-food supplements that can help boost energy, muscle growth, brain power, and general health. They are abundant sources of nutrients difficult to obtain elsewhere, such as vitamin A, arachidonic acid, DHA, and the B vitamins. Thanks a lot.

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  16. Thanks to my husband, we came up with the best way to get our kids to take their fermented cod liver oil. I have a 1 and two year old and when we first started giving them fish oils, they had the worst time. More of the fish oils ended up on their clothes than in their mouths and they threw the worst fits when we tried. So, we went in search of a fight free way to get them to take it. We came up with a homemade lemonade concoction and they drink it as if the fish oils aren't even there. It is wonderful! For those of you who are looking for a new way of giving them their fish oils try the following recipe. This recipe is for two batches, since I have two kids.

    Lemonade:
    I squeeze 2 small lemons or one big lemon into a liquid measuring cup and then fill it up with water to the 1 1/2cup line. Add honey to taste. (sometimes I heat it a little to get the honey to mix.) Then I place half of the mixture in my magic bullet, add the fish oil and blend it. This emulsifies the oils with the lemonade. When it is done mixing I put the mixture in their sippy cup and add tons of ice and shake it. Repeat process for second batch. The ice keeps the mixture cold and then they can't taste the oils, plus the acid from the lemonade takes the taste away as well. This is like our magic drink and they love it!...And they love shaking the ice in their sippy cups. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the great tip! What flavor of FCLO do you use for this? Also, does the FCLO make the sippy cup smell gross, or does it wash off easily (and is it a glass, stainless steel, or plastic sippy cup)??

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    2. We use the unflavored FCLO. Right now we are using a plastic sippy cup and the dishwasher does take out the smell. However, I would think after time, it would begin to smell. I think we might opt for a designated "lemonade" sippy cup, so it only makes one smelly.

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  17. Hey! So glad I found this post. I just bought the Green Pastures Butter Oil & Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend - in liquid gel form - chocolate flavored..supposedly. It tastes AWFUL. I almost gagged, and I'm not picky, I'll eat anything. I bought it after reading Cure Tooth Decay and my 4 yr old has what I think is a cavity. We're trying to cure it naturally. Anyways, he is my picky eater and there is no way on God's green earth that he will take this stuff. It reeks. It's a thick gel that you can hardly swallow. Tastes like thick motor oil, smells like dead fish.

    I'm gonna try mixing it with a chocolate protein shake and maybe a ton of ice cream. Sugar is the only thing I can think of putting in it to make it better...but I have no idea whether this will kill the fish smell....or cancel out all the health properties w/ all the sugar. Great way to cure cavities: ton a sugar. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Try a spoonful of the blend topped with honey. Its not that bad. The trick is to hold your nose, put in your mouth, wash down with a drink (eg orange juice) and dont breathe until you've rinsed your mouth.

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  18. I have a question. I just bought the cinnamon tingle FCLO blend and it tastes horrible. But I put it in the back of my mouth and swollow and it's done. But I'd like to give it to my 9 mo old, do you think the cinnamon tingle would be to spicy for him? Or how do you suggest I give it to him, just on a spoon? We do baby led weaning so he doesn't have much experience with a spoon, but we'd do that if it's suggested.

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    1. I used a spoon with both of my kids when they were infants. My son, though, hated it as an infant and refused to take it with any regularity until he was over 18 months. Just keep trying periodically if that happens.

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  19. Hi, i live in Dublin, Ireland, you cannot buy cod liver oil for kids here, all CLO products sold here state you must be over 12 years of age?? My son was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and i have read that the gaps diet along with a daily dose of CLO could really help him with this, and also a probiotic to heal his gut? can anyone tell me the best CLO to buy for him, he is 5 years old, and the best probiotic? sorry i'm new to this, also what dose should i be giving him? can u buy with butter oil for optimum absorbency?? many thanks, Worried

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    Replies
    1. Scroll down on this site to see places that sell the best CLO in Europe:
      http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-basics

      We used Bio-Kult probiotic, purchased from Blue Herb. Organic 3 is also supposed to be good, especially for autistic kids.
      http://organic3.com/

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    2. please don't be afraid of this age-old good health remedy - just adjust the dosage down adjusting for weight -

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  20. LEMON TREAT TIME!

    that announcement STILL brings our daughter running to her specially prepared lemon treat that helped - along with substantial diet changes - stop her tooth decay and actually heal her teeth!

    The LEMON TREAT Recipe and the story of our daughter Lola's healed tooth decay is here:

    Healing Tooth Decay: Cod Liver Oil/Butter, Xylitol, Spry Gel & Tooth Powder
    http://daiasolgaia.com/?p=74

    parents - stop feeling guilty - our culture does not teach proper nutrition and dental care and so many of this go through this heartbreak- stop it now with diet changes and LEMONT TREATS!

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  21. all of u giving cod liver oil to your children dont you look out for vitamin A toxicity which can build up over time............plz its best to take fish oil rather than cod liver oil........hypervitaminosis A can be bad......
    i am a adult with self experience of taking it just a year and i got jaundiced...
    clo is no so good for children and also adults...
    long term bad....very difficult for the liver to excrete vitamin A takes very long time........

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    1. Actually, I don't think there is an issue of Vitamin A toxicity from cod liver oil. Here is a quote from an article about Vitamin A (http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/vitamin-a-saga).

      "The Myth of Vitamin A Toxicity

      Typical of the orthodox medical view of vitamin A is the following statement, posted at WebMD.com: "Vitamin A can be very toxic when taken in high-dose supplements for long periods of time and can affect almost every part of the body, including eyes, bones, blood, skin, central nervous system, liver, and genital and urinary tracts. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, skin damage, mental disturbances and, in women, infrequent periods. Severe toxicity can cause blindness and may even be life-threatening. Liver damage can occur in children who take RDA-approved adult levels over prolonged periods of time or in adults who take as little as five times the RDA-approved amount for seven to ten years. In children, chronic overdose can cause fluid on the brain and other symptoms similar to those in adults. Pregnant women who take amounts not much higher than RDA levels increase the risk for birth defects in their children. High consumption of vitamin A may also increase the risk of gastric cancer and the risk of osteoporosis and fractures in women."

      The Merck Manual describes vitamin-A toxicity in less hysterical terms. Acute vitamin-A poisoning can occur in children after taking a single dose of synthetic vitamin A in the range of 300,000 IU or a daily dosage of 60,000 IU for a few weeks. Two fatalities have been reported from acute vitamin-A poisoning in children, which manifests as increased intracranial pressure and vomiting. For the vast majority, however, recovery after discontinuation is "spontaneous, with no residual damage."

      In adults, according to the Merck Manual, vitamin-A toxicity has been reported in arctic explorers who developed drowsiness, irritability, headaches and vomiting, with subsequent peeling of the skin, within a few hours of ingesting several million units of vitamin A from polar bear or seal liver. Again, these symptoms cleared up with discontinuation of the vitamin-A rich food. Other than this unusual example, however, only vitamin-A from "megavitamin tablets containing vitamin A. . . when taken for a long time" has induced acute toxicity, that is, 100,000 IU synthetic vitamin-A per day taken for many months.

      Unless you are an arctic explorer, it is virtually impossible to develop vitamin-A toxicity from food. The putative toxic dose of 100,000 IU per day would be contained in 3 tablespoons of high vitamin cod liver oil, 6 tablespoons of regular cod liver oil, two-and-one-half 100-gram servings of duck liver, about three 100-gram servings of beef liver, seven pounds of butter or 309 egg yolks. Even synthetic vitamin A is not toxic when given as a single large dose or in small amounts on a daily basis. Children in impoverished areas of the world are routinely given two 100,000-unit doses of retinol per year for infants and two 200,000-unit doses for children over 12 months.

      The tragedy is that misplaced concern about vitamin-A toxicity has led doctors to advise pregnant women to avoid foods containing vitamin A, and parents to avoid giving cod liver oil to their babies. Yet the early books on the feeding of pregnant women and infants recommended generous doses of cod liver oil and frequent liver consumption for pregnant women and two teaspoons of cod liver oil per day for babies three months and older. A majority of our medical problems would clear up very quickly if the populace would return to eating liver and embrace the use of cod liver oil—our finest superfoods."

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  22. Where do you get your fermented cod liver oil?

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  23. Does anyone happen to know how to find Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend in Canada? I am having the hardest time trying to find it!!

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    1. purchase online link w/free shipping
      http://www.renewedhealth.com/site/474569/product/251-111743801

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