Holistic Squid RSS Holistic Squid Twitter Holistic Squid Facebook Holistic Squid Instagram Holistic Squid Google+

Get FREE access to my newsletter + exclusive offers

Tricks for Taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Tricks for taking fermented cod liver oil - Holistic Squid

Yep.  That’s my youngest happily slurping down her fermented cod liver oil.

I am shocked on a daily basis that my children take FCLO with such ease.  We’ve tried the emusified ginger and licorice flavors, with no luck. Here’re the tricks that are currently working in our house:

- The kids get the Oslo Orange liquid FCLO.  I fill the handy-dandy syringe that comes with the bottle halfway with FCLO (about 1/2 teaspoon). (The syringe also reduces the likelihood of your hands smelling like fermented fish liver for the rest of the day). I then fill the remainder of the syringe with elderberry syrup for added immune support.  I have also had good luck mixing it with Child Life liquid vitamin C. Both the vitamin C and the elderberry syrup are quite sweet, and you know what they say about a spoonful of sugar…

The combo gets squirted into the side of their mouths when their mouths are closed.  Be sure NOT to squirt too quickly or aim it in the back of their throats, lest you have the odiferous liquid spewed back out onto you. On many days, my kids ask for more.  And so I oblige, because you never know when I may forget to give it to them for a day or two.  (Since FCLO contains fat soluble vitamins, the body will store the nutrients, and it is not necessary to take it every single day).

If it’s a grumbly day, I’ll offer a chaser of kombucha or straight elderberry syrup.  Yes, it’s a bribe, and I’m fine with that.

- Now, the grownups in the house are admittedly a bit more chicken when it comes to fermented cod liver oil.  After my first attempt at downing the stuff, I promptly spent the day gagging as the flavor continued to revisit my palate. Only recently have I gotten to the point where I can smell my kids’ FCLO without feeling ill.

That said, my husband and I both take the orange flavored capsules. I take mine at night, that way if there’s any fishy citrus burps, they’re between my dreams, my hubby, and the pillows. My husband only takes his when he’s feeling under the weather (tsk, tsk!).


Favorite tips for taking fermented cod liver oil

  1. Chill it – The colder the better when it comes to diminishing the flavor.
  2. Freeze it in a shallow baking pan, break off a chunk, and swallow it frozen like a pill.
  3. Float it – Suspend the emulsified gel into water or juice and throw it back in a single gulp.
  4. Chase it – Some swear by something tart (komubucha, oj, or a squeeze of lemon), and others prefer to chase fat with fat by chugging some raw milk after FCLO.
  5. For the kids: Bribe them – If it doesn’t mess with your morals, offer your child a tiny sweet treat in exchange for taking her FCLO – perhaps a few chocolate chips or a fruit juice lollipop.  It may not be ideal, but in my opinion, the health benefits outweigh the health and emotional risks, plus the small piece of candy will help to mask the aftertaste.
  6. For kids: Don’t force it – My advice for parents is be firm and clear, but do not force a child who is unwilling as you will only meet with more and more resistance. Now this will be interpreted in many different ways, I am sure, but if you are confident in the reasons and importance for taking any supplement or eating a particular food, your child will pick up on that. Conversely, if you are thinking, “Oh, Frankie doesn’t like it so Frankie won’t take it, I don’t even know why I’m bothering,” your child will smell your doubt.  Explain to her (even if she’s too young to understand) that you know FCLO doesn’t taste great, but it will help her body to grow healthy and strong. Work together to find a method that works. And if she still refuses, honor that, and try again in a few days with the same firm confidence.
  7. For adults, and kids who can swallow pills – chicken out- When in doubt, do capsules. Yes, you will spend more money, but as the adage goes – pay for the cod liver oil now or the doctor later.

What if I’ve tried everything and my kid will simply not take Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

In a case where your child will not take the cod liver oil, the second best option is to load up on the essential nutrients found in FCLO from alternative sources. There are several fish oil brands on the market that cater to kids including Nordic Naturals- and Carlson’s- (use fish oil not cod liver oil as the proportions of vitamins A and D will be out of the proper ratio). Feed your child oily fish regularly, but do not consider it a substitute for fish oil unless your child eats 2-3 healthy servings per week.

For vitamin A, be sure to include liver in your child’s diet 1-2 times per week.  For most children, this can be easily disguised in pasta sauce, meat dishes, or a thin layer of pate spread on toast or crackers. Carotene veggies such as carrots and squash are not easily converted to vitamin A in the body, so stick with the animal sources.  You can read more about Vitamin A here.

For the Vitamin D, be sure your child gets at least 20 minutes of sunshine per day when it is warm enough to play outside with skin exposed. The top food sources of vitamin D include lard from pastured pork, oysters, and fish roe. A small spoonful of fish eggs can be added to food for a salty hidden punch of vitamin D. You can read more about Vitamin D here.

~Click here to learn where to buy fermented cod liver oil~

If you missed the earlier posts in this FCLO series, be sure to read about The Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil and How Much Cod Liver Oil Do I Need?

Up next – What’s so great about High Vitamin Butter Oil and Readers’ questions about cod liver oil answered… Got questions?  Drop them below.

Tricks for Taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil - Holistic Squid


Disclaimer and Affiliate Endorsement Information

Like What You've Read?
Subscribe to Holistic Squid by email and never miss a post!


  1. Olivia says:

    I finally got mine to take the butter oil/fclo. I got the cinnamon flavor and tone down the cinnamon flavor by mixing it with honey.

  2. great tips. We dip ours in honey(for Nina and Tobias) I just spoon off a bit to the back of the throat and swallow like a pill with water.

  3. We take the Cinnamon Tingle blend with no problems….kids included.

  4. great tips, will pass them on the my sister :) My 3 year old takes the emulsified peppermint no chasers or anything! I have to do the combo capsules, but I have been able to do the olso orange (which my son HATES)… we are all so different :)

  5. Laura Greiner via Facebook says:

    I read somewhere that rubbing it on their skin (this article said their bottoms) would absorb it just as well. Have you heard this? And if you are just giving the CLO, do you also give the butter oil? Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. Roxi Garcia via Facebook says:

    I dont have to chase! Amazingly she loves it she is 4. ;-)

  7. my 3 kids put me to shame- they take choco cream straigh off the spoon. I have to do Cinn Tingle and chase with OJ, and still make a face.

  8. Mines not old enough yet, but I’ll try yhose tips.

  9. this is a tough one… disguised in SMoothies is the only way it works for us.

  10. Tory says:

    “pay for the cod liver oil now or the doctor later” For those of us who really can’t afford this, this can be quite guilt-inducing! We (adults and older children) take Carlson’s Super 1000mg cod liver oil gems. My 7yo takes the Carlson’s fish oil for children. We take this along with grass-fed butter oil from NutraPro International (they are Weston-Price members.) We have noticed great benefit from just this along w/ raw milk and better-nourished diets. Being healthy and raising healthy kids does not have to cost a fortune and we can feel NOT guilty for the choices/changes we can afford to make.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Tory – Sometimes a bit of provocation is exactly what an individual needs to make the best choices for their family’s health. It’s a play on the statement, “Pay the farmer now or the doctor later” and it simply means that can choose to pay for prevention now or treatment of disease later. Sounds like your family is paying for prevention – in my opinion, a better choice. :) If someone else feels a bit guilty as a result of reading this statement, I feel ok with that.

  11. Ariel says:

    No problems taking FCLO at my house… Everyone asks for seconds!

    But by the way, your baby girl is absolutely gorgeous!

  12. Stephanie says:

    Do you know if it’s ok for an 8 month old to take the Oslo orange flavor? I accidentally gave him that over the nonflavored and he seemed to like it better. I was just wondering bc I don’t think you are supposed to give citrus at this age?

  13. Amanda says:

    Curious, what elderberry syrup do you use?

  14. We’ve discovered that it’s actually more palatable from a spoon than from the syringe. I was shocked by that. My son and I prefer the emulsified mint FCLO from Green Pastures, though the flavor globs can be almost worse than the oil if you don’t mix it in well enough. Our daughter takes the Cinnamon Butter Oil/FCLO blend because she prefers the gel texture. Kelsy isn’t as picky. The mint is the only flavor I’ve tried so far that doesn’t give me nasty burps later. The ginger was horrid, which surprised me because normally I like ginger things. Cinnamon was my second fave.

  15. Brandi says:

    FCLO/BO blend gives my 3 year old acid reflux. I’m so bummed. So I rub it on his butt, which he doesn’t like too much. :/

  16. […] kids do just fine with unsweetened Arctic Mint, too. For great ideas on slurping it down check out this post from Holistic […]

  17. Bebe says:

    Oh great, thanks for the reminder, now I have to go take my FCLO. ;P I mucked my way through the emulsified ginger, blech, then got excited when it came time to try the chocolate cream. Oh. my. barn-floor-yuck! I give that one to Grandma who does not love it but she can take anything without gagging… unlike me. Working my way through the Oslo Orange now, (only mildly disgusting), with Cinnamon Tingle up next. There are advantages and disadvantages to being “super-tasters”, which is me… and all my kids.

    • Emily says:

      Bebe – Oh boy was the emusified ginger gnarly, and the chocolate cream sounds like a mean trick to me – I’m not surprised that you’d call it ‘barn-floor-yuck’!

  18. […] Now we know WHY to take fermented cod liver oil and how to determine the dose.  Up next… Top tricks for getting FCLO down with a smile on your face. Got questions?  Shoot them […]

  19. Jill says:

    When you said the following above:

    “…..cater to kids including Nordic Naturals and Carlson’s (use fish oil not cod liver oil as the proportions of vitamins A and D will be out of the proper ratio)”

    I would like to know more about this…where did you get your info?

  20. jess says:

    How much FCLO (GP) do you take as an adult and how much do kids get? Is there a range (2-10 years) etc.? My dtr. is 2. I have to mix it with apple cider. I am giving her 1 tsp. per day. Any advice on amounts is much appreciated. The Healthy Home Economist said she gave her 2 yo 1 tsp./day. The bottle says the serving size is 3/4 tsp. ???? TIA

  21. […] first fell in love with elderberry syrup when I discovered that my children were more likely to take their fermented cod liver oil when given with this dark sweet liquid. I bought several bottles before I realized I could simply […]

  22. Mindy says:

    So, I’ve been giving my cold-ridden kids (2 & 4) the FCLO/butter oil blend (chocolate, disgusting imo, but mixed with pb they think it’s a treat!) a couple of weeks…and they are sick again! Is it too soon for it to have boosted their immune system?? We eat healthy, so I’m kind of baffled and at my wits end on why they (and I!) have been so sick this winter! I just got berries to make elderberry syrup, so hopefully that helps…Also, what’s a good kid friendly probiotic?? That’s my next step :)

  23. Sarah says:

    I’m following The Mood Cure book by Julia Ross for depression. I would like to include FCLO butter blend in my diet but I’m unsure if I should continue will all the supplements. Most of my supplements are NOW brand, don’t know if that makes a difference. I don’t want to overdose on supplements. Can anyone help me with this?

    • Emily says:

      Hi Sarah – As I am not your health practitioner and I don’t know all the supplements you are taking, this is difficult to answer. I will say that FCLO and butter oil don’t tend to have contraindication with other supplements, unless you are already taking high dosages of Vitamin A or Vitamin D.

  24. Katie says:

    I add it to raw milk, just a tiny bit of milk, the oil is floating. My kids 2 and 6 both take it.

  25. Thanks for this list. I’m having a hard time taking it as an adult because of the after affects of feeling nauseous for hours after. I’ve done a little research and found that some people with gall bladder ‘issues’ may feel this way. I had my gall bladder taken out 17 years ago – so I’m guessing this might have something to do with it. Just wanted to ask you if you’ve got any tips for me. I really want to take it!

  26. Lyn says:

    I would like to brag a bit and say that my 3 year old takes his FCLO off a spoon even though he says it’s “gross”. What a trooper. I’ll be trying the elderberry, honey, and peanut butter tricks and see if he likes those any better.

  27. Claudia says:

    I have a 3 month year old baby. I would love to know when I should start introducing the fermented cod liver oil in liquid. I have been taking them in capsules, ( i cant seem to take it in liquid) since I was pregnant. its the best and ideal for the immune system!

  28. Nancy says:

    I notice you talk about incorporating the elderberry with the FCLO, but how do you get the butter oil down separately?

    • Emily says:

      Hi Nancy, thanks for your question. My kids don’t take butter oil. They just eat lots of grass fed dairy. I take capsules of HVBO. Hope this helps.

  29. Jen says:

    Hi! Great post! I recently purchased cod liver oil and was wondering how we would all choke it down. any suggestions on a good brand for elderberry syrup and/or liquid vitamin c?

  30. […] oil that week.  (Read more about the benefits of cod liver oil here.) Finally, this is a great post on how to get your kids to actually take […]

  31. […] for ADD/ADHD down the road. Whenever possible provide these nutrients from Real Food. Here are some tricks on getting the kids to take fermented code liver […]

  32. […] Now we know WHY to take fermented cod liver oil and how to determine the dose.  Up next… Top tricks for getting FCLO down with a smile on your face. Got questions?  Shoot them […]

  33. […] Learn Tricks for Taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil […]

  34. Jennifer says:

    I second mixing it with homemade elderberry syrup! My 4 young boys (ages 1-7) take the unflavored FCLO without problem when I mix it with elderberry. They actually don’t even flinch at taking it straight up, but I can only do it with elderberry. :)

  35. Tamika says:

    I was just getting ready to order caps for myself and liquid for the kids, but read that nursing moms should take 10 to 20 ! I would go through the caps way too quickly! I am also wondering if the butter oil fclo is better?

    • Emily says:

      Hi Tamika – Thanks for your question. If you’re taking the combo pill, you would have to take more. I recommend taking 8-10 if pregnant or nursing, but personally I only take 4 a day. Hope that helps!

  36. rachael says:

    I made the switch to the gelled FCLO after too many ruined outfits with the liquid being spat out. I Have found that a spoon full of raw buckwheat honey hiding the FCLO does the trick pretty well. I take the capsules as well, I’ve never been good at swallowing things that are nasty!

  37. Sah says:

    Unflavoured FCLO with ghi (kid can’t do lactose, so BO is out) and honey. My almost 5yr old is begging for it. I take it the same way and I can’t taste the fishy flavour. It’s rich and sweet, reminds me of the buttercandies I used to get from my grandmother when I was young.

  38. Greg says:

    Not a fan of juice but the plain FCLO in the syringe with an equal amount of apple juice goes down really easily for my 3 and 5 year old.

Speak Your Mind