Getting Children to take Elderberry Syrup

Cold-flu season is here. The number of reported flu cases and deaths from the flu increase almost every year. While there is no sure way of protecting ourselves and loved ones from the flu, taking elderberry can boost your immune system. It can also aid in your recovery should you become infected with the viruses which causes the cold and flu.

During the colder seasons, parents are taking multiple efforts to reduce the possibility of their little ones contracting the cold or flu virus. Getting the flu shot or practicing good hand washing are the most common efforts used by (almost) everyone to protect themselves from the common cold and flu. Despite your efforts, the cold or flu virus can still infect your healthy body without detection until the first sign of symptoms.

Elderberry has been used for its medicinal properties for many years. It is used to boost the immune system to aid in preventing the common cold and the flu. It can also reduce the symptoms of these ailments and fight against infections. Elderberry is also used to reduce inflammation of the joints and muscles.

A quick search on the internet will provide you with many elderberry recipes where elderberry is the only ingredient and others may include other herbal ingredients such as clove or ginger. However, elderberry has a bitter taste which can be unappealing to some, especially children. (Even some adults don’t enjoy the taste.) This may make it difficult to get your family to jump to take the syrup.

When I first started making elderberry syrup, I tried to get my son, wife, and oldest nephew to drink a teaspoon whenever they were sick. For whatever reason, the cold and flu were running rapid through our house with ease. My efforts were met with disgust and a whiny sick toddler running away and hiding.

To get children to take medicine, parents have become very creative from hiding the medicine in a juice box to pretending the syringe is the straw in the little one’s favorite drink. However, you may not be able to use those creative methods to get your child to take the elderberry syrup. Here are some tricks I’ve tried to get our son to take a dose of elderberry syrup. Some of these alternatives were more successful then the other. However, I encourage you to try all the methods to see which is more appealing to your child or children.

Add organic honey and/or organic sweeteners – As previously stated, the elderberry syrup can be a little bitter which makes it difficult to give a child. While you are making the syrup, try including organic honey and/or sweeteners such as stevia. While the syrup won’t taste like a bag of candy, it won’t be as bitter as it is without the sweeteners. And it only takes one bad batch that’s not sweetened enough to turn your child off. Therefore, you want to make sure it’s not too bitter for your little one.

Gummies – You can entice your children by turning the syrup into gummies. There are plenty of fun molds available at your local crafting store or on Amazon for purchase. There are molds in the shape of robots, the alphabets, dinosaurs, the traditional gummy bear, worms, hearts, and many other kid friendly molds. You may want to add the honey and sweeteners to your syrup before pour the syrup into the mold to ensure it is truly appealing to the kiddos.

A cup of Orange Juice – Putting a teaspoon of elderberry syrup in a cup of orange juice has been our most successful method to date. You have to be quick with getting the elderberry in the cup so the child doesn’t see you. If you child is like mine, they won’t drink it if they see you put something in the cup. My suggestion is ask them to get you something in the next room or pour the elderberry syrup in the cup before they come in the kitchen. We usually put it in one of his water bottles so he can’t see the color of the orange juice. Beware: the elderberry will change the color of the orange juice so try using a darker colored cup or pour more of the orange juice than the elderberry into a cup.

Add it a smoothie – Blend the elderberry in with a fruity smoothie such as a strawberry-banana smoothie or blueberry smoothie. The fruity taste of the smoothie will mask the bitter taste of the elderberry syrup. There are many benefits to using a smoothie such a healthy dose of vitamins while boosting their immune system.

Hopefully, you can get you child (or family) to take elderberry regularly or when they are sick using one, if not all, these methods. The smoothie and orange juice are the best ways we’ve gotten our five-year old to drink elderberry without any fuse.

If you try one of these techniques, comment below and let me know which was the most effective. If you have another method to get your family to take this immune boosting syrup, leave a comment below also.

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