Summer is here and the weather is heating up. Between parties, lazing by the pool, and other social events, sugary sweet beverages are at their peak. It’s harder in the summer to keep sweets and sugary drinks in check, I think. So here’s an old post I’ve resurrected to help you keep the sweet drinks in their place, while still keeping good-tasting hydration front and center.
We all know that children should cut back on soda. Even lemonade, sweet tea and juice drinks can be problematic if your child drinks more than 12 ounces a day.
But what if children aren’t satisfied with plain water as a substitute?
Homemade soda may be the answer you’re looking for.
I’ve come up with some “homemade soda” ideas for the families I work with, to help them transition away from relying on soda and other sweetened beverages too much, and I’m sharing them with you.
You will see a theme emerging as you read on–substitute your child’s favorite juice, bubbly or plain water and/or fruit to create your own healthy version of soda.
Homemade Grape Soda
1-2 ounces of 100% Grape Juice
8-12 ounces of sparkling water (I used Pellegrino)
Homemade Cherry Soda
1-2 ounces of Cherry Juice
8-10 ounces sparkling water
5-6 whole, fresh cherries (optional)
Homemade Mandarin Orange Soda
1 baby mandarin orange, cut in half and juice squeezed into glass
8-12 ounces of sparkling water
Homemade Citrus Soda
Orange, lemon, lime slices
8-12 ounces of seltzer water (I used Polar Seltzer)
Homemade Red Berry Soda
8-12 ounces Lemon Seltzer water
I think you get the idea! Use bubbly water or plain–whatever suits your child’s taste buds.
These are simple, healthy alternatives to soda and not nearly the calorie or sugar impact. And, although they showcase juice, it’s in a small amount and within the current recommendations for daily juice intake.
Try these homemade soda options or create your own combinations and see if your child likes them. And let the creativity blossom–kids go crazy with this idea, and it feeds right into their desire to create in the kitchen!
What other substitutes do you use for soda or sugar-sweetened beverages? How do you stretch out the juice recommendations?
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: July 3, 2015
Updated on: May 11, 2019