While I don’t advocate supplements for kids, there is one exception: Cod liver oil.

Cod liver oil has been used for hundreds of years. It used to be a staple in American households in the 1920-1950s because it helped reduce colds, flus, asthma, and even treated rickets! My grandmother swore by it. Mike’s grandmother, who just turned 94 this week, takes only one supplement or medication each day and, you guessed it, it’s cod liver oil.

Cod liver oil is great for everyone, including kids! But getting kids to take it can be… challenging to say the least.

Cod Liver Oil Benefits

I believe its greatest benefit is the high levels of fat soluble vitamins A, D and K. These are super important for a child’s immune systems and overall vitality. It’s also been found that fat soluble vitamins help us absorb the minerals from our diet more effectively. Weston A. Price, a dentist in the 1900’s that traveled the world to study nutrition, found that the cultures with the highest longevity rates consumed 10 times the amount of vitamin A compared with the diet of his time (and that’s when people were still eating cod liver oil, beef liver and raw whole milk!)

Cod liver oil also contains omega 3’s and fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These are essential for a child’s brain development, intelligence, and vision.

The Best Cod Liver Oil

You want to be sure you purchase the highest quality of cod liver oil since most store bought brands use chemical solvents to extract the oil and they tamper with the vitamin A content for fear of toxicity.

So, some good brands to try that are truly pure include:

Excellent brands:

Rosita’s Raw Cod Liver Oil: Available for purchase here.

Standard Process Cod Liver Oil capsules: My kids just chew them or you can cut open and mix with OJ. Available for purchase here.

Good brands:

Swanson’s Double Strength Cod Liver Oil capsules: Available for purchase here.

Please note: I no longer recommend Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver oil based on some testing that shows it being rancid.

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How to Feed Cod Liver Oil to Kids

Let’s face it, cod liver oil doesn’t taste like honey. It’s a challenge to get this straight up in your child’s mouth. So, here’s how I get my 2.5 year old son Griffin to not only put it down, but to love it!

  • Get a little ramekin. Put an ounce or so of fresh orange juice in the ramekin. It’s important to put the juice in first as the cod liver oil will otherwise stick to the bottom.
  • Add your cod liver oil.
  • Take a little syringe and administer this way. Griffin loves it and even likes pushing the  juice mixture into his mouth himself.

Cod Liver Oil Dosages for Kids

A conservative dosage recommendation would include:

  • Children age 3 months to 12 years: A dose of that provides about 2,500 IU vitamin A, a few times per week.
  • Children over 12 years and adults: A maintenance dose that provides about 5,000 IU vitamin A, a few times per week.
  • Pregnant and nursing women: A dose that provides about 10,000 IU vitamin A, a few times per week. Always talk to doctor or midwife before taking any supplement.

Concerned about intake? Here’s information about Vitamin A toxicity, as well as Vitamin A for fetal development.

How about you?

Do you take cod liver oil? Do you give it to your kids? Share with us in comments below and thanks for tuning in!