Why do the people who make medicines for children make them taste so vile? If it was up to me, I would make them in flavours like candy floss, bubblegum and chocolate, so it wouldn’t be such a mission to get them to swallow them.

A while ago, I had to take my eldest son to the doctor. Let me rephrase that… I had to trick him into going to the doctor (luckily he is hardly ever sick!) I told him I had to run in to fetch something from the doctor and he couldn’t wait in the car. As we sat down in the waiting room, I took out his favourite treat (the egg with chocolate in the one half and a plastic toy that is impossible to put together or breaks within five minutes, in the other half – you know the one I mean!) While he was distracted, I took him into the consulting room and the doctor gave him a quick check up.


Then it was off to the pharmacy for a bag full of medicine, including the dreaded thick, white antibiotic. The first dose was a disaster! Just by looking at it, he knew it was going to taste bad. With lots of tears, shouting and fighting (and that was just my husband and me!) we managed to get most of it down. How on earth was I going to give him 5ml twice a day until the bottle was finished???


So the time came for the next dose and I couldn’t face a repeat of the previous night. I had a ‘light bulb moment’ and put a drop of blue food colouring into the spoonful of medicine and used a toothpick to stir it. He swallowed it without a word! I was a genius…or so I thought. That night I added a drop of green food colouring and told him it was Ninja turtle medicine. I had a feeling he was on to me when he asked if it was the ‘yucky medicine from this morning’. He blocked his nose and swallowed it, but some of it ended up on his pajama top (at least he got half a dose!)



The next morning I had to come up with a new plan… Aha! Sprinkles! I put a few sprinkles on the spoon of medicine and told him it was cupcake flavoured. He swallowed it, but pulled a face. I decided I needed a full proof plan to get the rest of the bottle down. And then a tune popped into my head – I could use a spoonful of sugar to get that medicine to go down (not literally, but my son is not opposed to a bribe or two!) In the end, we managed to finish the bottle and he got better. (But I did have to spend a few hours putting together numerous plastic toys…that broke a few days later.)

“When life gives you lemons, get the tequila and salt!”

Recipe for today
(This is a simple supper recipe for when you have sick children, get home late or just don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen – it also works really well for lunch, with a delicious salad on the side)






125g Stork Bake
1 1/2 cups flour

4 onions, peeled and sliced
60g Stork Bake (for cooking the onions in)
250ml cream
2 eggs
125ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the Stork Bake in the pie dish and put in the oven to melt. Stir in the flour until all the melted margarine has been incorporated (you might need a touch more flour). Press the dough down so that it covers the base and sides of the pie dish. Bake until light golden brown.

Place the 60g margarine in a pan with the onions and cook them on a low heat until they are soft and caramelised, stirring often. Place the onions on the cooked base. Whisk the cream, eggs, milk, salt and pepper together and pour over the onions. Top with the grated cheese and bake until golden (25-30 minutes).

You can use this basic recipe and change the filling – use fewer onions and add fried bacon bits, mushrooms, spinach and feta, (cooked) butternut and feta – you can even add 2 tins of tuna for a delicious tuna tart!

Author: Mel Martin