It’s sweltering, isn’t it? I think everyone is sick and tired of the heat and can’t wait for the rains to come and revive the parched earth! Speaking of parched, that’s how our throats are these days, owing to the excess dehydration brought upon by the high heat and humidity.
Dehydration can prove quite dangerous for adults, but even more so for kids. Also, they tend to be very involved in play during summer, that they don’t stop to recognize signs of thirst, which manifests itself in the form of tantrums and general crankiness. Keep an eye on their bathroom trips – that’s a tell tale sign of how much fluid they’re getting in and putting out.
Kids obviously don’t realize the dangers of reduced fluid intake, so they might resist your efforts to make them drink more water. But most will respond eagerly to soft drinks, which are far from healthy. Fresh juices from outside sources are risky too, since they could be housing a variety of germs. A good idea is to replace these with some fresh, homemade beverages, which are bound to excite those little taste buds.
Here are some drool worthy recipes that are easy to make and include a bit of variety – it has both Indian classics as well as global favorites. Note: the pictures themselves are very refreshing to look at! Please click on the name of the drink to get the full recipe.
BEST HEALTHY SUMMER DRINKS FOR KIDS
Healthy Drinks for Kids
1. Cucumber Cooler
Nothing spells freshness like cucumbers, lime and mint. So what happens when you combine these into one drink?? You get the superman of summer coolers!! That’s exactly what Marissa has done, at her blog, The Boot [http://www.thebootblog.net/]. A very simple drink that is super delicious – add soda instead of plain water and watch it give the soft drinks a run for their money!!
2. Chocolate Milkshake
A chocolate lover’s summer bliss, Sharmilee has got a delicious version of this lovely concoction at her blog, Sharmi’s Passions. Pure chocolatey goodness, this one is for those times when you want something hearty and cold to stay a while in your tummy, cooling you inside out! The best part – you can top it with anything you fancy – chopped chocolate, cornflakes, nuts, cherries, strawberries.
3. Mango Lassi
Did you know that our humble lassi is quite popular outside India? And why not – it’s a perfectly yummy and healthy way to beat the heat!! Ali has a lovely recipe at gimme some Oven, which looks so creamy, it’s almost as if you could eat it with a spoon! There’s also this really cool tip of using frozen mango pulp instead of ice cubes.
4. Fruit Punch
Fruit Punch isn’t just a party staple for kids; it can also be converted into a super healthy drink and is a good way to sneak in some pieces of fruit. While there are adult versions with various, ahem…additions, Clara has a natural, kid friendly version at aunt clara’s kitchen. While traditional punches are red, this one is yellow and makes for a refreshing change (pun intended!).
5. Spiced Buttermilk/Neer More/Sambharam/Masala Chaas
An Indian classic, spiced buttermilk is popular all over the country and is known by several different names. But buttermilk by any other name will be just as cooling, and the spices give it an extra zing. Raks has cooked up a very cooling recipe at her blog, Raks Kitchen. You may have to adjust the spice level for kids, but a savory drink makes for a welcome change especially if they’ve been ODing on the sweet stuff lately.
6. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Little peanut butter lovers are going to love this!! And if your little one isn’t that enthusiastic about peanut butter, Ali from gimme some Oven [http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/] has just what you need to get him interested. Filled with healthy ingredients, this is also a great breakfast option for summers, when appetites are generally on the lower side.
7. Watermelon Slushie
Aimee at Shugary Sweets has the simplest recipe for watermelon slushie ever – just two ingredients and water!! It requires a bit of prep, like seeding, cubing and freezing the watermelon, but the end result more than justifies the effort. Kids will love the texture of the slushie, and are quite likely to ask you to make this over and over again! Add a mint leaf for a burst of color and some added freshness.
Last, but certainly not least by anyone’s standards, lemonade is probably the world’s most popular summer drink (and also the oldest). Elise gives us the very basic recipe at Simply Recipes. No fancy equipment or ingredients necessary, with myriad ways to customize it, this unfussy drink makes it to the top of all summer drink lists. There’s honestly nothing like coming home from the hot sun outside and gulping down an entire pitcher of cold lemonade.
Whichever drink you choose, try to use natural and organic ingredients as far as possible, especially since fruits nowadays are known to have high amounts of pesticides. Also, some kids have a lower tolerance for chilled beverages than others, so you might want to keep it out of the fridge for a while before serving. Now, there’s nothing stopping you from making these super easy, healthy and incredibly yummilicious drinks this summer. Happy Chilling!!