Rehydrating Your Child Naturally: Homemade Pedialyte

Pin It

I get a lot of questions about this from readers and have also wondered myself…how do you rehydrate your sick child without succumbing to the artificial ingredients found in Pedialyte? Just ask any pediatrician across the country and they’ll likely say this is the beverage of choice when it comes to children recovering from the stomach bug…

Homemade Pedialyte from 100 Days of Real Food

I am not saying this drink won’t provide your sick child with some much needed nutrients (we’ve used it before ourselves years ago), but what about the unnecessary extras it comes with like artificial flavors, sweeteners, and color (yellow 6)? We’ve already discussed some disturbing facts about the artificial dyes that require a warning label in many countries outside of the US, but as far as I can tell there aren’t many acceptable rehydration alternatives that don’t contain them. And when I asked our pediatrician’s office if they could please recommend another option, since I wanted to avoid the questionable artificial ingredients in Pedialyte, they had no idea what I was talking about. I am honestly not sure why I was surprised.

So I decided to reach out to a local, board certified pediatrician, who is also trained in integrative medicine, for some advice. Dr. Sheila Kilbane shared with me that there is actually an alternative, and it’s a well-known recipe provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) called Oral Rehydration Salts/Solution (ORS). In so many words she said this solution was created for those in developing countries that can’t just run down the street to the nearest Piggly Wiggly to grab some Pedialyte. And after she explained it to me like that it made complete sense that there would be an acceptable, easy alternative to Pedialyte in existence. So I then went back to our regular pediatrician’s office and specifically asked if ORS would adequately replenish my child during a time of dehydration and this time they said “yes.” It’s amazing to me the amount of pull drug companies have on our doctors these days because Pedialyte is of course made by Abbott, one of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies on the planet.

I’d like to share this “Homemade Pedialyte” ORS version with you today, but with one warning message…

Disclaimer: This recipe is recommended for children who are older than 1, generally healthy with properly functioning kidneys, and not experiencing severe dehydration or high fever (which would probably require direct medical attention anyhow). And, as always, follow your own doctor’s advice over anything you find on the internet!

Homemade Pedialyte Recipe

Mix together:

  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Note: If you fear your child will think this drink is too plain consider adding in a couple splashes of orange Juice. Also, the sugar and salt may dissolve more easily if you warm up the water first.

I did also ask Dr. Kilbane about using coconut water for rehydration since it does contain some natural electrolytes, but the concern there is the lack of sodium. Your body needs the sodium to help you retain the liquid, otherwise it will just go right through you. You could potentially add 1/4 teaspoon salt and some OJ to coconut water to make sure both the sodium and sugar aspects are covered, but the recipe above is a sure thing.

Sponsor Shoutout: Plan to EatScreen Shot 2013-01-31 at 8.48.44 PM

Before I let you go I want to make sure you know about our meal planning and online recipe organization sponsor, Plan to Eat! Kiran from our team uses Plan to Eat religiously to help her plan her family’s meals each week. Their service allows you to pick your own recipes (either from your collection or websites – like ours! hint hint) and then they organize your selected recipes for the week into one concise plan along with a corresponding shopping list. And here’s something they have never offered before…Plan to Eat is giving all of our readers 30% off (!!) annual memberships through February 28, 2013 with the coupon code “EatRealFood”.

Pin It
Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

307 comments to Rehydrating Your Child Naturally: Homemade Pedialyte

  • There is a different solution that just launched in Walgreens and CVS (in the baby aisle) called DripDrop. It is also an ORS, developed by a Mayo-trained physician. DripDrop does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It is sweetened with sucrose, fructose and a very small amount of sucralose, so that may be a non starter for this audience, but an all natural solution is on it’s way. Full disclosure, I work for this company, but I follow 100 Days as a mom myself. Anyway, I just thought you might want to know there is something else out there.

  • Cass

    Just be very very careful that the measurements in the WHO recipe must be exact. And splashing a dollop of orange juice or other sweetner in could upset the balance of sugar and salt and affect absorption. Your bowel needs a small amount of sugar to help it absorb fluid during times of gastro. However too little sugar (or glucose) is ineffectual and too much can actually increase fluid loss and so make you child sicker. This is what used to kill children when people were advised to give undiluted flat lemonade.
    I am not sure what products are available in the USA but in Australia there a couple of different preparations which come in sachet or disperable tablet form. The unflavoured version of these does not contain any colours or flavours. These commercially made powders also contain other salts such as potassium which may be important in some forms of gasro illness or if your child is significantly dehydrated.

  • Trust Coconut water…add a spoonful of local honey (antibotical powers) and a bit of salt and voila’ it works. I used it in India.

  • […] Homemade Pedialyte Recipe – Rehydrate your child naturally. […]

  • Heidy

    Thank you! I have been saving this recipe for a rainy day. My 2.5 yr old was sick all day yesterday. We mixed up some of this solution and she drank it in small sips. It seemed to really help and she started requesting more. She was totally fine with the plain flavor, as she does not drink juice. Thanks again!

  • […] Since I’m an organizer and love me some beginning (Mondays, first of the month, New Year’s, etc.) I am on the hunt for the best way to feed my family in 2015. Not only when we’re healthy, but also when we’re sick. Some things are obvious – homemade soup replacing canned for example – and I know there’s a wealth of info out there to sort through for the not-as-obvious. 100 Days of Real Food even has a post about an option for Pedialyte! […]

  • Ariel

    The reason the doctors office didn’t give you a home remedy is because home remedies like that one can be done wrong and if the doctor orders you to give an at home remedy like this one and you mess up the directions then the child gets sicker the doctor could be held liable.

Leave a Reply