Here is a recipe for homemade Pedialyte. It is very important for babies and children not to become dehydrated when they're sick! Use instead of juice or milk for diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. This will not aggravate a sick tummy.
The salt substitute and Kool-Aid are optional. Store in the refrigerator. Be creative; use your special Kool-Aid to make ice cubes so it will stay cool in their bottle or sippy-cup. Or, insert toothpicks into your ice cubes before freezing and make homemade popsicles.
Years ago, my son, as a baby, was very sick with a intestinal infection and was not allowed any dairy products until it cleared up. He had the "runs". When he was in the hospital they gave him a liquid called Pedialyte to replenish what his body needed. I was to buy some when he left the hospital, which I did buy one bottle, but at a very expensive price. A friend heard that I needed to buy it and gave me a recipe to use instead:
I like though the idea your friend had in adding a Kool-Aid for flavoring. I just phoned the local Walmart (in Manitoba, Canada) and 1 litre (4 cups) of pedialyte is $8.77 or 237 ml (not even a cup) goes for $2.97. Why not make your own? It is so much cheaper. (10/08/2004)
I would wonder how effective the homemade solutions are, maybe very and maybe not. The composition of the "manufactured" electrolyte solutions is a balance of glucose and electrolytes that is absorbed very quickly from the stomach and upper intestine so it doesn't get vomited back or aggravate the bowel leading to more diarrhea. It is the balance that is crucial which is why you are instructed not to add juice or cordial to the mix. If the balance is right in the homemade solutions they should be fine, but who would know?
We had a rough go with the flu this month and a good friend gave me this recipe:
Mix together until dissolved
It tastes better than that expensive stuff for the kids and is a lot more thrifty!
By Christine (05/26/2005)
I don't know whether the home-made solutions work as well as Pedialyte. Maybe someone will say how successful it has been. I would certainly not use sugar-free Kool-Aid, artificial sweeteners are not good for children, especially babies. (05/26/2005)
You can purchase unsweetened Kool-Aid without "any" sweetener, just the citric acid and flavoring. It's the envelope you're supposed to mix w/water and sugar to make traditional Kool-Aid. The sugar in the electrolyte solution will sweeten it, helps the taste. If using salt substitute as one recipe calls for find one that contains potassium chloride. I believe the reason for this is the potassium balance for the body. Some salt substitutes are made of only citric acid. I will ask the pediatrician about this recipe and if given approval will definitely add it to my file. (05/27/2005)
I'm not sure putting in the Kool-Aid is such a good idea. I noticed as I mixed a batch that the citric acid reacts with the baking soda and removes the very important bi-carbonate ion from the solution by creating carbon dioxide and water. I am remembering this from my college chem classes. (06/12/2005)
Also, glucose is a C6 sugar molecule. Regular sugar is a C12 molecule, but is readily split into two glucoses. (06/12/2005)
I didn't take chemistry in college, but have given this to my 2 year old daughter with good results. I used sugar-free mix for flavoring for her (lemonade flavor so that it won't stain so much if you see it again), but you don't need it.
My dad was a pediatrician for 30 years, and he always told me to use a similar mix: 1 qt. water, 1 T sugar and 1 t. salt. This is the recipe I have used for myself when I have gotten sick. Personally, I wouldn't worry so much about the exact composition. What is important, according to Dr. Grandpa and my own unpleasant trials, is that one should consume only about a tablespoon every 10 minutes or so until the vomiting stops. The electrolyte will help reduce the nausea as the patient becomes more hydrated. (06/16/2005)
I have used this recipe from my family physician for years and it has no Kool Aid or sugar. Works great! I think it's a lot better than these.
By Kelly from IN
Someone wanted to know about homemade vs. Pedialyte.
I have had digestive problems for years and have kept electrolyte around for exactly that reason (it's good for adults as well as kids). Electrolyte solution has on many occasions been the difference between being unable to accomplish anything (except for shuffling off to bed) and having a productive day.
I find that homemade is every bit as good Pedialyte. Though I really like the taste of Pedialyte plain.
The other nice thing about homemade is that you can keep the dry ingredients pre-mixed without it taking up much space, unlike a quart of Pedialyte. (02/22/2006)
One small correction: Presuming the poster who said "regular" sugar meant sucrose, it is not broken into two glucose molecules. Sucrose is broken down by the enzyme invertase and results in one glucose and one fructose molecule. To our bodies, it doesn't matter if you eat sucrose before it's split or after it's split (which is then called "invert sugar").
When it comes to making an "electrolyte replacement drink", duplicating Gatorade or any of the other sugary drinks should not be your goal. They are not much better for you than soda. Proper electrolyte replacement drinks should include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and several other ions. "Salt substitute" is usually potassium chloride, which would be a cheap source of food grade potassium. I've yet to find an authoritative website that gives a complete recipe, but I'm still looking.
Oh, and I'd like to steer everyone away from "sugar-free" drink mixes because they usually contain aspartame. Aspartame is horrible stuff. Look at (an MSDS) up on the web and you'll find out why. I give my kids only naturally flavored and naturally colored candies, freeze-pops, and drinks. Whole Foods carries frozen juice pops as does Trader Joe's. 7up has now gone all natural. Caffeine-free Coke is also all natural (no preservatives, colored with caramel, natural flavors) and a far better choice for kids than Kool-Aid. Artificial colors are made from crude oil (petroleum)!
You can be thrifty and healthy all at the same time! (08/11/2006)
My personal electrolyte solution:
35 mEq chloride, 45 mEq sodium, 20 mEq potassium, 95 cal/liter
Note: Karo syrup is 15-20% dextrose and a mixture of other sugars. (07/22/2007)
Wow. I'm sorry, but I just can't imagine giving a baby or child a formula that contains 7 Tbsp of sugar and the disgusting ingredients found in Kool-Aid along with baking soda and salt. Ask yourself, does that sound healthy for an infant to drink? I'd feel like I was poisoning my baby. Athletes that are concerned about their well being make their own electrolyte drink from distilled (very important that there are no minerals, toxins, etc. in the water you use), adding freshly squeezed oranges or other citrus and 1 tsp of salt. Nothing else, no sugar is needed. I doubt an infant should drink this because of the high concentration of fresh orange juice, but a young child will do just fine with it. The more juice, the sweeter. Citrus and other foods such as avocados and yogurt are high in electrolytes! (07/09/2010)
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