How to Get Your Child To Take Cod Liver Oil

by Sarah Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & ChildComments: 111

Silver SpoonHands down, one of the most frequent questions I get via email is how to get a child to take cod liver oil.

What are you going to do if they spit it out after all?   Not a whole lot except clean up the mess on the floor!

Once they spit it out after the first try, a toddler will typically refuse to open his/her mouth again for a second go.  What is to be done at this point?  Prying the mouth open and shoving a spoon or eyedropper in there in decidedly not a wise approach!

Sometimes it is best to just throw in the towel until the child is older and other methods of coaxing can be effectively used such as dessert after dinner if the dose is taken or a favorite TV show or activity can be withheld for really stubborn cases.

But what to do in the meantime once the wall of refusal has been firmly erected by your child?

Stop the Gag Reflex Temporarily with Acupressure

If your child doesn’t like to take cod liver oil due to gagging, using a simple acupressure technique can stop the gag reflex for about 30 seconds.

Skin Readily Absorbs Cod Liver Oil

If you’d like to bypass taking cod liver oil by mouth, the nutrients in cod liver oil are readily absorbed by the skin too!

Drug companies are increasingly taking advantage of the ability of skin to absorb chemicals of all kinds with the smokers patch being one of the most well known.  There are now skin patches for birth control and even a patch for motion sickness when you take a cruise or fly in a plane.

Skin will not only readily absorb drugs but it also absorbs nutrients.   When you sunbathe with no sunscreen, the vitamin D forms in the tiny pools of oil on your skin to be easily and quickly absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

There is evidence that oil itself is also absorbed by the skin.  Midwives frequently suggest rubbing castor oil on the belly of a pregnant woman who is overdue in order to stimulate contractions.

Using this information to get cod liver oil into your child with no swallowing needed is just the ticket!

Where to Apply the Cod Liver Oil?

Since the type of cod liver oil I recommend – the fermented kind – does indeed stain clothing and burn the eyes, it is important to put the cod liver oil in an area that is not easily accessed by little fingers and hands.

The best place for application then is your child’s bare bottom.   Slathering a bit of cod liver oil on his/her bottom at diaper change time works really well.  In fact, this is what the owners of Green Pasture Products, manufacturer of the fermented cod liver oil, did with their youngest child who was quite the stubborn case when it came to taking his daily cod liver oil dose!

You can slather the 1/4 -1/2 tsp daily dose on at one time if you like.  There’s no need to put it on at every diaper change.

If your child is out of diapers already, you can slather the cod liver oil on the belly area instead and wrap some gauze around the torso to keep it from contacting clothing.   This approach also works for older children with disabilities who may not be able to respond to the reasoning approach.

Don’t worry about a fishy smell either.   Any fishy odor is surprisingly gone within just a few minutes of application to the skin!

Which Cod Liver Oil Product to Use?

It is your personal choice whether to apply the plain fermented cod liver oil or use the fermented cod liver oil blended with the high vitamin butter oil.  Both will be absorbed although I would suggest using the blend given that the two oils work together in a synergistic fashion and seem to increase the potency and effectiveness of the other according to the research of Dr. Weston A. Price.

Using this concept of skin absorption of nutrients, Green Pasture Products is currently in the process of developing some new skin based products that contain the fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil.

In the meantime, just slathering on the same stuff you would normally take off the spoon will work just fine!

Where to Buy Cod Liver Oil

Please see my Resources page for where to buy  cod liver oil and butter oil.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.

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