Over the years at Kingsway we have received many phone calls from customers asking for the best way to hide the nasty taste of their children’s medicine, or their own medicine for that matter.
One of the hardest tasks a parent has is to give their children medicines. Children hide, run, struggle or even fight back physically when it’s time for their medication. As a result, many parents have to resort to force, threats and bribery to ensure their kids take their prescriptions.
So this week we thought that we would take the opportunity to write a list of some helpful hints to make “medicine time” a little less stressful for everyone concerned! The techniques all revolved around masking medicine flavours to make them more palatable.
This list has been compiled based on the numerous discussions we have had with our customers and is by no means complete. By experimenting and using your imagination, this list may continue to grow. Please remember this list is broad and if you or your child is on a restricted diet some of these options my not be suitable.
Compounded Masking Syrups
At Kingsway we have a wide range of masking syrups; these have been specifically designed to hide the strong taste of our Primer formulations and contain no “nasties”. These syrups can also be used to disguise other medicines. All you need to do is simply open up the capsule and dissolve the powder in the syrup. Please feel free to give us a call to organise some free samples.
Fruit & Vegetable Juices
Medicines can be mixed in to fresh fruit/vegetable juices, such as pear, grape, carrot, beetroot, ginger, apple, orange, celery. There are so many wonderful, delicious juice recipes out there, the list is endless. Homemade smoothies are another popular idea. These drinks are also a good way to include fruits and vegetables that may not be eaten otherwise.
Yoghurt, Spreads, Honey & Fruit Sauce
You may like to try hiding medicines in yoghurt (if allowed). This is another way to include some natural probiotics. Other common tactics include disguising medicines in organic honey and 100% fruit jams, cocoa, homemade fruit sorbets, peanut butter, cashew butter and almond butter (if allowed) and homemade tomato, apple and pear sauce Remember to try and keep the volume of food or drink you are hiding the medicine in small, especially for children. This way you know the entire dose has been taken in a few mouthfuls. If a child does not finish the food/drink you have mixed the medicine in, it can make things difficult.
Non Water Soluble Medicines
If the medicine you are hiding is not dissolving, this probably means it is not water soluble and may need to be mixed into an oil or semi-solid food for best results. Using a small handheld mixer can also help blend in suborn preparations.
Other Masking Hints & Tips
Another great tip to help hide bitterness is mixing medicines with cold and/or citrus flavoured foods/drinks, such as frozen fruit juice and sorbets.
Avoid what is commonly referred to as “food burnout,” by trying to alter the foods and drinks you are using to disguise the medicine in as much as possible, and if you or your child is on a restricted diet try not to use favourite foods to hide the medicine in.
Educating Kids & Administering Medicines
It is also a good idea for parents to try and educate their children about medicines as early as possible. Explain to them that although they may not taste very nice, they are essential to help sick children get better and that taking medication is something that all people, young and old, do when they are unwell.
Some parents find the best way is to use a syringe to squirt the medicine into the child’s mouth, especially if they have real difficulty swallowing the capsules and/or liquid preparation. Remember to aim for the inside of the cheek, before squirting the liquid into the child’s mouth. That way, it’s harder for the child to spit out the liquid and easier for it to slide down the throat.
Do You Have Any Techniques to Share?
I hope these have been helpful. Please feel free to contact us with your ideas, so we can share them with our other customers.