How to Make Homemade Pedialyte: DIY Recipes and Instructions

homemade pedialyte

Homemade Pedialyte sure is a popular topic! If you’re looking for more variations of these DIY Pedialyte recipes beverages I wrote a follow-up post with even more homemade Pedialyte recipes!



Ugh. My kids are two and three, and both of them were up all night last night with a terrible stomach bug. Why does it seem like every time a child has gastroenteritis it’s absolutely the sickest he or she has ever been? The vomiting, and the resulting exhaustion and fussiness, makes for a very unhappy home! At least I can make homemade Pedialyte at home to save money and save a trip to the drugstore!

This wasn’t our first run-in with a bad stomach bug, but I still wish I wasn’t able to say that I’m an experienced mom in this category! There are different recommendations according to various doctors and sources, but If there’s one rule I always try to remember, it’s this: don’t even think having little ones drink anything until they haven’t vomited for 2 hours. After that, we move on to ice chips or tiny sips of water. If they keep that down for 20 minutes, then they’re likely ready to start drinking more water electrolyte replacement drinks like Pedialyte or homemade Pedialyte.

Why is Pedialyte important? It restores electrolytes from sodium chloride (salt) and other minerals that are lost during vomiting or diarrhea. Electrolytes help our cells absorb and retain fluid, so drinking a beverage that helps replace those electrolytes will rehydrate the body faster than drinking water alone.

I have two problems with real Pedialyte and the generic equivalents: It’s expensive and my kids just don’t like it!

I’ve bought several different forms and flavors of both generic and name-brand Pedialyte. Every time, my kids have had one sip and refused to drink any more. That’s why I was so happy to learn that I could make homemade Pedialyte! I made a 1/2 batch of the first homemade Pedialyte recipe this morning and my kids drank it right down. I then made a second batch that they drank throughout the day.

I haven’t tried the other recipes below, but I wanted to include the alternatives so you can try variations to find one that your little ones will drink.

How to make Homemade Pedialyte:

Homemade Pedialyte Recipe #1: 

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Jello gelatin powder/mix, any flavor (I used cherry)

Instructions: Mix salt, sugar and Jello with hot water until dissolved. Stir into 3 1/2 cups of water and serve. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Homemade Pedialyte Recipe #2

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or honey (remember that babies can’t have honey until they’re at least 1 year old)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/2 packet unsweetened Kool-Aid

Mix all ingredients together and serve. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Homemade Pedialyte Recipe #3

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup  orange juice

Mix all ingredients together and serve. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Your turn: Have you made homemade Pedialyte before? Share your recipe below!

Be sure to check out my other homemade Pedialyte recipes!

baby dealsLooking for more health tips? See how honey and cinnamon have been known to “cure” the common cold!

Comments

  1. Im sooo going to save this. I got thru that stuff like water, my kids love it. Thanks.

  2. Half glass orange juice with half glass water and 1/2-1 teaspoon salt. Mix and drink.

  3. Check with your Peditrician on the age safe for your baby to have honey.

  4. We don’t call it Pedialyte in the UK, but rehydration salts/drink.
    What I use is a pint of fruit squash (diluted to taste), quarter of a teaspoon of salt, quarter of a teaspoon of bicarb, little extra sugar and a soluble vitamin c and zinc tablet. Cures all ills!

  5. I am sooooooo making this. My 1 yr old has been pukey the past couple days & I don’t like feeding them things like store bought pedialyte. I like to prepare everything him & my 2.5yr old eat & drink too.

  6. My mom used to give me the jello version all the time when I was kid. I remember eating a lot of unhealthy food back then–white bread, sugar cereal, etc. As an adult, I wrote that remedy off as just another junk food item I wouldn’t give my own kids when I had them. Great to see it actually does help. I’ll consider it next time my daughter is sick. Thanks for posting!

  7. Kathryn B says:

    I’m going to save this! Thanks for the great recipes.

    My doctor also let me know that water down Gatorade also works like Pedialyte. We always have powder Gatorade at our house so I make a batch of Gatorade and then in their cup I do half of their cup water and the other half Gatorade.

  8. Love this. Plus I find it can be hard to find pedialyte without the food dyes in it which we try to avoid.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Honey is unsafe till at least 2…. so just be careful but I love all the other ideas! My son is currently sick so this might be a today idea.

  10. clothespin says:

    The reason that the real stuff has artificial sweetener in it is because sugars draw liquids into the GI tract – not what you want at this point in time. I’ll probably stick to the packaged stuff cause the last thing I need is to fuss with something else when my little one is this sick!

    A couple of ideas though, good for homemade or store bought. Fluids are CRITICAL to keeping a child alive. Obvious but… my 3 year old nearly went to the hospital because I thought she was getting enough liquids… but she wasn’t. If your child hasn’t peed in 12 hours, you need to pump the fluids into her.

    if you kid won’t drink it (and it is pretty vile)… get a large syringe and use that to force feed the kid. I had to put a rag under her chin and pumped it into her. Maybe 1/4 cup every 1/2 hour or so… up to the recommended dose on the bottle. It’s more than you think! Yes, she cried but soon she peed (after a couple of hours) and we avoided the huge trauma and bill of the ER. (The doc was going to make us go otherwise…) After a few rounds of the syringe, she learned that the “medicine juice” makes her feel better… and now will happily drink it out of the juice boxes that they sell. Because of our near miss, I now give this to her whenever she has a fever or any sort of GI troubles… it might be expensive store bought, but is is MUCH cheaper than the hospital!

  11. This is nothing compared to Pedialyte. Where are the vitamins? Where are the electrolytes? This is just sugar/salt water with flavoring!

  12. Electrolyte drinks are supposed to be watered down salt drinks! Salt dissolved in water is the whole point! That’s what electrolytes are. They typically have potassium, as well. My daughter is 19 and has a condition where her blood pools in her arms and legs and her heart stops beating causing her to pass out. Gravity sends the blood back to her heart to restart it. These supposedly simple drinks are life savers for her!

  13. Our pediatrician said not to waste time or money on any electrlyte drinks, just give them water. Artificial sweeteners cause the drawing of water into the GI track, I’m not sure why pedialyte is claiming otherwise on their website. Buy maybe the amount they have is minimal. My children started having diarhea really bad when I was letting them have crystal light fairly regular. Doc said to give them water and sugar drinks & they were better in 24hrs. Also, though, if you have the stomach bug, Doc said to avoid sugars. The bacteria that causes the stomach virus feeds on sugar.

  14. I’ve been making #3 for years, except I add some color-free unsweetened kool-aid. My kids don’t like the flavor of watered down orange juice, but they will drink it if it has the kool-aid in it.

  15. use SEA SALT not just table salt per a Dr.recommendation

  16. Why would anyone give their sick kid MORE sugar? That’s ridiculous. Dehyrated kids don’t need koolaid and jello…they need electrolytes. Try coconut water. It is NATURE’S pedialite. It has tons of naturally occurring electrolytes. And it’s all natural…unlike koolaid, refined sugar and jello.

  17. I used recipe #3 a couple days ago, only with unflavored Kool-Aid. It worked well….but the next day she had diarrhea and a really bad diaper rash.

    • Andi, I’ve never heard of unflavored Kool-Aid. I think diarrhea, and the rash that ensues) is pretty common after a bout of stomach sickness, and pedialyte, (homemade or otherwise) won’t prevent it.

  18. I was wondering if the crystal light pakets for water bottle would work, instead of using the jello?

    • Brooke, I’m 99% sure the Jello is only used for flavoring and some added sugar to help mask the salt, but I don’t know if there’s anything in Crystal Light that little ones shouldn’t have.

    • Crystal Light gives *me* diarrhea. I would never give it to a kid, especially one with GI issues.

  19. I think these recipes are probably right on. They need a little sugar especially if they have been loosing a lot of fluid and not eating. There also is probably a lot less sugar in this than in Gatorade and the sugar helps with rehydration too. I do wonder if there is a way to get them a little potasium in there too? I this way Gatorade may be superior. Some people were misinformed. The stomach bug is going to feed off of any food a child eats, you can’t starve them, that’s just ridiculous. Also, if I can avoid buying Pedialyte or the no-name equivalent I will. it is expensive and I have an attitude of providing what I can homemade to my children, as long as they still get what they need. In the past I have bought gatorade on sale and given them that with extra water when they are sick. It’s a good thing to have on hand, like other medicines. Thanks for the recipes, definitely a good thing to keep in mind!

  20. Just thought you might like to know that you also need to add some potassium to the mixture. Start with 1/8 tsp. or less. The easiest way is “No-Salt” salt substitute. You actually need considerably more of it than you do salt. We Americans actually have the salt/sodium and potassium numbers flipped. We get as much potassium as we need of salt, and as much salt as we need of potassium. (Potassium is very important for brain, muscle and intestinal functions)

    I remember drinking lots of liquid jello when I had tonsilitis as a youngster. It’s still something I crave when I’m sick.

  21. I tht the pedialyte had alot more vitamins then tht….wow…my mom use to give us coke and gatorade….when we were sick w the bug…when we could hold down the coke which it helped w the acid in ur stomach then she wld giv us gatorade….it helped…

  22. Our pediatrician advised us to always have a small bottle of the cheapest RED cordial we could find on hand for tummy bugs.
    Not for general use, just for tummy bugs.
    Something to do with the red colouring to kill the nasty bugs.
    I goes against everything we believe (Artificial everything and white sugar Uurghhh) But it does work.

  23. People. This is not a debate. All the lady is trying to do here is offer suggestions. No need to badger her with points on why you disagree. Just read it and use it or throw the idea in the trash. You don’t have to be all nah nah nah nagging because thats what most of you sound like. Just saying! Also if you have too much potassium it can kill you!! If your electrolytes get too off balance it will kill you!! Adding a little sugar is good because kids like sugar which means they’ll actually drink it! And if your sugar gets too low you open a whole new door of issues! I’m not just speaking from online info I work in a blood laboratory and these tests are ones I do everyday. So either use it or lose it but keep the arguing opinions to yourself. It helps no one but yourself.

  24. macy Brock says:

    What about using xylitol to sweeten? It won’t affect their blood sugar and their liver like sugar and (processed) honey will, plus, it is good for growing children’s teeth!

  25. My daughter is now nine years old, I wish I would’ve had these recipes when she was 18 months old and we had to rush her to a small-town emergency room while on vacation at my family’s cottage. The ingredients listed in the recipe are in regular stock at the cottage! Hours and hours spent in emerg that night with a lethargic and unresponsive toddler was terrifying; turns out, she was just extremely dehydrated due to illness and the nurse yelled at us for not force-feeding her fluids. After being force-fed a syringe (of what I believe was Pedialyte) my daughter perked up and then proceeded to eat two Pedialyte freezies (after refusing the juice-form).

    Ever since that episode, I have given my daughter diluted, clear Gatorade or orange Lucozade, since she hates the taste of liquid Pedialyte. I am aware of the sugar content, but it works and is usually the only fluid she will take while ill with fever and/or stomach bug. We don’t purchase sugar-filled juice in our home, she is allowed one litre of 100% Oasis juice per week, otherwise she drinks water or herbal tea – that’s it.

    Thank you for posting these recipes, I am putting them on an index card and adding them to my family’s first aid folder :)

  26. My husband and I are missionaries in Russia. I am also an RN. I use the following recipe and have been very thankful for it on several occasions. It has literally been a lifesaver for my children on the mission field.

    Homemade Electrolyte drink
    8 tsp. Sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 liter water
    1 cup of juice (for flavor)

    Mix well until salt and sugar dissolve. Drink within 24 hours.

  27. Thank you for sharing these! I havn’t made homemade recipes for my kids, but I have used gatorade and pedialyte as popcicles. I pour it into little dixie cups, put in a popcicle stick, and then pop them in the freezer. They can be thawed out when need to be used, or eaten frozen. My kids like them frozen, as it numbs the tounge a bit before they take any other medicine.

  28. so how much does this recipe make? is it for a single serving at a time or more?

  29. tinagleisner says:

    What a great idea, and while I’m creating some blog posts on emergency kits for storms like this week’s hurricane, I might also start a home first aid post with links to things like this recipe as I used it lots & just gave my son, a new Dad, some cans to keep in the house.

  30. Thank you so much for these recipes. #3 worked like a charm. I actually blogged about it and linked to you. It was my first time on your site. Glad I found it. Thanks again

    http://cuteandpeculiar.blogspot.com/2012/11/sick-day-and-pedialyte-recipe.html

  31. I’d suggest using half table salt and half salt substitute in any of these recipes. Most salt substitutes are potassium chloride; replacing lost potassium is also very important for rehydration.

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