Electrolyte Replacement Drink for a Pedialyte Alternative

A girl who cared by Grandma is taking pills in bed
Michael H/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Total Time 2 min
Prep 2 min, Cook 0 min
Servings 8 (1 cup each)

When your child is sick, your health care provider may recommend an electrolyte replacement drink like Pedialyte or Gatorade. This alternative recipe can be made at home for less money and you can choose to avoid ingredients like dyes that groups have asked the FDA to ban (red 40 and Blue 1 are in Pedialyte liquid and Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6 are in the Pedialyte popsicles).


  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt substitute (made with potassium chloride)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package Kool-Aid or ​other flavorings (optional) OR
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (or other) extract


  1. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.
  2. Use the mix within 4 days.

This can also be frozen into popsicles.

For those who are not concerned with dyes, using Kool-Aid or another powdered drink mix will add flavor. For those concerned with dyes, Kool-Aid also has a line of flavors called "Invisibles" that are dye-free. And really, if your child is vomiting, who wants to clean up that bright red or blue mess?

If your child has already been introduced to fruits and you are using the drink just to keep fluids and electrolytes up, then you can omit the salt substitute and add 1 cup of orange juice or other high potassium juice to the mix, which will supply potassium and flavor. You don't want to use certain juices (like orange, prune or grape) if you are using this drink to treat dehydration associated with diarrhea, however.

If your health care provider has already advised a BRAT diet, then you know that apples are an option and can try using apple juice. It's not as high in potassium as orange juice, though, so go ahead and keep the salt substitute.

Some kids like vanilla or natural extracts better than fruity flavors, so give those a try if you're trying to avoid the dyes.

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