Alternatives to Soft Drinks for Kids

Curb your family's cravings for sugary, super-sweet, calorie-packed beverages with these five alternatives to soft drinks.

Ready to end your child’s craving for pop? It’s always important to stay hydrated, but a can of pop isn’t going to quench your child’s thirst – or do him any health favors.

Some of the most popular sodas are Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Coca Cola and Sprite. In theses top pops, the amount of sugar in a serving of eight fluid ounces ranges from 26 to 31 grams – and the number of calories is between 100 and 110. (Note: All of this information is from nutrition labels on the product.)

Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious, healthy drinks that your family can savor, instead.

Check out the list of recipes and ideas below that are very low in sugar (or sugar-free), healthy and delightful to the taste buds!

Low-sugar lemonade

Enjoy this classic summer beverage with some natural sweeteners. This recipe was altered from an inventive idea from


  • 5 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 quart of water


Mix all of the ingredients well in a large pitcher. Makes four servings.

Kraft Crystal Light

Boasting 90-percent fewer calories than leading soft drinks, Crystal Light can be purchased in On The Go packets or in eight or 12-quart canisters. There’s a large variety of flavors – and almost all of them are sugar-free. Try an enhanced sugar-free flavor, as well, to help boost immunity and fiber. It’s a delicious way give your family’s water a kick.

Flavored ice cubes

Another fun and tasty addition to water is flavored ice cubes. Fill your ice-cube tray with your child’s favorite low-sugar juice. Once they’ve frozen up, toss them into a glass of water. The juice will be diluted in the glass of water – and it’s healthier than drinking just the juice alone.

Watermelon slushie

Amp up that antioxidant intake with this tasty-fruity blender recipe from


  • 2 cups (1-inch cubes) seedless watermelon
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Real strawberry milk

Milk is important for children – but not something they always want to drink. This recipe from puts a delightfully healthy spin on the typical glass of milk.


  • 3 cups fresh, hulled strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat or fat free milk
  • Fresh strawberries, optional for garnish


  1. Mix main ingredients in a blender until smooth. Divide among glasses and garnish with the extra strawberries, if desired.
  2. For an ice-cold twist, put your glasses in the freezer for a few hours before you blend the milk. Pour the finished product into the frozen glass. It’s perfect for a hot day!

This post was originally published in 2010.


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