We had a customer come into the store the other day and she asked us the simplest question. It didn’t take long though to expound on her question with a lot of other information that I decided to put into this article to share with all of you. We got on the topic of kids and herbs. She asked:
“How do I get my toddlers to take herbal formula when they hate the taste of some of this stuff?”
There are a lot of techniques that can be used when it comes to kids and herbs, let’s look at three.
Some teas can leave a bad taste in young children’s mouths and they can’t drink them really hot anyway so it ends up getting cold before you get it all down them and who wants to drink stone cold medicinal tea tastes gross? ICK! One solution to this is to make tea-sicles. Tea Popsicle. Sweeten with a little extra honey or maple syrup, even Stevia. Adding a little extra sweetener isn’t going to take away from the power of the herbs. Make a strong tea and let it cool. Pour into Popsicle makers or a very basic alternative is to use the mini paper cups with a Popsicle stick in the middle of it. You can even add tea to a smoothie of banana’s or any ripe fruit to make it palatable for youngsters. Try some apple juice for your sweetener or cranberry juice, they hide some of the pungent flavors that makes kids cringe. Homemade pops are fun to make and even more fun to eat. These are especially great for kids with a sore or raw throat. The cold of an ice-pop is so soothing. Add marshmallow to these for an extra benefit. You can use any tea and any juice. Try this one for a cold accompanied with a sore throat or even heavy mucous that makes them cough.
Sore Throat Tea Pops:
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth, pour into prepared containers and freeze through. Serve any time of the day to soothe dry, sore throat and dry up mucous.
I put candy in quotations because what you make at home will not be like regular candy. No, do not use sugar and it will not rot their teeth. I want to add that this candy is a great way to disguise bitter or very green herbs. The base is three ingredients:
This base will hide nearly any flavor. It also mixes up into a really easy paste that you can roll into balls and dehydrate for times when you need them away from home. If you leave it a little sticky then rolling it in more powder (chocolate or cinnamon or even licorice) will make it like a taffy that you can pull off in chunks. I have added the following to this base with no problems getting kids to eat them.
Wheat grass powder
As you can see there is a lot of room of play with this concept. It mixes up quickly and has a long shelf life. The longer it sets, the harder it becomes, so it can start as a paste and end as a hard “candy”.
These power packed protein bars make an excellent addition to any school lunch or outing. These can be made in a food processor in about ten minutes. The base may vary if you want to use fruit or go with something a little heartier like Oats but it basically works like this.
Pick three ingredients that work well together like this: Dried pineapple, coconut shreds and cashews. This is your base. You can add to this anything that will work with these flavors. Try a vanilla protein powder for sustained energy, marshmallow for soothing a cold or sore throat, or even Astragalus and Cat’s Claw for staving off the seasonal ick. Elderberries can work as a decent base when paired with dried fruit like cranberries and Turkish apricots. Elderberries are wonderful for staving off winter sickness and pairs so nicely with ginger and cinnamon.
Let’s put a recipe out there. Try this for example,
Chocolate Peanut Protein Power Bars:
1/3 cup Peanut butter
1/4 cup of cocoa
1/4 cup of Maca root powder
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup rolled oats
3-5 dates (pitted)
1/2 tsp Spirulina powder
1/2 tsp Marshmallow powder
1/2 tsp Beet root powder
1/2 tsp Slippery Elm powder
enough liquid to form into a dough as described below.
Put your dry ingredients into the food processor. Pulse until combined but do not powder the oatmeal. Add the peanut butter and dates. If it is not coming together into a ball, use a tiny bit of apple juice or water until it forms a ball in the machine. Turn out onto a counter dusted with cinnamon powder and knead the “dough” until it's not sticky and will roll out for you. Roll into a square and cut into bars. Or you can roll these up into bite sized balls too. This is a fun way to get some nutrition into kids without settling for the prepackaged, sugared up options. Let them help you too. Using a food processor is a lot of fun!
So there are three ways you might try getting your kiddos to take herbs they wrinkle their noses at. Food is our medicine. The more we adopt a way of life that recognizes food as our primary source of medicine and nourishment then the closer we become to living the lives we all want for ourselves and our children. This includes a life free from sickness. What we put into our bodies determines just what we get out of them. So let’s do ourselves a favor and strive to be our very best each and every day.
This article and others was made possible by you! Yes you. Without the questions our customers bring us it’s hard to know what to write about and what kind of information needs to get out into the world. With your help we can make this the most informative blog on the web today. It just takes time and questions. Lots of questions! Have a topic you’d like us cover? Leave a comment below and we will see what we can do to bring you the content you are looking for.