As the hot sun beats down over the sweltering days of summer, nothing sounds more refreshing to your kid than an ice cold soda. They’re easy to pop open when our little ones are begging for a beverage with flavor, but these beverages are far from innocent as they’re packed with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and artificial colors. While nothing hydrates us like plain old H2O, it’s fun to add some flavor into our drinks sometimes. Check out our tasty soft drink replacements that aren’t just refreshing, but healthy as well!
1. Flavored Sparkling Water. These offer the same invigorating fizz as soft drinks, but minus the junk. Many brands of sparkling water contain less than ideal ingredients (like aspartame and artificial sweeteners), but it’s easy to make your own at home. Just grab some plain (unflavored) sparkling water and some fresh sliced citrus fruits (like lemons and limes). Squeeze them into your water, add some ice, and you have a crisp, fizzy drink to enjoy by the pool.
2. Fresh Squeezed Juice: Summer is the perfect time to let your kids experiment with squeezing their own orange juice. Having a hand in the making of juice adds to the appeal for children. By making your own 100% fruit juice, you’re skipping the added sugars found in lots of fruit juice products found at the store.
If you’re pressed for time and the store bought version is your only choice, just make sure to look for varieties that don’t have any added sugar (this can be confirmed by reading through the ingredients label). Even though 100% fruit juice made without added sugars can provide some vitamins and minerals to your kids, it should still only be consumed in moderation. Experts suggest no more than 4-8 ounces per day. To make this last, consider diluting it with water. You’re offering a hydrating beverage that still packs a punch of flavor!
3. Iced Herbal Tea: There are plenty of herbal tea flavors available these days. Orange, strawberry, pineapple, and more are all easy to find and are kid friendly. To make the experience more fun for kids, let them make their own tea with your supervision! Here’s an article we found from Lipton Tea that offers a step by step guide to making herbal iced teas free of artificial flavors, colors, added sweeteners, and caffeine.
Have you tried any of our summer soda replacements? Share some of your healthy tips and tricks on our Facebook page!