Operation Cod Liver Oil

After reading the many benefits of cod liver oil, I decided it was time to bite the bullet.  I bought myself the gel caps because there ain’t no way I’m swallowing a teaspoon of straight oil every day.  Or ever.  I’ve been taking them for a few weeks.

Then I decided I ought to get them for the kids too.  I bought the liquid for them because it’s much cheaper that way.  I figured I could disguise it somehow so that it’s palatable.  They’re kids, right?  What do they know?

The container said that it’s fruit flavored, so I thought perhaps I’d get lucky and they’d be happy to eat it straight.  Worth a try, right?  So last night before dinner, I poured some on a spoon and told my son to try it.  He looked at it skeptically, took a taste, and proceeded to gag and sputter with dramatic abandon.  Perhaps I should have him try out for a local theater production.

Then my daughters came into the room.  Surprisingly, they didn’t allow my son’s dramatic display of distaste to phase them, perhaps because they both love medicine.  At any rate, they each opened up and allowed me to put a half-teaspoon full in their mouths, then promptly ran for their water glasses and proceeded to make known their displeasure.

So I was zero for three.  Time to move to the next stage of Operation Cod Liver Oil.

This morning, when no one was paying attention, I quietly measured out the cod liver oil into three juice glasses.  Then I covered it with orange juice and proceeded to make eggs.  My husband went to set the table and noticed the oily bubbles in the top of the juice glasses.  He looked over at me and said loudly, “Something’s in these cups.”  I shot Sherlock Holmes the evil eye and shook my head sharply, looking pointedly at the kids.  He got the message and left the juice glasses alone.

We sat down to breakfast, and my son took his glass to his lips, looked at it suspiciously, and furled his brow.  “This tastes like lipstick!” he exclaimed.

“Really,” I responded innocently.  “I’m sure it’s fine.”

He took a sip.  “UGH!  WHAT’S IN THIS!?”

I snorted.  I couldn’t keep up the act.  “It’s the cod liver oil,” I whispered.  “Shhh.  I’ll get you another.”

Somehow his sisters remained blissfully ignorant to the whole conversation.  I replaced his cup with plain juice and then looked at my girls, awaiting their reaction.

My 3-year-old picked up her glass and started to drink.  I waited.

Nothing.  Not a word.

Score!  She drank the whole thing in a matter of a few minutes, and my husband looked at me with a sly smile.  “Down the hatch!” he proclaimed with a satisfied smile.

My son started to chortle in amusement at his sister’s gullibility, but his dad cut him off with a quick glare before the girls were any the wiser.

My 6-year-old also drank a few sips without comment.  She didn’t finish it, and I didn’t push it this time.  I congratulated myself that she didn’t seem to notice that anything was amiss.

Looks like I’m 2 for 3 with the orange juice disguised cod liver oil.  I figure if I add cod liver oil to their morning orange juice every day, they’ll never know it any other way.

As for my son, I’m going to have to get more creative.  Anyone got a bright idea for how to sneak a half-teaspoon of cod liver oil into a 9-year-old boy’s diet?  Perhaps I should try making cod fish liver oil juice pops.  Hmmmm…

* * *

Anyone who may be wondering why on earth I’m trying so hard to get cod liver oil into my kids can find plenty of information by googling it.  Here is one article that sums it up nicely, although I disagree about limiting fish intake.  Wild caught fish is very good for you, and societies that eat a lot of fish are generally very healthy.  That’s my 2 cents, at least, if it’s even worth that.

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18 thoughts on “Operation Cod Liver Oil

  1. Haha, that’s quite funny, I laughed out loud. If it’s the omega-3 benefits you’re after, sprinkling some flaxseed into cereals could help, or there’s also ground flaxseed which could probably be pretty tasteless in orange juice. Hope that helps!

  2. For children you can mix this oil with unheated honey and then it will be far easier to get it down.

    From: http://www.cocoonnutrition.org/catalog/page_cod_liver_newsletter.php

    Here are SEVERAL ideas: http://cookingtf.com/children.html

    Pour the cod liver oil dose into the child’s favorite spoon. Direct the child to open his mouth, and pour the cod liver oil from the spoon into the back of the child’s mouth, where there are fewer taste buds.


    Offer him or her a chewable children’s multivitamin or chewable vitamin C. Following the cod liver oil with a more pleasant-tasting supplement will give him a better association with “Oil Time!”

    From: http://www.ehow.com/how_2099110_help-children-cod-liver-oil.html

    How about trying a flavored oil?


    Or maybe he’d be OK with the following method…During long waits at the restaurant table my kids have been known to enjoy lemon sprinkled from the drinks sprinkled with sugar. Although they were lucky I didn’t have cod liver oil too. 😉

    Pour a teaspoon of cod liver oil onto a large slice of fresh lemon. Then bite the lemon and suck in the juice along with the oil. The tart lemon taste will help cut the fishy taste of the cod liver oil.

    From: http://www.ehow.com/how_2095948_take-cod-liver-oil.html

    Good luck getting it to 3 for 3!

  3. Love it! I do these types of things to my husband all the time. I guess he is preparing me for motherhood. Are you still making them oatmeal? Would it work to add it to the oatmeal? We sweeten ours with maple syrup and I wonder if that would help hide the oil flavor.

  4. We’re making many of the same changes you are with diet, etc. I have been convicted after reading and attending seminars focusing on the relationship between allergies, nutrition and learning.

    Anyway, I’ve been giving my kids EFA Blend for Children by Nature’s Way because it was recommended by a nutritionist/educational specialist. It comes in a capsule and my kids would not swallow it.

    So, the directions said you could poke a hole in the capsule and squirt the liquid in food or drink. I tried putting it in EVERYTHING and nothing was working. Finally, I tried it myself, and sure enough, NOTHING will disguise the taste of fish oil… except maybe FISH. Even I couldn’t stand to drink it in juice, hot cocoa, drinkable yogurt, Kool-Aid… oatmeal, etc.

    They finally got sick of me tainting their food and drink with the stuff and now they actually SWALLOW the capsule! Hooray! (My kids are 8, 6 and 4, by the way, and all three can swallow it!)

  5. The one I’m using is Children’s DHA by Nordic Naturals. It seems that the oil is more effective than capsules? But I may have to resort to the capsules anyway.

    I may try it in my son’s oatmeal, although I think he can smell it out at this point. 😉 Suzanne, it IS the flavored oil. 🙂

  6. Beyond any weight changes – I’m very interested to know how you feel after making all these changes. Mentally? Emotionally? Energy levels? Sleep? Spill the beans!

  7. No weight changes yet. I’m still up higher than normal, and I think it may be age. UGH. But then, I feel full a lot, even after not eating much, so I wonder if something’s wrong. I’m supposed to get an endoscopy/colonoscopy. Joy.

    I am mainly doing this in hopes of helping my gastro issues and also my moods. I have awful PMS (PMDD?) and I would like to feel better naturally. As for my kids, I think one of them may have attention issues. Plus we have food allergies and excema and asthma. Cod liver oil is supposed to help with some of that.

    I’ll definitely be keeping everyone posted! 🙂

  8. I love his reaction…fabulous and very dramatic.

    I am hoping all your wonderful changes helps with the problems you have been having. You are making the best changes for your family, I am quite impressed with how you and your kids are handling it. How is hubby doing with it all?

  9. Kellyn, he’s totally on board. It’s almost comical. I never would have expected it. He’s even drinking raw milk with enthusiasm! (I think he’s just thrilled to hear that whole milk is healthy. He’s always loved it but we rarely bought it before now.)

  10. I think slipping it into your son’s oatmeal is a great idea. I would think that the oatmeal would absorb some of the oil so it wouldn’t be as noticeable.

    I just wanted to share that I have started to eat a more healthy diet including drinking a LOT of water and in a matter of about 2 weeks, my gastro issues are pretty much gone. I’m not sure if it’s the addition of all the roughage or if it’s the water, but I thought I’d share in case it would help you out. Good luck!

  11. It helps to start young. LOL! I know that advice doesn’t help you at all but I’ve been giving my kiddo CLO for a while now and she just swallows it like it’s nothing. She’s 18 months old.

  12. Good for you! I give cod liver oil to my younger daughter (she has autism). She just drinks it because I tell her she has to and I am always giving her nasty tasting medicines. My older one doesn’t take it. I have tried candy as a bribe, but it seems kind of counter productive. My husband takes Fisol which is ecentric coated and doesn’t taste fishy. If you could get your son to swallow a pill, this might help. I also use probiotics. You should read up on those. Those have seemed to clear up alot of my kids gastro issues.

  13. This is very endearing. You all are working so hard for your kids’ health, bless your hearts!

    Just wanted to give some fantastic links and some little suggestions. My kids are grown up, so they take their cod liver oil in capsules, no problems. The burping may happen if your gallbladder is weak from not eating enough cholesterol, and the cod liver oil will fix that pretty soon. My grandkids started taking cod liver oil before they were weaned, and they love it and lick the spoon. When my daughter started buying the fermented cod liver oil, though, they fussed. It burns and is very fishy, but is better with a little salt, in my opinion, as it tastes like anchovies that way.

    So that leads to the first suggestion, and that is, if you make meatloaf — which I do because we love it, and you can use it to disguise exceedingly nutritious organ meats, also — it makes the meatloaf better if you have a slight taste of fish added, so you can smear it on the baked meatloaf, then pour on the catsup.

    Second suggestion is be sure you use the high vitamin cod liver oil. Blue Ice is the best brand. None of the others can compare to Blue Ice Fermented cod and skate liver oils. They also sell the butter oil, which if your family doesn’t eat a LOT of butter and whole raw milk every day, will be very helpful. The website is

    Here are some links to really great articles on cod liver oil:

    Ancient Dietary Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Children

    FAQs on Homemade Baby Formula

    Healthy Baby Photo Gallery

    Children’s health links from my website

    Gut and Psychology Syndrome

    Chris Masterjohn on the Science of Cod Liver Oil

    Vitamin A Saga

    Vitamin A Vagary by Sally Fallon

    Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Cod Liver Oil: Some Clarifications

    Cod Liver Oil

    Where Can I Find Real (Raw) Milk?

    Autism and Vaccinations

    Information update on cod liver oil

    Cod Liver Oil: Notes on the Manufacture of Our Most Important superfood


    Natasha Campbell McBride
    The Autism Diet

    Gut and Psychology Syndrome

    Sally Fallon
    Nourishing Traditional Diets

  14. I can do the cold pressed liver oil with the lemon in it, but my son the PICKY eater, never near it. Please share your any tips that work with your son! I’d love to hear.

  15. The best way I have found to take pure fermeted cod liver oil is with black strap molasses.
    first take a spoonful of the molasses, swill it around your mouth and then take the cod liver oil….no problem

    Ron from the UK

  16. I mix it in with some peanut butter and put it on whole wheat crackers. My kids didn’t know I did anything to it, or it doesn’t bother them. They are 3 & 6.

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