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Do you ever use Pedialyte or sports drinks for sick children?  Below are some homemade, very inexpensive, and fully functional substitutes.

 We've had an impressive virus at our house lately; my 7-year-old ran a fever for an entire week (with an ear infection on top of it), and now the 4-year-old has the fever-causing virus.  Younger children get dehydrated so easily, so mine get a water bottle to keep with them at all times while sick- but it's "lemonade" water.  It really is lemonade, a little on the weak side and with salt.  I add a couple things to their water bottle, and it helps replenish the minerals and salts they lose while fevering. It tastes better to them than plain water, which helps, too.

I prefer the lemon- if you have fresh it's fantastic-, and lemon seems a little easier on upset tummies than the orange juice.  Lemon is also supposed to help alkalinize your body and cleanse the liver, both of which may help you recover faster.  The salt really is important*.  If you use unrefined coarse or sea salt, you'll also be adding critical trace minerals. (If you only have refined salt, I understand, it's OK, just not as good for our purposes here.)    For the sweetener, I use raw honey because that's what I have in my pantry.  Don't use honey if you're making this for a child under 1 year old because of possibility for botulism.  Sugar can be substituted, but doesn't have the trace minerals that honey does.  If your child likes the flavor of molasses, that's even more nutritious than honey.  My next batch will use blackstrap molasses- the amount of minerals in there are amazing!  And, after all, nutrition is the name of the game when someone's sick! This drink can also be frozen to make ice cubs or popsicles.
Note:  blackstrap molasses is not very sweet at all, and is somewhat of an acquired taste.  If I make some for myself, I tolerate the flavor, but for my children, I use no more than 1 Tbsp. blackstrap and 1 Tbsp. honey.  Using regular molasses is much more palatable to children, and even then I recommend using half molasses and half honey.

Lemon Electrolytes

16-oz  bottle of  water
3 Tbsp lemon juice or juice from 1 lemon (grapefruit juice works too)
1/8 tsp. unrefined salt
2 Tbsp. honey and/or molasses 

Pour about 1/2 cup of water out of the bottle (you're drinking it, not dumping it, right? :)  Add the lemon juice, salt, and honey or molasses. Put the lid on and shake hard.

If you want to mix up a bigger batch to keep in the fridge, use 1 quart of water, 1/2 c. lemon juice, 1/4- 12 tsp. unrefined salt, and 1-6 Tbsp. honey or molasses.  Makes a little more than a quart.

Orange Electrolytes

One 16-oz water bottle, half  full
1/8 tsp. unrefined salt
1 tsp to 1 Tbsp. honey or molasses
about 1 cup orange juice

Add salt and honey/molasses to the bottle, put the lid on and shake hard until mixed well.  Fill the bottle up the rest of the way with orange juice.

Bigger batch: 2 c. water, 2 c. orange juice, ¼- ½ tsp. unrefined salt, 1 Tbsp. honey or molasses.


*The recommended salt amount varies from 1/4 per quart to 1 tsp. per quart. Since I'm feeding this to children, I use the lower amount.  Recipe sources I looked at include the University of Connecticut Health Center, The Rehydration Project, Southern Utah University, LiveStrong.com, and http://www.cheekybumsblog.com/2012/04/living-naturally-homemade-electrolyte-drink-move-over-pedialyte/

Nutrition facts:
lemon juicehttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1939/2 
orange juicehttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1973/2
honeyhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5568/2
molasseshttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2  
blackstrap molasseshttp://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=118&tname=foodspice



 


Comments

12/23/2012 23:44

Love the info on the homemade electrolytes this will definately come in handy!

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