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7 Healthy Drinks for Kids

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Young children need about five to seven cups of water each day but getting them to take it can be hard. And if your kids (like most kids) have a sweet tooth, you have to guide them towards healthier options for their overall health and wellness.

Below are 7 healthy drinks that your kids can enjoy especially if they’re always asking for not-so-healthy sugary beverages or do not enjoy drinking water.

Cool Coconut Drink

Coconut water is an amazing and delicious source of riboflavin, vitamin C, and calcium. The fluid is also rich in dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese; just the perfect healthy drink for kids.

Coconut drink is also one your kid can enjoy in summer because of its energizing and refreshing effects. It is high in calories, but this should be no problem if you reduce your kids’ calorie sources on days you make the cool coconut drink.

Things you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of water (the quantity of water you add will depend mostly on how concentrated you need the drink to be)
  • 2tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups of coconut water

How to make

  • Pour all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly
  • Refrigerate and serve

 

Unsweetened Milk

Sweetened milk drinks may be preferred by many children but unsweetened is a lot healthier. Plain, unsweetened milk is nutrient-rich and also essential for growth and development.

Unsweetened milk contains beneficial nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and protein all of these are essential for bone health in growing children.

The fat contained in milk is healthy for younger children and it is needed for proper brain development and overall growth and wellbeing. Also, children generally have a faster metabolism and as such have a higher need for fat than adults.

Note however that drinking too much milk can make your child feel fuller, causing them to consume less than their usual quantity of meals.  To prevent this, only serve a small portion of milk at mealtime.

Also, while milk is a healthy drink for kids, many children are intolerant to dairy. Some of the signs of dairy milk intolerance include diarrhea, gas, skin rashes, abdominal cramps, and bloating. If you suspect milk intolerance in your child, speak to your pediatrician immediately.

The Green Magic Drink

Not many children enjoy greens. But there is something you can do to make your child want more of them and it’s the simple Green Magic drink. It is packed with nutrients, low in calories, high in fiber and with zero fat content. While it can be enjoyed in any weather, it can be a major energy booster for your kid in summer.

Things you’ll need

  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries
  • 1/2tbsp lemon
  • 1tbsp honey
  • Fresh mint or parsley leaves for garnishing
  • Spinach and kale (just a few leaves)

How to make

  • Blend the strawberries and greens together
  • Add ginger, and then blend again
  • Add the honey, mix and garnish with mint or parsley leaves.

 

Herbal Teas

Teas are not generally considered safe for kids but certain ones can be healthy for them. Instead of sweetened beverages, serve them herbal teas such as lemongrass, mint, and chamomile.

These are pleasant-tasting and also caffeine-free. They are not only healthy for children but also provide nutritional benefits for sick or anxious children.

On its part, chamomile is excellent as a natural remedy for intestinal issues such as gas, nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion in children and adults.

Studies also reveal that chamomile contains anti-inflammatory properties and therefore can be effective at reducing intestinal inflammation.

However, while certain herbal teas and remedies are considered safe for kids, you should consult a pediatrician before giving any to your child.

The Tangy Electrolyte Drink

This is another healthy drink for kids. Lemons are rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium – some of our body’s basic electrolyte requirements. In hot summer months, a cold lemon and orange will help to protect kids from heatstroke and keep them fully hydrated.

Things you’ll need

  • 1/4 cup of freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/8tbsp table salt
  • 2tbsp honey

How to make

  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients
  • Pour in a glass jar and store in your refrigerator. It is however best served immediately.

 

Natural Flavored Water

As said earlier many kids find plain water boring and this may cause them to avoid it altogether. You can make drinking water more interesting without additional sweeteners or unnecessary calories; just flavored healthy water.

Instead of serving plain water, infuse with fresh fruits and herbs. The combinations are almost unlimited. Have your child try out as many flavors as possible to find a few favorites.

With this method, your child gets a nutrient-boost from the fresh herbs and fruits used in the water besides having to drink more water.

Some of the combinations your kid will love include:

  • Mint and watermelon
  • Pineapple and cucumber
  • Strawberries and lemon
  • Orange and blueberries
  • Raspberries and lime

Get creative with flavors and also allow your child to come up or choose his flavor pairings. You can also let them help you add these fruits and herbs to the water.

To also ensure your child stays hydrated when they’re away from home, you can purchase reusable water bottles for use anywhere.

Melon Berry Smoothies

Berries are rich in antioxidants needed for fighting against diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, and aging issues.  Though mostly water, watermelons are also nutrient-dense. It contains vitamins A, B6, C, lycopene, and amino acids – making it super-healthy for kids.

Things you’ll need

  • 3 cups of cut watermelon
  • 1 cup of raspberries or strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon
  • 1tbsp of honey

How to make

  • Blend the watermelon, berries, and lemon together
  • Add the honey and mix
  • Refrigerate and serve. You can also garnish with a few parsley or minced dill leaves.

 

With kids, and healthy eating generally, creativity is crucial, so try as many healthy methods as possible to get them to take more liquids.

Have any favorites on our list of healthy drinks for kids? Tell us!  Know other healthy drinks for kids? Share the recipes in the comment section below.

 

 

Dawn is a health and fitness enthusiast, a massage therapist and she also loves to write!

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How To Make Almond Chocolate Milk At Home

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If you’ve tried making your homemade almond milk, you’ll agree that the quality of your product beats most store-bought varieties hands down.

Yes, buying ready-made products can seem more convenient but if you follow the making instructions, the time and effort you spend making yours are always worth it.  Plus, homemade products are often free of the many additives commonly present in many commercially-produced foods, and you also get to tell exactly what goes into your food.

It’s the same with making almond chocolate milk. You know exactly what goes into your food and what to avoid or include.

Homemade almond chocolate milk is a safe and healthy alternative to the store-bought varieties that are usually filled with thickeners, preservatives, sugars and other artificial taste enhancers even with the often ridiculously high price tags pegged on them.

Homemade Almond Chocolate Milk: Ingredients Needed

  • 3 cups of raw almonds
  • 5 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of pure dark chocolate
  • Optional: 6 dry dates (seeds removed), 3 tbsp vanilla bean paste

Homemade Almond Chocolate Milk: Making Instructions

First, soak the almond nuts in water for either a few hours, overnight, or for a few days. Ensure that the almonds are covered with enough water.

When soaked, drain and rinse under running water.

Scoop the soaked almonds into your blender or food processor, add the date nuts, water and cover the lid. Blend until smooth. A thicker or thinner consistency may require less or more water, so check after blending to see if you like the consistency of the mixture. You may need to blend the almonds and dates in batches but this depends on the size of your blender or food processor.

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth or a nut milk bag after blending to strain into a clean already prepared bowl. With your hand, firmly twist the bag to extract as much liquid as possible from the pulp.

Once strained, you can set aside the leftover pulp for dehydration and for use later in baking or added to cereals or porridges.

Place the chocolate into a separate bowl and melt over a large bowl of water placed over a saucepan containing water. You can also melt in a microwave if more convenient.

When it melts, fetch some almond milk; add to the chocolate bowl, then mix to combine well. This is so your chocolate milk mixes easily with the rest of the milk.

Once well-combined, add the chocolate mixture to your bowl of almond milk and mix. At this point, you can add any other sweetener of your choice or even more cocoa powder for extra chocolate.

Pour the mixture into a glass jar or bottle for storage in the refrigerator. It can keep for up to five days. Before you serve each time, make sure you shake properly. If you’re freezing for long, use only tempered glasses or BPA-free containers.

 

Did you try the chocolate almond milk? How did you like it? Tell us in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to check the article on making homemade almond milk and other homemade recipes.

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How To Make Almond Milk At Home

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Don’t we all just love the convenience of store-bought varieties of our favorite food products?

Truth is, while the convenience of buying already made food products/ingredients is almost incomparable, oftentimes, it also means that we lose out on the quality that only the original can offer.

With homemade products, you actually know what goes into the product, the making process and you are able to control the taste to a large extent. What’s more? The satisfaction of creating and seeing your own finished work is second to none!

*enters almond milk*

Fast-becoming a number one go-to plant-based milk, almond milk is a favorite in many vegan/plant-based cooking and cooking recipes.

It is healthy, tasty, and requires minimal processing.  It is also one of the many non-dairy milk types that both adults and children can enjoy.

Making almond milk is not only an incredibly interesting process, but it is also a very old practice.  Several cultures have made almond milk way before the French reinvented it in form of blancmanges.

The almond milk making process simply involves leaving almonds soaked overnight in water for a few hours or a day or two. Now, depending on how creamy you want your milk, you may have to soak for even longer or shorter.  Simply rinse the seeds from the soaking water and blend/grind in fresh, clean water. The liquid you have after draining the blended almonds and water is your, fresh and tasty almond milk.

Of course, you can add some twists and bends to the process for extra sweetness or to make the delicious almond chocolate milk.

Making Homemade Almond Milk Without Carrageenan

If you like keeping your foods as addictive-free as possible, homemade almond milk gives you the liberty to do so.

One of the things many almond milk aficionados love about this plant-based milk is how it can be made without preservatives or additives like carrageenan. While carrageenan (derived from seaweed) is commonly used for thickening and emulsifying many commercially-produced food products, it can be inflammatory to the body.

It is best to make almond milk and other plant-based milk at home instead of consuming store-bought products. This way, you’ll be certain that it is completely free of additives and fillers.

Health Benefits Of Almond Milk

What are the health benefits of drinking almond milk? There are several reasons you should consume almond milk and some of these reasons are listed below.

  • Almond milk is non-dairy and so, it is free of lactose or casein. The two have been known to cause digestive issues in humans.
  • Just 1 cup of homemade almond milk provides you with up to 6 grams of protein!
  • In just one cup of homemade almond milk, you get up to 8% of your recommended daily calcium intake and 6% of your daily calcium need!
  • And finally, it is tasty! Not a health benefit alright but it still had to be mentioned for emphasis even though you already know : )

Before You Make Homemade Almond Milk: Things To Know

  • True, it would be more convenient if we could make several batches and store in the refrigerator, but we can’t.
  • Almond milk will only keep fresh for a few days and unless you intend pasteurizing it, (somehow defeats the whole idea behind making it at home) make only the quantity you need for a few days. You can always make another batch later, it takes just minutes to grind and strain after soaking.
  • When making almond milk, you can start with 1 cup of almonds to 2 cups of water. Increase or reduce or increase the quantity of water to thicken or lighten in subsequent batches if you want.
  • Almond milk can be made in a food processor or a blender. There is very little difference between the two but you can start with a blender then use a food processor the next time to see which you prefer the most.

How To Make Homemade Almond Milk

Again, one of the reasons homemade almond milk is better than the store-bought ones is that you get to tell exactly what gets into your milk. With homemade almond milk, you are certain that there are no sweeteners or fillers added to it. The recipe below is made with just two ingredients and is ready for use in less than 10 minutes (after soaking).

Soaking the almond nuts

Soak the raw almonds in water for a few hours, overnight or a few days. As the nuts absorb water, they soften and increase in size. Ensure that you cover with a cloth and allow to sit undisturbed until blending day.  Note that the longer you let the almond sit, the creamier the result.

Equipment Needed For Homemade Almond Milk

  • Strainer (cheesecloth or fine mesh nut milk bag)
  • Bowls
  • Blender/food processor
  • Measuring cup

Homemade Almond Milk: Ingredients Needed

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of raw almonds

Optional: sweeteners like maple syrup or dates can be added

Directions

  • Rinse the soaked almonds in clean water and drain.
  • Place almonds in a blender, add the water and blend at the highest speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Strain the almond blend with a cheesecloth or a fine nut-milk bag. Twist the cheesecloth or nut milk bag with your hands to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • You can add coconut oil and vanilla before blending for extra creaminess and flavor.

What Can I Do With Leftover Almond Pulp?

The leftover almond pulp can be added to porridges, homemade muffins, and cakes or any of your favorite oatmeal recipes. You can also dehydrate and store in sealed containers for use when needed.

 

Planning to make your first homemade almond milk or already given it a try? Let us know how you liked it in the comment section below.

Questions/thoughts? Also, share in the comments

 

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Beetroot 101: All You Should Know About Beets

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Beetroot, also known as the red beet, the garden beet or beets is probably one of the most unappreciated vegetables. Bursting with vital nutrients, it is notorious for staining any other food or even clothing that comes in close contact with it.

The plant offers varieties of health benefits including boosting blood flow, decreasing blood pressure and increasing performance in strenuous physical activities. Overall, beetroot is incredibly beneficial for the health and if you do not use this root, you might want to give it a try.

Below, you’ll find some facts about beetroots and some benefits you could enjoy by regularly consuming the plant.

Beetroot 101

Beetroot is a root vegetable that boasts incredibly essential nutrients including fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, iron and so many others. The roots have been connected with various health benefits and many of these benefits are due to its high level of nitrates.

While the roots are a common addition to many food types, the leaves referred to as beet greens can equally be enjoyed.

There are varieties of beetroot and are easily distinguishable by their color – yellow, pink, yellow, white and deep purple.

Beetroot Nutrition Facts

One cup of cooked beetroot contains less than 60 calories, while 3/4 cups of uncooked beets contain the following nutrients measured in grams

  • Calories: 43
  • Protein: 1.6
  • Water: 88%
  • Carbs: 9.6
  • Sugar: 6.8
  • Fiber: 2.8
  • Fat: 0.2

Beetroots are also excellent sources of fructans – short-chained carbs categorized as FODMAPs. This root also has a glycemic index (GI) of 61, which is considered medium.

GI is a measurement of how fast blood sugar rises after a meal. The number above indicates that beets have minimal effects on blood sugar levels because of its low total carb amount per serving.

Benefits of Beetroot

Improved Brain Health

Beetroot is known to improve brain neuroplasticity by boosting the oxygenation area that is commonly affected in the early stage of dementia. In one study, hypertensive seniors were given beet juice supplement in addition to exercises and their brain connectivity noticeably improved.

Converted into nitric oxide within our body are the nitrates in beets. The nitric oxide enables the brain cells to communicate with each other thereby optimizing its performance. Nitrates have also been shown to increase blood flow to the brain.

Beet juice has been found to be effective at preventing Alzheimer’s and in some studies, participants who drank beet juice showed improved brain health and better cognitive abilities.

Results from a UK study also indicate that dietary nitrates can enhance blood flow, and in turn leads to better brain performance.

Gives You A Glowing Skin

You know it; health begins from within and is reflected on the outside which is our skin, as an amazing blood purifier, beetroot gives your skin a healthy, glowing look. The root also contains high vitamin C levels that help to eliminate blemishes and even out your tone, leaving you with a true glow.

Prevents Anemia

Beetroot contains high amounts of iron and this means it can aid in preventing anemia and low red blood cells. It has also been proven to aid our body’s absorption of iron to allow normal blood circulation and the red blood cells oxygen circulation.

Increases Energy and Stamina

Beetroot juice increases oxygen flow throughout the body by opening the blood vessels. This explains why many natural health experts recommend taking it early in the morning to rouse sleeping organs and tissues.

Beetroot juice has also been praised as a fabulous work drink and one highly recommended for athletes as it enhances oxygen flow to the muscles, in preparation for the activity ahead.

May Help To Prevent Cancer

According to studies, beetroot extracts may have breast and prostate cancer-preventing potentials. This may not be unconnected with betanin contained in it.

In a study carried out at the Howard University of Washington, beetroot consumption was shown to prevent the growth of both skin and lung cancer.

Consumed with carrot juice, beetroot has been shown to aid in treating leukemia. Several other studies also support the cancer-preventing and chemopreventive qualities of beets.

In a different French study, betanin – a compound in beet was shown to significantly reduce the spread of cancer cells.

Great for Liver Health

Because it contains nutrients like calcium, betaine, B vitamins, iron, and many other antioxidants, beetroot is high on the list of the best liver foods.

Beet is also known to thin the bile, allowing it to flow effortlessly through the liver and the small intestine, to further promote liver health.

With the aid of compounds such as methionine and glycine that stimulates liver cells; fatty acids are prevented from building up.

The liver naturally contains zinc and copper, both of which can aid in the protection of the organ from oxidative stress and damage, which is also where beetroot may be helpful.

Beetroot is an effective liver cleanser. It helps to clear the toxins that have been removed by the liver, ensuring they do not find a way back in.

Regulates Bloods Glucose

While beetroot may contain considerable amounts of sugar, studies have shown that it does not lead to a high concentration of glucose in the blood. Beets natural sugars are slowly released in the body, helping in the long run to check sudden sugar spikes.

Taken in juice form, diabetics may find beetroot beneficial.

There you have it; things you probably did not know about beetroot. Hopefully, this helps you appreciate the root more and also make it a vital part of your diet.

 

Have any questions about beetroot or its uses and benefits? Let us know in the comment. Know some delicious beetroot recipes or have any you would like us to write on? Tell us!

 

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