Some more, please: A spoonful of sugar...

2011-02-03 14:52

I don’t subscribe to the Mary Poppins school of medicating children – that is, hiding the stuff in sugar.

But it seems I’m the only one – judging by the pharmacy aisles.

As the toddler started playschool we all came down with a chronic case of the Playschool Plague.

We coughed, spluttered and took extra doses of vitamin C.

As for the toddler, she was cured in two days by youth and a strong immune system. But it got me thinking about bolstering that immune system – which is where the sugar comes in.

A friend told me about wonderful stuff apparently, voted Product of the Year as the label proclaims.

I have no idea if it works.

The trouble is, it tastes disgusting.

Not because it tastes medicinal, but because the makers have tried – with alarming results – to make it taste like cherries.

I am very worried about where they sourced the cherries for the flavour as it tastes almost exactly unlike the real fruit.

Pharmaceutical companies clearly think children have never eaten a cherry before.

But mine has and her face said a thousand words as she recoiled from the teaspoon and spat it out theatrically.

And the industry doesn’t stop at bad-mouthing cherries, I had to throw away a bottle of children’s paracetamol once because it was strawberry-flavoured.

Again, where are these strawberries? And as for the banana-flavoured stuff ...

No wonder children don’t want to eat fruit if this stuff’s their first contact with the flavours.

I have managed to find one product – recommended by the all-knowing nurse who helped me keep the toddler alive when she was a baby – which the toddler will happily take off a teaspoon.

It’s not supposed to be delicious or sweet, it’s supposed to be medicine and the toddler knows that.

Surely it’s better to teach our children that medicine’s an occasional bitter necessity rather than a sweet cure for all sorts of maladies?

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