Torani syrup helps the water go down

Here's how Darienne makes water more palatable to her preschooler:

My 3 year-old has always been a big milk drinker. We tried to get him to drink more water by giving him water with a bit of unsweetened fruit juice. But then he just wanted juice and chocolate milk, and still balked at plain water.

After his morning juice, our little sugar monster now gets water with a teeny splash of Torani Sugar Free Syrup. Success! He loves it. I'm sure Torani could replace the chocolate syrup he's addicted to as well.

Potential second use: When he first smelled the bottle of raspberry syrup, he exclaimed: "It smells like cold medicine!" Light bulb: Since he loves (and misses) cold medicine, next time he's snuffly we'll try raspberry-flavored water as new "medicine."

While a little Torani never hurt anyone, I'm afraid this one's a slippery slope. Kids who think every drink should be sweet risk developing a serious soda habit later on. I've found that talking about how "our bodies are mostly made of water" helped get past resistance. As did sports bottles while out and about. And the rule that water is the only between-meal beverage available (when they're past the big milk-drinking stage).

Getting your toddler to drink water
When one twin gets medicine, the other gets apple juice
Calm coughing without medication


  1. Ana says

    I think the syrup is a great idea and I might just try it with our 4 year old who definitely doesn’t drink enough water. The fact is, humans have a predisposition to sweets. As long as sweets are used in moderation, they’re perfectly fine.
    Our son has simply never liked milk and physically gags when forced to drink it straight(I have the same issue – have always found the taste and smell to be repulsive, but have taken great pains to not show this to him). I understand the benefits of milk at this age, however, so I started trying various methods to get him to drink it. Special cups, special straws, bribery – you name it. We finally relented and tried stirring in some Nestle’s Quick chocolate mix and he took to it right away. We use less than the recommended amount per serving and he still loves it – it also has added vitamins so we’re fine with it.
    Yes, it’s not necessarily the best way to go, but at least he’s drinking his milk. And I can take solace in the fact that he’ll gladly snack on fresh vegetables and will eat his veggies and fruit before everything else at meals. Oh, and his dentist said his teeth are beautiful at his appointment two days ago and they didn’t even need to be cleaned, just polished.
    Moderation is the key! :)

  2. Motherhood Uncensored says

    Kids will be fine if they don’t drink milk. We’re a milk driven country and quite frankly, they can get fats and other nutrients in many other ways.

    As far as water goes, they do sell it in boxes (like juice boxes), which I’ve never tried by it might be an option. Our kids aren’t huge water drinkers, but with a dash of juice, they tend to be fine. Also, lots of ice seems to make a big difference. No juice required.

  3. Uly says

    I agree. Additionally, I think it’s a bad precedent to tell your child that they can get “medicine” when they’re not really sick.

    Medicine is not candy. Medicine is not a treat. Medicine can be dangerous if not taken with moderation, and children are very good at finding the things they shouldn’t have.

    The appropriate response to a child who wants medicine but who does not merit it is “No, honey, medicine is only used when you’re very sick, and you’re only a little sick now. It’s dangerous to take medicine if you’re not sick. We don’t do that in this family.”

  4. Kristin says

    I hesitate to be the lone voice of disssent here, but why push kids to drink water? Yes, we do need to consume fluids to keep our bodies operating, but the human body developed a miraculous warning system called thirst. When a child is thirsty, they will drink whatever is offered, unless they have been taught that holding out will get them a different option. I think the syrup is a great idea – save it for when they are sick and you really need to push the fluids. Other than that, no child has ever voluntarily dehydrated themselves because they were offered only milk or juice. Also, juice seems to be the forbidden fruit of parenting,and I really don’t understand the concern. Everything in moderation – my kids (ages 2 and 1) know that juice is served with breakfast, milk with lunch and dinner (with or without ovaltine) and in between if they are thirsty they can have seltzer (flavored or plain) or water. Once you set a standard, the battles are over and they know what to expect.

  5. Zed says

    Uly, I think it’s possible that you misread the post. She was saying that her son MISSES cold medicine, meaning that she’s following new pediatric guidelines that cold medicine is not helpful. Researchers have said that plain syrup is just as effective (throat coating properties) as cough syrup (and a heck of a lot less expensive).

    So I appreciate the hack. I won’t be calling it medicine myself, but I’ve been looking for an alternative to honey for helping to coat the little one’s throat during a crazy coughing jag, and this just might be the ticket.

  6. Sarah says

    Yes, your kids will typically drink if they’re thirsty, however, thirst actually happens when the body has been needing water for a while already. Keeping ourselves hydrated ideally means never feeling thirsty.

  7. Monera Mason says

    I have a better one for water and juice! We give our girls a tea blend made from Equal parts Tevana’s Very Berry and Orange Rooibos. Then chilled! It tastes a bit like kool-aide, but there is no sugar(if you are a sweet person you can add honey, we leave it naked). It also looks like Kool-aide or juice. We also make this as a sun tea which gives the added joy of the girls making their own drinks. Since it is anti-ox rich and low sugar and come out the colour of juice it is the best of all worlds, and dad likes it too.

    Very Berry Herbal Tea Very Berry Herbal Tea
    A rich and soothing blend of hibiscus blossoms, elderberries, grapes, bilberries and citrus peel. Loaded with vitamins and Antioxidants.

    Rooibos Orange Rooibos Tea Rooibos Orange Rooibos Tea
    A refreshing combination of Rooibos, citrus peels and orange blossoms.
    Size: 2OZ – $4.50

    In stock
    Size: 2OZ – $4.00