Healthy Gummy Men – Fruit Juice Gelatin Snack for Kids

These cute little guys are a favorite in our household. They’re fast and easy to make, and super nutritious for your family. Griffin LOVES them, especially because of their fun shape. I love that there are just 3 simple ingredients: fresh juice, grass-fed gelatin and a healthy sweetener.

  • While fruit juices get a bad rap, in moderation and balanced with healthy protein, they are actually quite nutritious. Take orange juice for example… it’s high in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants. Just be sure to make your own or buy freshly squeezed from local health food store.
  • The grass-fed gelatin provides healthy and non-inflammatory protein. In fact, if eaten as a dessert after meat, you’re balancing your amino acids and helping to reduce the chances of an adrenaline response. Gelatin is also wonderful for our digestive system, and can even help with allergies and blood sugar regulation.
  • The added sweetener provides a natural form of carbohydrate that can provide good fuel for active children πŸ™‚ If you’re trying to watch carbohydrate intake, you can use a high-quality stevia and even use lemon as your juice. Otherwise, honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar work great. Because of the density of gelatin, I find this recipe needs some kind of natural sweetener to taste good πŸ™‚

OK, let’s get to recipe…

Photo of a glass bowl full of orange gummy men


  • 3 cups of fresh chilled juice. I like orange the best.
  • 1/2 cup of grass-fed gelatin (Where to buy)
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey (Where to buy)
    40-60 drops high-quality stevia (Where to buy)


  1. Pour your chilled juice into a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl. I like using this one.
  2. Add your 1/2 cup of grass-fed gelatin. Mix with metal spoon until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
  3. Pour your mixture into an enamel or stainless steel pot. Put on low-medium heat and add your honey or stevia. Stir until everything is blended well.
  4. Taste for sweetness. You want the mixture to taste almost too sweet since the flavors mellow once in gummy man form.
  5. Pour mixture back into your Pyrex measuring cup and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Pour into your mold. I like the gingerbread man look myself but there are other cute ones like these daisies or hearts.
  7. Let the gelatin slightly gel so that it doesn’t spill everywhere when you transfer to refrigerator.
  8. Place in refrigerator for at least 1/2 an hour or freezer for about 10 minutes. At that time, they are fully formed and ready to EAT and ENJOY! This recipe makes ~ 50 mini gummy men.
  9. Keep leftovers in fridge or cool place.

*For vegans/vegetarians looking for a gelatin substitute, you can try agar-agar powder. Keep in mind, I have not tried it so can’t comment on whether they taste good, gel properly, etc. I also read that agar-agar powder does not dissolve in mouth like gelatin does so you want to be cautious with feeding these snacks to children due to potential choking hazard.

Check out my healthy gummy bear recipe too!

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


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  1. It would be helpful if you specified which Collagen to order, of the one you recommended. As I ordered the one that DOESN’T gel, and wasted 30$. ?

    • The collagen protein that doesn’t gel is extremely useful! I use it a lot more than the jelling kind. You can add it to any beverage such as coffee or smoothies. It’s a great source of amino acids that are lacking in the diet. I like it in coffee best as it makes it creamy, but it’s good in cooked cereals and many other dishes. You can sneak it into many things.

  2. I just tried to make these with organic coconut cream and it clumped up unfortunately. It has worked well with orange juice and with other juices. I just wanted to make it even healthier. πŸ™

  3. Can I use arrow root powder instead of gelatin??

    • arrowroot powder won’t set up.

  4. Hey Genevieve! At which phase would you add probiotics? I know they wouldn’t fare well in the heat. Thanks in advance!

  5. How long can these gummies be refrigerated for before needing to be consumed? And is that length of time the same for all the gummies recipes you have listed on the site?

  6. I would like to print off your recipe but my print button will only seem to print the whole webpage, which is 26 physical pages printed. Am I missing a little print button on your website somewhere that will allow me to just print the recipe? Thanks.

    • You can get the PrintFriendly app installed in the toolbar of your browser. Just go to

  7. Hi, Genevieve I was wondering if you could help me. I tried making them with Great Lakes Gelatin and after putting 1/2 cup of it they remained liquidy after being in the fridge for hours, I then added another 1/2 cup but it’s still the same! What should I do? Add more or is there something I did wrong? I squeezed the orange juice, added 1/2 cup of gelatin then put it in a pan to warm up and added the honey, maybe I should of boiled it? Pls help!

    • Are you sure you’re using their collagen (red can)? That’s the one that gels. Whereas the product in the green can doesn’t gel; it’s meant to be used in cold beverages like smoothies.

      • Ooops! πŸ™‚ I’ve got the green one. Thanks for helping, I will order the red then. I love your blog btw, been following you since I got pregnant, you’re an inspiration! Wish you all the best to you and your family and have a nice day!

  8. HI Genevieve! I just want you to know these gummies are a staple in our household now. All of my family loves them. I’ve adapted the recipe a bit and add a tablespoon of lemon juice to any juice I use for a bit more tart flavor. My favorite is to use a mixture of orange and mango juice. SOOOO GOOOD! I’ve also made some using a blend of tart cherry, grape and a 1/4 cup of Sambucus (elderberry syrup) for an immune boost this winter season. My 3 year old won’t go near the syrup by itself, but gobbles the “jello-bites” daily. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe and for all you do to keep us all happy and healthy! Peace!!!

    • Aw, Heidi, you made my day reporting back in! And what a great idea about the lemon juice. I love a little bite πŸ™‚ Bless you and yours…

    • Hi Heidi,
      I would recommend using powder Malic Acid or powder Magnesium or both to get that extra sour taste. Also the magnesium is also something we do not get enough of in our diets. Blessings!

  9. I’m hopefully making some of these soon, but curious what a typical serving size per day might be?

  10. I finally made these today. First lot were like Jello, soft and we really liked them. The only thing they got stuck in the mold (stars and flowers, waiting for delivery of the little guys/ginger bread boys and the hearts we purchased) The second lot which we made immediately after (with my 8 year old) came out perfectly after we put olive oil in the mold to prevent them from sticking (came out all in one piece and easy to pop out, they actually bounced out). The second lot however were more like gummies, more rubbery. I liked the taste and consistency of the first lot. I think I may have heated the second lot more and also more time in the freezer. I will have to keep trying it out until we get them the way we like. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recipe, they are in the lunch box for school snack tomorrow.

  11. I made some of these – but I can’t find how long they can be out of the refrigerator for?

    • I’d say several hours at least. Note that they will melt if you have them in a hot area though!

  12. Hi, did anyone elses gummies taste like beef jerky? Any suggestions on how to avoid this?

    • Did you use Knox brand gelatin? If you use Great Lakes brand or Trim Healthy Mama brand they should only taste like orange. Knox brand is kinda gross tasting and not great quality either.

  13. I’ve tried these twice now…it’s just like stiff jell-o. It tastes fine but I’m bummed that it’s not like gummy candy. πŸ™

  14. I cannot understand why my gummy guys refused to become gummies? I even added extra Great Lakes gelatin, just in case. Was I supposed to bring the mix to a boil? I just got it warm enough so that everything dissolved. So bummed cuz these look awesome!

  15. I’ve made this recipe or a version of it since you first posted it and we love it. Thanks again!

  16. Hey Mama Natural!

    I’ve been making these almost weekly now and my three year old can’t get enough. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the recipe! Also, I wanted to tell you I’ve started putting the gingerbread man mold on top of a baking sheet so that it’s much easier to transfer to the fridge since the jello mold is alittle wobbly. Hope that makes it a little easier ( it can be done with a baby sleeping in the Ergo ;P ). Love your blog!

  17. Has anyone tried this recipe with gelatin sheets?

  18. Hey! I found your website and am interested in making these but I am having trouble finding anywhere on the Great Lakes packaging or website where it says it’s from “grass-fed” cows…I haven’t read all the comments so maybe you have answered it but is there any other gelatin you recommend that specifically states that it is indeed from “grass-fed” cows? Thank you!

  19. I just made these with 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice and 2 cups cranberry juice – straight cranberry. They are yummy! Sweet and tart!

    I have the gingerbread mold so the color (red/brown) looks more like gingerbread men.

    Just thought I’d share.

  20. Hey Genevieve do you think these would last for classroom treats for Valentine’s day? Was trying to find better options for Peyton’s contribution to her VDay party. Thank you:)

  21. Just made these this morning. Yummy! I didn’t have a mold so just had to eat the boring ol’ squares LOL. Gonna shop around for some cute molds. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I like the shape you created, very attractive to look at..I’m sure kids love to eat like this, not just with the funny shape I assure they will love the taste, why not try this at home.. Nice posting of your recipe and thanks for sharing it…

  23. My gummies came out grainy and were falling apart…any suggestions?

  24. So I tried with the regular powder gelatin, 4 packets, and it ended up just like jello instead. I thought since the recipe on the box said use 4 cups, and I used 3, that it would be thicker. Do you have suggestions for this kind of gelatin? Also do you spray your silicone mold with Pam or other oil? I had to soak the back with warm water and some of them still ripped coming out. Thanks! They taste great even though mine are just jello pieces. : )

    • I would try doing it with 4 packets if you want a firmer texture. I did not oil the mold. Once you tweak your recipe, you won’t have to because the firm gummies come out easily once they are chilled long enough.

  25. Hi there, great recipe!

    do you have any suggestions on what i could add to this recipe for pregnant women? thanks!

    • I would try doing it with 4 packets if you want a firmer texture. I did not oil the mold. Once you tweak your recipe, you won’t have to because the firm gummies come out easily once they are chilled long enough.

  26. Hi, are you sure that this gelatin is from grass-fed cows? I don’t see it on the package.


    • Yes, it’s been confirmed from company.

  27. I am asking for gelatin and molds for my Christmas present this year. I can’t wait to make these for my son!

  28. I’ve made similar gummy treats for my kids and they love them, I was won over by that little man mold though and HAD to splurge for it. I’m curious though, how hard is it to get the gummies out of the mold, any tricks or tips? Thank you!

    • It’s easy to get them out! No biggie πŸ™‚

  29. How do you get the gelatin to dissolve. When I add it to liquid it just clumps into a big gooey mess.

    • It’s important to put the gelatin in cold juice. Stir well. Then heat up. Hope this helps!

      • I just made these and the gelatin clumped badly. I’ve made different recipes and added the gelatin to the warm liquid. It dissolves better for me in warm liquid.

        To get the clumps out you have to heat the liquid and stir witht a whisk for a while until they breakup.

  30. Thank you so much for this fun recipe. Could I use some other fruit juices or vegetables as substitutes? I just wonder, it would be fun to make in many different flavors πŸ˜‰

  31. Just wondering at what age would this be appropriate? I watched a previous video of Griffin eating it and he looks young. I originally thought the pieces would be choking hazard but he just slurped them up! I’m looking forward to trying this for myself and my baby.

    • We started feeding Griffin these healthy treats around 18 months. Enjoy!

  32. Just curious, did you only fill the “guys” 1/2 way to get 50? I filled them all the way and it seems like I am short on liquid to get two batches.

  33. I was making healthy orange gelatin for my boys to eat with breakfast every morning. Knowing it helps with cell regeneration made me feel good about them starting their day with “Jell-O.” My four-year-old doesn’t always eat it because he has texture issues, but when he does it’s probably the only protein I can get into him all day! He pretty much lives on apples and tomatoes, sometimes he’ll eat roasted broccoli. Anyway, I have been worried and conflicted about orange gelatin the past few days because I just read there are 20 teaspoons of sugar in half a cup of orange juice! I’m not really sure what other liquid to use that they will still eat… I originally chose orange juice because I felt it contained more beneficial nutrients than any other fruit juice [we don’t drink any juice at my house]. Sigh* What to do? The sugar battle is getting the best of this mama.

    • There are not 20 tsp of sugar in 1/2 cup of orange juice. There are roughly 15 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup, which is more like 3 tsp of sugar

      • Well, Gina, that certainly would make me feel much better… as long as I can make up my mind whether to believe you or Dr. Aviva Romm. I really do appreciate the effort! I’ll have to do more research myself to get some peace of mind, so thanks for the starting point! πŸ™‚
        I did decide on a different recipe to try… I think I’ll make ginger root tea mixed with a little dash of lemon juice and raw honey, and see how that tastes as “Jell-O.”

        • Not all sugar is alike. When you think of the sugar content of fresh orange juice, don’t think of it as a mound of white sugar.

        • I agree with Alyssa. Unless there is added ‘refined’ sugar in your orange juice, it’s not the same sugar, as the white one. The sweetness of fruit is much less harmful than the refined sugars we add on the daily basis to most of our foods. I’d rather my child drink a glass of orange juice, than eat a chocolate bar, or a cookie.

    • No reason you have to use orange juice. You can make this with any flavor of juice I would even try it with fresh pressed juice if you have a juicer or even herbal tea. I am currently making this right now with elderberry juice that I am making with dried elderberries. You could also use chamomile tea, rooibos tea, nettle tea, tulsi tea, lemon balm etc. πŸ™‚

    • That Dr. is being ridiculous. In the average cup of orange juice, there are roughly 21 grams of sugar. 1 gram =1/5 tsp. So now let’s take 1/2 a cup. There are now about 11 grams of sugar. So for 11 grams, we need to find out how many tsp that is. So, according to the fact that 1/5 tsp is 1 gram, we can assume that 5 grams will be 1 tsp (1/5*5/1). Okay. Now let’s double THAT to get to 10 grams of sugar. That would be 2 tsp for 10 gram. So the OJ is 11 grams for 1/2 cup. So it’s about 2.5 tsps.

      If we had whole cup, it would still only be 5ish tsp of sugar. Not 20.

    • This could be a simple typo that was missed, i.e. the Dr. meant 2 tsp., not 20 tsp. The higher number does not seem reasonable for only 1/2 c. of OJ.

    • If you don’t like the orange juice and think it too sweet, try using beet juice instead. It should give a nice color and would definitely produce less sugar content.

  34. So are these more like jello or actual gummies? I grew up hating jello and its texture but love gummies and think my kids will love these. But I don’t want to make them if they are more like jello.

  35. What a great idea for a kids birthday party, I will definitely have to try these. I make something similar with lemon & honey as a kid friendly throat soother πŸ™‚

  36. Ok, what if you only have the gelatin packets? What do you do for that? Any suggestions??

    • Hmmm… maybe empty the contents of a packet to see how much is in each one. Then do the match to get to 1/2 cup of gelatin. You can also 1/2 the recipe.

      • Reading the Great Lakes container it said that 1 tablespoon will jell 1 pint of water.

  37. This is a great idea! I have been looking for a healthy treat to give as a potty training reward and I think this is it – I also love the gelatin part. Thanks!

    • My pleasure! Great idea as a potty treat πŸ™‚

  38. I saw your ad for these beautiful gummy men, love them, was wondering, could I make these and give as gifts to children in the family for Christmas, do they have to stay refrigerated or do they turn out like other gummy candy, the gummy worms, etc? And also, where do you find molds of this type?

    • Hi Carol!

      I put links to the molds in post so be sure to check out. You could give as gifts. I would keep refrigerated right before you leave for the holiday party and then they should be fine. Put a little note with gift for them to refrigerate when they get home. I’ve left mine out for hours and hours though and they’re fine.

  39. Those little guys are so cute!! I will definitely try this when my son gets a little older.

  40. Cool, I love these recipes! I do wish the gelatin’s label said to refrigerate it after opening. My gelatin is full of all manner of bugs. They love the stuff, apparently.

    • Bummer! That’s never happened to me.

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