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Featuring delicious recipes made healthier and reviews to give you some new ideas, plus, some toddler food ideas.

Hydrating a Sick Kid

Posted by Ann | Posted in Food Chatter | Posted on 10-09-2009

It’s that time of year again.  Well, it’s coming closer but since we’ve had a cool summer and a seemingly early fall, I keep hearing of lots of people around me with colds or flus.  Last year, when my son got sick I had a hard time figuring out what to give him in terms of liquids.  If you’re not a parent, you may think juice would be a good idea…but just 4oz of apple juice and my kid goes #2 in his diaper once or twice in a couple of hours!  Like most kids I know, he doesn’t like Pedialyte.  Well, can you blame him?  If you’ve ever tried it, it’s like drinking fruity salt.  Yuck!  Also, I don’t like giving him Pedialyte anyway since it’s got artificial colors and ingredients - but when your kid isn’t keeping his fluids in, you don’t really care so much if he’ll drink it!  Whole Foods sells a natural version but all it is is insanely expensive fruit juice which will probably just run right through him anyway.  May as well give him the cheaper watered down fruit juice at your house but then…it’ll run through.  Ugh. 

My happy drink for him now is flavored coconut water.  I tried that as well last year but not flavored, and that was the mistake!  I was crestfallen when he didn’t like the perfect solution.  If you don’t know much about coconut water, here are some interesting bits of information from Living and Raw Foods:  In a 100 ml. drink:

  • Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk - Less fat and NO cholesterol!  
  • Coconut water is better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother’s milk (though I wouldn’t recommend skipping out on formula ever - this is just a tidbit found on the website and I certainly wouldn’t take it as advice to forgo formula and use this instead.  I’m pretty sure your kid’s pediatrician would have a heart attack)
  • Coconut water is naturally sterile — Water permeates though the filtering husk!
  • Coconut water is a universal donor- Its identical to human blood plasma
  • Coconut water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood.
  • Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV
  • Coconut water has 5mg of natural sugars in comparison to 10-15mg
  • Actually, I’ve only tried the pineapple for him, but he loves it so I just continue to buy that one.  It’s pretty expensive so I will eventually try the other flavors for some variety later - but for now I’m happy that he’ll drink something so natural and nourishing.  The pineapple puree added is fairly minimal, so I’m only a little worried about it coming right back out to his diaper.  It’s a much better solution than watered down juice!  Plus, I love adding coconut water to my cooking.  UPDATE!  I now buy the passion fruit variety exclusively because we both think it’s the best one.  The best way I’ve found to get him to drink it is to put a bendy straw in it and pretend like it’s mine - that makes the drink irresistable and he will drink almond the whole thing at once!

    A couple more ways I get liquid down him when he’s sick is yogurt, frozen yogurt and yogurt smoothies.  I read somewhere that a new study came out saying that milk actually does not increase the production of mucous - whether or not that’s true, I figure that yogurt is good due to the probiotics.  O is game for pretty much anything frozen - so some frozen mashed banana mixed with coconut water is a great treat as well.

    Chicken broth is another obvious one but he’s still a little young and stubborn to drink warm broth.  The only soup he’ll actually eat is some delicious Beef Barley Vegetable stew from a local restaurant - so I make sure to buy it the day they make it!  Plus, he is then getting his vegetables as well so it’s a mini-bonus for mommy!



    1. This is a great idea! I just discovered coconut water at my local health food store, and was surprised to find that it has natural electrolytes! I love to drink it before or after a work out, it’s just awesome. I didn’t think to give it a sick toddler though. I’m glad you did!

    2. Definitely something I must try next time I am sick! Thank you for all the facts.

    3. Coconut water is wonderful in smoothies (instead of other sweeteners) as well.
      The only thing I would caution against in your list of facts is the one about baby milk. No one should use coconut water instead of breast milk or formula for little babies. It is missing the vital fats found in those liquids. Yes, it’s better in some ways than formula but isn’t meant to sustain life by itself!

    4. You’re right! Though an intersting “fact” according to the website I found- I sure hope no one takes it literally and just subsitutes coconut milk! I never would!

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