Simple tricks to flavor medicine – Special Needs Life Hack

‘YUCKY!!!’ ‘It is TOO SPICY!!!’ ‘NO!”  All the words your child has probably screamed, or indicated in some other bodily language how bad their medicine tastes!

Have you ever sat there, wanting to cry, as splatters of spit out medicine make its way onto the table, floor or your FACE?  I know I have.

Simple trick to flavor your meds to make medicine time easier!

Two of my children take heavily regulated medication.  You know the kind that either:

  1. You can only get dispensed once on a specific schedule – prescriptions that say ‘do not refill before this date’
  2. Seizure medication that must be given on time, at the same time and expires in a certain range

Not so kid friendly words have even been known to fly through my head as my husband with Huntington’s Disease accidentally bumps into an open bottle and spills an entire new bottle of liquid all over!!!

There has been many times we’ve wasted medication and only managing to get some parts of it down.  Reward systems and bribes stopped having their effect after a while.

Here are some things I’ve tried before:

  • Earning 5 minutes of iPad time after medication
  • Pieces of semi-sweet chocolate chips after medication
  • Mixing it with juice – DISASTER
  • Upgrading the bribes to entire Hershey kisses
  • Sips of chocolate milk right after as a ‘chaser’
  • Pharmacy flavors – yuck mixed into yuck!  We had to deal with an entire month’s supply of yucky flavored, flavored medicine!
  • Last resort, hold and squirt.  – This totally backfires as my daughter has dysphagia and the one time attempted she choked 🙁

There is an easier way!  In my quest to find an easy solution to the problem I finally found something that works!!! I wanted to share with you my successes as well as the ultimate final, no-fail trick to easy medication administration.

Simple tricks to flavor your medicine!

  • Flavor your own way at home with liquid Kool-aid!  I love this method because your child can pick the flavor they are interested in having, change it up with each medicine change or even mix their own new flavor!  These are very concentrated so I only recommend a drop or two.  What I did was dispense the medicine in a cup, add a drop or two, mix, then suck the medicine back up into the syringe and then administer.  Below is my Amazon link to buy some pre-made

Kool-Aid Liquid Drink Mix Variety 3 Pack (Grape, Cherry and Tropical Punch)


Okay so here is our all time favorite trick to flavoring even the most yucky of all yucky medicines!  It works really well for children with feeding issues (dysphagia) and those who need thickened liquids like my daughter (she’s on nectar thick).  It would even work well if you are on pureed diet.

Mix your medicine with flavored yogurt!  YEP!  I crush up the pills, and stir in the liquid medicine into a tiny dollop of yogurt.  I find the thickness to be ideal for her dysphagia, plus the texture and taste seems to soak right into the yogurt and she doesn’t notice as much.  So far she likes vanilla the best, but I’ve stirred it into those cute kid’s flavored yogurt as well.

Simple trick to flavoring medicine with yogurt!

But here is a TIP!  The goal is to get the medicine in, not to feed an entire meal!  Don’t make the first mistake I did, which was stir her medicine into an entire breakfast serving and then watch as they fill up and don’t finish it all!  Not only did you waste yogurt, but you didn’t get the entire dose in!  Instead, find the right amount, just a SMALL bit, one tiny teaspoon worth, so that it only takes ONE to TWO total bites to get the full dose.

I know that this means a small amount will be left in the bowl, but I usually take my finger and swipe it all up and then she’ll lick it off!  🙂

Simple trick to flavoring medicine, from frustration to fabulous!

Anyway, I hope that helps!  I found that to really be the easiest way to make the medicine go down with a happy face!

If you still don’t have success, here are some other cool gadgets that are made to make the medicine go down.  Have you tried any of these?

Medi-pals baby medicine dispenser





Kidz Med Pacifier Medicine Dispenser

Sippy Sure The Medicine Dispensing Sippy Cup


Have a special day!


About Author

Deena Cannistraci

Special family means we have an extra special life. Wife and mother to a husband with Huntington's disease and a child with Juvenile Huntington's disease. Living life everyday making the most of what we can.

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