While I don’t advocate supplements for kids, there is one exception and that’s cod liver oil.

Cod liver oil has been used for hundreds of years. It used to be a staple in American households in the 1920-1950’s 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 ツ

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, the only brand I recommend is Green Pastures. They make several different varieties in liquid or capsules. You can find here: Fermented Cod Liver Oil

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! ツ

  • 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 1/2 teaspoon of cod liver oil. I’ll have a chart of quantity for child based on age/weight in video description below.
  • Take a little syringe and administer this way. (Many bottles of Green Pastures cod liver oil come with a syringe.) Griffin loves it and even likes pushing the  juice mixture into his mouth himself.

Cod Liver Oil Dosages for Kids

The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends the following dosages:

  • Children age 3 months to 12 years: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 5000 IU vitamin A daily, obtained from about 1 teaspoon of regular cod liver oil or ½ teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil.
  • Children over 12 years and adults: A maintenance dose of cod liver oil that provides about 10,000 IU vitamin A daily, obtained from 2 teaspoons of regular cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil.
  • Pregnant and nursing women: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 20,000 IU vitamin A daily, obtained from 4 teaspoons regular cod liver oil or 2 teaspoons high-vitamin cod liver oil.

Please note that these recommended doses are 2-5 times greater than the U.S. RDA for children, 4 times greater than the U.S. RDA for adults, and 8 times greater than the U.S. RDA for pregnant women. The RDA values are based on studies conducted in the general population, which is now recognized to be largely deficient in vitamin D. Of course, as always, talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.

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!