With all of the hands-on exploring and socializing that little ones do, it's easy to see why they commonly catch colds. One of my favourite immune boosters for children is elderberry syrup. It can help shorten the duration and severity of colds and flus, it's rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and it's so easy to make.
Unlike most store bought cough syrups, this syrup is free from chemical sweeteners, preservatives and artificial dyes, which have been linked to behavioral problems in children. It also tastes delicious so it won't be a battle to get your little one to take it. This syrup even makes a nutritious immune boosting topping for banana pancakes.
simple elderberry syrup
- 1 cup dried elderberries
- 4 cups water
- 3/4 cup of raw honey
Bring dried elderberries and water to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer for 45-60mins. The liquid will reduce in volume by about half. Mash the berries with a potato masher or large spoon to extract their juices. Then strain the mixture into a mason jar or a sealable storage jar. When mixture is no longer hot but still warm, stir in the raw honey. Waiting until the elderberry mixture is no longer hot to add the raw honey ensures that it maintains its full anti-bacterial and anti-mibrobial properties. Elderberry syrup will keep sealed in the fridge for many months.
Optional: while the elderberry mixture is simmering, add warming spices like cinnamon, cloves and/or ginger.
*This is not suitable for children under 1yr old.
For kids 1-4yrs:
- 1 tsp 1x day for immunity
- 1 tsp 2x day during colds or flu
For kids 4+:
- 1 tsp 2x day for immunity
- 1 tsp 3x day during colds or flu