At a time when childhood obesity is a major concern – not just here in the UK, but globally –finding healthy alternatives to traditional sugar-laden snacks and drinks has never been more important. Healthier options are not only beneficial for encouraging kids to maintain a healthy weight, they’re also great for protecting their teeth and keeping them healthier overall into adulthood.
The good news for parents is that there are lots of healthy drinks options that kids will love. From smoothie recipes for kids to refreshing slushies, here’s some great ideas that you can whip up in your kitchen at home:
- Smoothie Recipes for Kids
The best thing about smoothie recipes for kids is that they’re completely flexible; they can be adapted depending on your kids’ preferences and tastes, or even the time of year! Using warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg is ideal during the Autumn and Winter months, for example. You can also add in your children’s favourite berries, fruits, and unsweetened juices. Here’s a handy hint: if your kids like their smoothies to be thick, like milkshakes, try adding banana or avocado – both of these fruits give smoothies a really creamy consistency.
- Slush Recipes
An alternative to smoothie recipes for kids is to try a slushie instead. Slush drinks have been a common sight in theme parks over the years, but now we can make them in our own homes thanks to the introduction of slush machines (or you could simply crush the ice by hand if you have the time). Add a small amount of unsweetened fruit juice to crushed ice, and a little food colouring to make the drink seem more exciting. For even more fun, add different colours and layer the ice so it looks like a rainbow.
- Fruity Water
Water is undoubtedly the healthiest and most refreshing drink of them all, but it can taste a bit plain and boring to little ones. Fortunately, it’s actually really quick and easy to jazz up plain old water. All you need to do is create your own fruit water: add a touch of flavour to a water just by adding chopped fruit. Lemons and limes are the traditional fruits for making fruit water, but strawberries also work well. You could even try out some new ideas – delicious kiwi water, anyone?
- Hot Chocolate
There’s nothing like a warm cocoa before bed, especially when it’s cold outside, but many store-bought hot chocolate powders are packed full of sugars and artificial sweeteners, which can be detrimental to health. Instead, try heating up a cup of milk (or a milk alternative, like coconut milk or almond milk) and adding some unsweetened cocoa powder. Some children will like this just as it is, but if your kids have a sweet tooth (which many do!), you can sweeten this a little with some honey or a drop of vanilla extract.
Staying Happy & Healthy
While we’re all focused on the health of our little ones, it’s important not to ignore our own health and happiness. These hot chocolate recipes, slush recipes, and smoothie recipes for kids, are designed to taste great for the little ones, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge a little, too! In fact, a mouthwatering smoothie or some tasty fruit water can be a much healthier alternative to a glass of sugary pop or mug of caffeine-laden coffee. Don’t be afraid to give it a try; you just might like it!