Drink Recipes to Quench Your Kids’ Thirst
Sometimes, the right drink can turn a good day into a perfect one. An ice-cold smoothie can refresh you on even the hottest summer day—and a mug of hot chocolate on a winter evening warms you from head to toe. We’ve gathered some of our favorite drinks for kids so your family can sip on something delicious no matter the weather.
Make Delectable Drinks at Home
Most kids have a favorite drink. Whether it’s a special treat or an everyday refreshment, there’s bound to be a beverage that tickles their taste buds more than the rest.
In 2021, the most widely consumed drink by U.S. children was juice. Other contenders included flavored milk, iced tea, and soda. Every child has a unique palette, so serving their beverage of choice might mean getting creative.
We have good news: Serving delicious and creative drinks doesn’t have to mean a trip to the store. You can learn how to make drinks for kids at home! And thanks to our family-friendly recipes, your children can have fun whipping them up, too.
(Each recipe uses tools and appliances that require adult supervision. You are the best judge of your child’s abilities. Please read through each recipe to determine its suitability for a particular child and assess how much assistance will be needed.)
3 Hot Drinks for Kids
A comforting beverage is a perfect way to relax on a chilly evening. Whether you’re coming in after building a snowman or snuggling up for movie night, these drinks are bound to warm your kids’ bellies and hearts.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sweetener (honey, maple syrup, sugar, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon melted peanut butter
- 0.5 oz (15 g) dark chocolate (optional)
- Melted dark chocolate (optional)
- Whipped cream (optional)
- An adult heats milk in a saucepan over medium heat. The milk should warm but not reach a boil.
- Add the cocoa powder, salt, and sweetener to the saucepan and whisk to combine. (Older kids can carefully add the ingredients under close supervision, but younger children should be kept away from the stove.)
- Add the peanut butter and dark chocolate (if using). An adult stirs the mixture until all ingredients are melted and incorporated.
- This step is optional. If using toppings, an adult places a scoop of peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heats it for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again until the peanut butter is completely melted. Set aside and repeat this process with dark chocolate.
- An adult ladles the hot chocolate into a mug. Now’s the time to add toppings! If desired, add whipped cream and use a spoon to drizzle melted peanut butter or chocolate sauce onto the drink.
Caramel Apple Cider
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups apple cider
- Caramel sauce (optional)
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
- Kids mix brown sugar and heavy whipping cream in a saucepan away from the stove.
- An adult cooks the mixture over medium heat, constantly stirring until the mixture is bubbly.
- Add vanilla extract and apple cider to the pan. (Older kids can carefully add the ingredients under close supervision, but younger children should be kept away from the stove.)
- An adult cooks the cider for approximately 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Finally, an adult ladles the cider into mugs and tops it with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, and cinnamon (if desired).
Cozy Fruit Tea
- 2½ cups water
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup strawberries
- ½ cup blackberries
- 12 fresh mint leaves
- Sweetener of choice (sugar, honey, syrup, etc.)
- An adult heats the water in a saucepan until it reaches a simmer. While the water heats, help children break up the mint leaves with a mortar and pestle (or by mashing them with a wooden spoon).
- Kids chop the strawberries into small pieces using a butter knife. Older kids may be able to complete this step independently, but younger children will need assistance.
- An adult adds the fruit and mint to the hot water and lets the contents simmer for 3–5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let the water sit for 3 minutes.
- An adult carefully pours the tea into a pot through a strainer to remove all the fruit pieces.
- An adult pours the strained tea into mugs, adds sweetener to taste, and serves.
3 Cold Drinks for Kids
There’s nothing like a cold glass of tea or lemonade to beat the heat—especially when you’ve been playing hard in the sunshine. But whether your young adventurers spend sunny days running around outside or staying inside keeping cool, they’ll love these refreshing drinks for kids.
Simple and Sweet Iced Tea
- 6 individual bags of decaffeinated black tea (or 2 family-sized tea bags)
- 8 cups (2 liters) of water
- ½ cup sugar
- Mint sprigs (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- An adult adds 2 cups of water to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, remove it from the stove.
- Add the tea bags to the water. Dunk the bags a few times to ensure they fully hydrate and submerge. Leave the bags to steep for 5 minutes, then remove and discard. (Older children may be able to complete this step under close supervision, but younger children should be kept away from the hot water.)
- Help kids pour sugar into the tea and stir until the sugar completely dissolves.
- An adult pours the tea into a large pitcher. Add the remaining 6 cups of water and stir.
- Refrigerate the tea for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Pour the tea into a glass full of ice. Add a sprig of mint or lemon slice to each cup if desired.
Homemade Ginger Ale
- 1 cup ginger (peeled and finely chopped by an adult)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup club soda
- Lime juice
- Lime wedges
- An adult pours two cups of water into a saucepan and brings it to a boil. Add the ginger, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
- Help kids pour the cooled liquid from the saucepan into a pot using a strainer. Discard the ginger and set the ginger water aside.
- In another saucepan, an adult brings 1 cup of water to a boil and adds 1 cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, creating a simple syrup. Set aside.
- To serve, fill a tall glass with ice, ½ cup of ginger water, ⅓ cup of simple syrup, and ½ cup of club soda. Add a few drops of lime juice and a lime wedge.
- 6 cups seedless watermelon (cubed by an adult and chilled)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
- Mint leaves (optional)
- Kids add the watermelon to a blender. An adult pulses the blender until the fruit is completely pureed, then sets it aside.
- Help kids pour the water, lemon juice, and sugar into a large pitcher. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the pureed watermelon to the pitcher and stir to combine.
- To serve, fill glasses with ice, pour in the watermelon lemonade, and garnish with mint (if desired.) Yum!
Explore More Flavors with Little Passports
These delicious drinks for kids are sure to have your children asking for a second glass. Plus, inviting your young chefs to create homemade beverages with you is a great way to introduce them to the wonderful world of cooking! Are your children eager to spend more time in the kitchen? Send their curiosity soaring around the globe with our Kitchen Adventures subscription box. Every month, they’ll receive kid-friendly recipes and kitchen tools, explore world cultures with fun hands-on activities and games, and build practical skills and confidence as they learn to cook with you. The full subscription includes over 60 recipes from 12 countries, so your kids can travel the world from the comfort of home—one meal at a time.