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Put the Squeeze on This Easy Lemonade Recipe for Kids

Remember your first taste of homemade lemonade? Most likely, it was an experience like no other. The feel of that first sour pucker as the lemonade hit your tongue, then the slow melt into a smile as the sweet flavor took over and became sunshine in a glass.

Introduce the children in your life to this refreshing summertime treat by making a simply delicious lemonade recipe for kids. Learning how to make lemonade is easy. It’s also a fast, terrific hands-on initiation into the joys of preparing something delicious. Your kids will look forward to stirring up an ice-cold pitcher of sweet-and-sour refreshment as soon as the sun comes up on a hot summer day.

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Let’s Stir Up Some Liquid Sunshine

Kid-friendly Homemade Lemonade Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6–8 large lemons)
  • 5 cups hot, but not boiling, water (the microwave is perfect for this)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 lemons for garnish
  • Ice cubes

How to Mix Homemade Lemonade:

  1. Have your young assistants roll the lemons on a hard surface (like they’re rolling out play dough) until the lemons feel slightly squishy. This will maximize the amount of juice you’re able to squeeze from each fruit.
  2. Slice the juice lemons in half, and let kids who are old enough use a handheld or motorized citrus juicer to extract the juice. While you keep an eye on the extraction team, heat the water in the microwave. 
  3. Use a strainer to separate the juice from the seeds and pulp. Pour the liquid into a large pitcher or jug.
  4. Add the sugar and hot water to the fresh lemon juice, and mix until the liquid cools enough to hand off the stirring duties to your assistants.
  5. Slice the garnish lemons and add the lemon slices to the pitcher. Refrigerate.
  6. Once the lemonade is chilled, add some ice and serve.

Fresh Lemonade Variations

Pink Lemonade

Surprise your lemonade-loving crew by creating a cool pink beverage using puréed watermelon. Place four cups of watermelon cubes into the blender and hit “frappé.” Strain through a fine mesh sieve, and add the purée to your pitcher of fresh lemonade. Delicious!

Strawberry Lemonade 

Two fruity favorites come together to create the ultimate summer drink. Depending on how much prep time you have, there are two ways to make strawberry lemonade. The first involves hulling half a pound of strawberries and then puréeing them in a food processor. Once processed, add the strawberries to a pitcher of your favorite fresh lemonade recipe for an intense berry taste. The other method is to slice the strawberries in half before tossing them in with the lemonade to infuse the juice with a subtle berry flavor.

Sparkling Lemonade

This bubbly drink recipe uses a simple syrup to sweeten the lemonade. Mix 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar with 1 cup of water. If you want an extra kick, add some strips of lemon zest. Pour into a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a total time of five minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer the syrup to a pitcher and add 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice plus 3 cups of club soda or seltzer. Enjoy!

Lemonade Ice Pops 

This tasty frozen treat will take refreshment to the next level. Using a measuring cup, pour lemonade into ice pop molds and freeze. If you want to add a splash of color, drop some blueberries or raspberries into the molds before placing them into the freezer. 

Can I Use Cold Water to Make Lemonade?

Absolutely. Simply replace the hot water with equal cups of cold water. However, hot water works better for two reasons. Firstly, sugar dissolves faster in hot water than in cold water. Also, if you prefer a sweeter lemonade, the hot water allows you to dissolve more sugar without leaving any sweet sludge at the bottom of the pitcher. 

Can I Substitute Bottled Lemon Juice for Fresh?

If you’re in a rush or your supply of fresh lemons is no more, using lemon juice from a bottle is a perfectly acceptable substitute. Measure the same amount of store-bought as you would freshly squeezed juice. The lemonade won’t taste as fresh, but it’ll still be yummy.

The Sweet Truth about Lemons

Only one thing about lemons is better than their taste, and that’s how healthy they are. Adding lemon juice to your family’s diet provides a whole host of health benefits.

  • Contains vitamins and minerals: The juice of one lemon delivers one thousand times more Vitamin C than an orange. Lemons are also a good source of potassium and Vitamin B6.
  • Boosts your immune system: Lemon juice delivers a good dose of antioxidants that help improve immune system function over time.

If Life Gives You Lemons, Play Lemonade Stand 

Now that the kids have enjoyed the fruits of their labor, what’ll they do next? 

Considering they’ve perfected their lemonade recipe, why not craft a pretend lemonade stand to sell to family members? And your kids don’t have to stick to lemonade. Buying delicious food from street vendors is a popular way of enjoying a quick and easy meal around the globe. Why not pretend to sell:

  • Pierogies (Poland): Traditionally, these yummy dumplings are brimming with a savory filling of potato, meat, or cheese.
  • Bunny chow (South Africa): Vendors serve up various types of delicious curries with different meats, veggies, and spices in hollowed-out buns.
  • Halo-halo (Philippines): This sweet mix of red beans, coconut, evaporated milk, syrup, and fruit topped with ice cream or shaved ice is just right for cooling down on a hot day.
  • Simit bread (Turkey): The perfect accompaniment to a cup of mint tea, simit is a ring of fluffy bread covered in toasted sesame seeds. 
  • Bubble tea (Taiwan): This fun beverage comes in various flavors, from classic milk tea to fruity concoctions. Tapioca pearls form the bubbles that you suck up through a wide straw. 
  • Arepas (Colombia): These delectable pancake-like patties are made from ground maize and traditionally topped with meat, cheese, eggs, tomatoes, or salad.

Who knew that learning to make a simple, delicious beverage could bring so much joy and create fascinating connections between cultures? As wonderful as those opportunities are, the time spent pretending and creating together will ultimately mean the most to you and your children. 


On to the Next Round!

Now that you’ve all revived yourselves with a few refreshing rounds of lemonade, what’s next? Should you explore the solar system by discovering the composition of stars? Or perhaps you want to investigate why owls have such long legs? Or maybe it’s time for some arts and crafts. You could create a cake topper to crown the World’s Best Lemonade Maker. Whatever you decide, you know you won’t get thirsty.

Continue to ignite your child’s passion for food and discovery by introducing them to different people and food customs from around the globe with our World Edition subscription box.

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