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Homemade Pedialyte

If your child is ill and needs to replenish their electrolytes and fluids, Pedialyte is a great option. Save time and money by making your own Pedialyte. This is a guide about homemade Pedialyte.


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3 found this helpful
June 15, 2011

To make your own Pedialyte, mix 2 quarts of water with 1 tsp. baking soda, 7 tsp. sugar, 1 (1/4 oz.) package of powdered drink mix like Kool-Aid, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Store this mixture in the fridge no more than 3 days. This can be made into ice cubes or frozen in popsicle molds for children or adults.

By Monica from Cortez, CO

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful
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I've used the homemade Pedialyte solution. It works and doesn't taste too bad. Of course, I don't think regular Pedialyte tastes bad either. If you do use the homemade version of Pedialyte, do not use red Kool-Aid. Coke or Pepsi is okay to use as long as it is a caffeine free version of the pop. If the child is under 1 year old, only Pedialyte should be given, not Coke or Pepsi.

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January 19, 2012

With flu season upon us here is a cheap recipe to use for kids. Mix one quart of water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add a bit of unsweetened Kool Aid, and you have homemade Pedialyte without the expense.


Source: Pediatrician

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

2 found this helpful
February 14, 2011

I want to make an electrolyte drink. Please tell me how to do that?

By Anneta from Riverside, CA

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February 21, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here is the homemade solution that doesn't use any commercial products:

A Salty Drink That Saves Lives!

Important! You must use exact measurements.

Table salt: One level teaspoonful

Sugar: Eight level teaspoonfuls

Water: One liter (5 cupfuls at 200 ml each)

How much to give: Amount given should approximate fluid loss. Roughly, one cupful of rehydration drink should be given for each loose stool passed; half that for small children. (Babies can be spoon fed the solution.)

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February 28, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you want to maintain the water level in a leaking bucket, you simply keep adding water. The same is true with a child with diarrhea, fluids in his body must be replaced. This is called rehydration.

Until recent years, this was done by feeding a salty solution directly into the veins (intravenous therapy). Though this was effective and still remains the best treatment for dangerously dehydrated children, it presents problems. It is costly, and it requires skilled personnel and sophisticated equipment, usually available only at health centers or hospitals. These may be far removed from the suffering child. Intravenous therapy is thus out of reach for the majority of those needing it.

Nevertheless, particularly since the 1960's, there has been another therapy available that is safer, simpler, and cheaper than the intravenous method. It is called oral rehydration therapy or simply ORT. Like the intravenous treatment, ORT replaces lost fluids and salt. But instead of having the fluid injected into his veins, a child can drink it.

Why wasn't this thought of before? It was. The problem was that diarrhea not only drains fluids from the body but also Restricts liquid from being absorbed through the intestinal wall. So simply drinking fluids was ineffectivemost of it passed straight through the body.

But, then, quite by accident an important discovery was made. Medical scientists working with oral rehydration methods added sugar to salt solutions to make them more pleasant to drink. In doing so, they discovered that the body absorbed not only the sugar but also the lifesaving salts and water! The sugar was like a key that unlocked the door to the solution of the problem. When the correct mixture was given, it was found that Sugar could increase absorption 25 times!

Significant? Lancet, a leading British medical journal, hailed the discovery as potentially the most important medical advance this century. And UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) called it one of the simplest but most important breakthroughs in the history of science!

Why? Because now parents can treat their children at home! No special equipment is needed, nor extensive training. It is inexpensive too. Commercially produced packets of oral rehydration salts cost only a few cents and are becoming widely available through various health programs and organizations. All parents need do is mix the salts with water and let the child drink the solution.

But what if prepackaged salts are not available? Parents can make up their own rehydration drink with ingredients found in the home. Though homemade solutions are not as effective as the prepackaged variety, they are a good second choice. And while doctors question their value in correcting advanced dehydration, most agree that homemade solutions play a vital role when taken at the onset of diarrhea.

Sugar is a very important part of the formula in "A salty drink that saves lives". That is why the measurements are so exact.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am a pediatric RN, therefore, as an RN and not a doctor, I cannot diagnose, but the solution must have some type of calories to work better than plain old water. The calories help the solution to be absorbed before it is lost in some unsavory fashion. Sugar-free Kool-Aid has no artificial sweeteners and nothing that will harm a child. I do not recommend giving orange anything to a sick person. Way too much citric acid. The solution of 5 cups of boiled, cooled water, 1 T. of "table" sugar, one half t. of salt substitute, one half t. of "table" salt, is the best solution. In my opinion better than Pedialyte and way better than Gatorade.

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June 22, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

There is lots of misinformation in this thread. First of all the "SUGAR" that is used to increase absorbtion of salts is not a Di-saccharide sugar like that of table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, or saccharose. Pure glucose is used instead. It is the simplest form of sugar (un-bonded), requires zero digestion, and will not "feed" bad bacteria.

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June 22, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sorry for the double post but I should probably provide more information. The only time sugar "feeds" bad bacteria is when it is not digested properly when there are certain conditions in the gut. Like that of people with lactose intolerance (they lack the enzyme lactase to break apart lactose, which is bonded galactose and glucose), and people who need diets such as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (these people benefits from such a diet by avoiding bonded carbs, if you read it up you will find lots of useful information, especially if you or anyone you know has intestinal disorders).

If this is being used for dehydration, potassium and sodium is most important( add Dextrose Powder (glucose)). Citric acid also seems to be a main ingredient in most oral solutions, not sure if it's for taste, but some info says it has some purpose as an electrolyte(not sure on this one).

Anyways, Here is a list of electrolytes:

Sodium (Na+ )

Potassium (K+)

Calcium (Ca2+)

Magnesium (Mg2+ )

chloride (Cl-)

phosphate (HPO42-)

bicarbonate (HCO3-)

Sulfate (SO4-)

Use this link for proper daily amounts

http://www.spar  r/section1.rhtml

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February 25, 20110 found this helpful

You guys should be careful about adding too much sugar, Karo syrup, or juice. No sugar is necessary, the sodium chloride and water are enough, and the sugar may actually be harmful depending on the cause of the ¨runs¨.

If it's an intestinal bacterial infection, then sugar will become food for the bacteria and make the illness last longer.

Electrolytes are really just salts... but you guys are only adding sodium chloride (table salt). Pedialyte also has potassium salts in it. You can find potassium chloride in ¨salt substitutes¨ in your grocery store.

I would recommend replacing the sugar with potassium chloride of the same dosage as the sodium chloride, unless your children are on antibiotics or you know it isn't bacteria causing the illness. If it needs flavor, then add a tiny bit of zero calorie crystal light. Zero calorie ensures it has no sugar, but the aspartame probably isn't good for your children either. Then again, it's in diet coke, diet anything, so its really negligible if it gets them to drink this cheap homemade Pedialyte solution.

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January 21, 20170 found this helpful

i recommend a Hawaiian pizza

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 14, 20110 found this helpful

How do you make home made Pedialyte?

By Nick from Buffalo, NY


Homemade Electrolyte Solution

I am sick this weekend, with no Gatorade in the house. I couldn't remember the ratios of the simple electrolyte formula medical missionary friends in Kenya used to stop babies from dying of dehydration from diarrhea (way before Pedialyte was on the market). I used to use it with my own children 30 years ago. I kept the recipe in my recipe box back then. I found it under Katherine's post (1 qt. water, 1 TBSP sugar, 1 teas. salt). Thanks! (12/20/2010)

By duboisj2

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July 12, 20100 found this helpful

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.


  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet sugar-free Kool-Aid
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt substitute


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.

By T.H.


Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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:

  • 5 cups distilled or boiled and cooled water (no "bugs" in it then)
  • 1 cup 7-Up
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

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)

By valleyrimgirl

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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?



By Jo

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

We had a rough go with the flu this month and a good friend gave me this recipe:

Mix together until dissolved

  • 1 packet Kool-Aid sugar free (not required, but helps the flavor)
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 quarts water

It tastes better than that expensive stuff for the kids and is a lot more thrifty!

By Christine (05/26/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By Joankay

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By kidsNclutter

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By NeoLotus

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

Also, glucose is a C6 sugar molecule. Regular sugar is a C12 molecule, but is readily split into two glucoses. (06/12/2005)

By NeoLotus

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By Katherine

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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.

  • 1 quart boiled water
  • 3 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. corn syrup

By Kelly from IN

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By Amy

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By Al

Homemade Electrolyte Solution

My personal electrolyte solution:

  • 1/4 tsp salt substitute
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Karo syrup
  • 2 quarts clean water
  • (may add Kool Aid or Splenda to taste)

Yields (approximately):
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)


Homemade Electrolyte Solution

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)

By Candance

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