How to Flavor Child's Medicine

One of the most difficult things a parent can do is to give medicine to an unwilling child. Flavoring a child's medicine is one way to help with this problem.

Check with your local pharmacy, as many offer to add flavors to children's liquid medicine. In many medications, this will work rather well.

Find over-the-counter flavor additives now available in most drug stores, such as CVS. Some of these are even sugar-free, which is great if your child has diabetes. Tylenol now offers packets of sugar-free flavor additives. Children like picking out their favorite flavors.

Consider adding medicine to the child's favorite food if you do not have access to flavor additives. Apple sauce, pudding, ice cream or even a spoonful of frosting will sometimes make the taste more palatable. However, some medicines can react with certain foods, so be sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist to be certain there isn’t any possible adverse reactions.

Give your child a Popsicle before administering the medication. This will help to numb their taste buds and make it easy to take an awful tasting medicine.

If your child has to take a pill consider Swallow Aid, a gel that can be placed on a spoon to help coat the pill and make it easier to swallow.

Speak with your pharmacist about crushing your child's pill to mix in with food. Time-release medications cannot be crushed as your child will not get the full effects of the medication.

Give your child a piece of strong peppermint gum to chew before administering the medication. This will help disguise the taste. Also consider having your child hold a piece of gum or a strong mint under their nose as you administer the medicine. Sometimes the smell of the medicine can actually make it taste worse.


Do not try to bribe your child into taking their medication, and don't ever say it is candy. A child needs to understand the importance and dangers of medications. Take the time to explain the benefits of the medication. Magic Shell is a chocolate coating that can be added to pills.


Keep medications away from children. Place in a medicine cabinet with a lock, or at least a shelf that is out of reach.