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Ideas for inexpensive beverages you can give your kids. Post your ideas.
Get them to drink more water - no sugar, no additives/preservatives, even less expensive than drink mixes. My kids can have milk, water or unsweetened tea. I've got a 15 year old that thinks sugar is too sweet - he doesn't drink it. Best of all - no excess sugar habit to break.
I make lemonaide shake-ups for my children. I just take a bottle of water and add 4-5 T. of lemonaide drink mix. They love it, and I know that they are getting their water.
If you buy soda by the 2 liter, look at flavored water instead. On the west coast, "Talking Rain" is a carbonated water, with only fruit oils added...NO SUGAR or SUBSTITUTE! And it costs the same as store brand sodas. Or I buy soda water and mix it with fruit juice. I also freeze juice in ice cube trays to add to my toddlers water (REMEMBER, no carbonated bevs in sippy cups - gas build up could blow the top off!)
If you don't want all the additives and chemical flavorings, try different flavors of iced teas - like mint, hibiscus, or any of the Celestial Seasonings fruit teas - they can be made as weak or strong as you like, and sweetened with sugar, honey or sugar substitute. I enjoy them unsweetened - they are actually more refreshing that way if you are used to it. And you can save energy also, making "sun tea": let the tea steep in the sun (or longer without the sun) until it is ready.
Try using carbonated water with your drink mixes...even fresh squeezed lemons and a bit of sugar. They get a fizzy drink and not so expensive.
I agree with the previous posts in regards to not giving kids (or adults for that matter!) excess sugar, additives or preseratives but would like to add caffine to that list!
In the summer we like "Fizzy Fruit"! I take the overripe fruit we have leftover (melons work really well) puree it in the food processor or blender and add to sparkling water or club soda that is just water and carbanation. This is a fun treat on hot days! Other than that we drink plain old water with lemon or lime juice! I got some fun ice cube trays from a dollar store and freeze the juice in those for the ice .. it flavors the water well.
Ice tea contains caffine and should be avoided by all children, adults too but even though I quit drinking soda I still need that bit of caffine everyday .. Tazo teas make flavored "teas" that are herbal infusions and don't contain tea leaves .. we use these to make great flavored ice teas .. their Wild Orange is so good iced! I'll brew strong batches and keep the concentrate in the fridge to make "fresh" tea when I want like they do at Starbucks. Plus with these beverages I don't have to worry if my 2 year old takes a sip!
One more quick note .. make sure kids are getting enough to eat as well .. beverages can fill kids up with very little nutrition. While hydration is super important, proper nutrition is as well especially when we're all outside and more active!
Have a great summer!
For households with young children always wanting a glass of drink fixed, try this: Get a plastic bottle with a pull open top that closes and opens. Example: a large sports drink bottle. Write the kid's name on it in magic marker and fill with drink. Put in fridge. They can get it out and drink what they want and put the rest back in the fridge for later. You'll have a lot less glasses to wash and time saved always pouring drinks.
By Laura from Elberta, AL