How to Medicate Kids

    Once you've actually decided that a "medicine" (herb, supplement, food, etc.)  is best for your child the next hurdle is how you are going to get them to take it.  You may luck out and find that your 5 year old can swallow pills of any size and tries to impress you by doing it without a drink, like my oldest.  But more likely you'll need to try to get liquids or kids formulations of products and disguise the taste.  

    I've found that 100% purple grape juice is the BEST liquid to put chinese herb tinctures, liquid medicines, homeopathics, herb tinctures, etc. into.  I don't even have to worry about 'boiling off' the alcohol content of tinctures, they don't seem to be able to taste it in grape juice.  Prune/Plum juice is also great – before you say "Yuck"!  You should give it a try – it's so sweet I need to add water to it when I drink it.  It's so healthy (fiber, nutrient content) that it deserves a second chance in your life.  Prune juice has gotten an undeserved bad reputation.  Try mixing prune juice with other juices; grape, apple, pear, cherry, etc. to get your kids to drink it.  

DSC_0007      Making drinking the 'medicine' fun has it's advantages as well.  Forcing medicine down kids throat is messy and unproductive.  Better to have them know they are taking medicine and why.  Get their buy-in.  Chinese herbs are best taken at mealtimes so I used to mix the kids' medicine in their regular juice cups (shown at left the green 8oz. cup with straw).  But this only worked if they drank the whole thing at one sitting or I didn't fill the cup the whole way.  I found it much more effective to have a mini-cup used only for administering medicine.       That would be the clear 2oz. TupperwareTM cups shown with blue lids.  The center circle on the lid is the perfect size, when cut out, to fit a standard sippy cup straw into it.  And 2oz. of juice is plenty to hide the taste of most medicines.  (There is a clear ballpoint pen with purple cap laying in front of the cups to show scale).  I found I could give this to my child anywhere in the house and they could drink it quickly.  Since it is only used for medicine I always knew if they had taken their medicine or not.  The younger kids always want medicine when an older child is taking some – a sure sign that you've made taking medicine fun.

     For medicines/pro-biotics, etc. that are powders after about 2 years old my kids refused to drink it in their juice.  I found it better to stir it into yogurt or applesauce.  Still, tell the kids it is in there and why because they can still feel the different texture, see the color difference, and/or taste the difference.