“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes“, so goes the lines of the song by artist Nelly. Well, luckily for babies, they can do what it says! But taking off their clothes may not be enough to keep little kids cool and hydrated in this terrible summer heat. Especially when you consider the fact that they don’t feel like eating anything in hot weather. This calls for some yummy and healthy summer drinks for babies and toddlers to beat the heat!
Even before summer starts, television commercials start featuring all kinds of packaged drinks – from carbonated drinks to packaged juices to chilled ‘health’ drinks. We’re all aware that these packaged juices aren’t exactly healthy for children – not even the so-called ‘health drinks’. Instead, a much better option is to make your own healthy, homemade drinks. This way, you can not just hydrate your little ones, you can also nourish them and boost their immunity – the choice is obvious!
40 Summer Drinks for Babies and Toddlers
We’ve split our list of summer drinks for babies and toddlers into two sections – one for babies under one year old, and the other for kids over the age of one. Of course, it is up to you and your child’s personal choices as well; if you think your 18 month old isn’t ready for the toddler drinks, no problem! Just go ahead with the baby drinks till he’s ready.
However, for babies, we’d recommend sticking to the prescribed list. The drinks in this list are free from sugar, salt, honey, jaggery and cow’s milk – all ingredients that babies under one should avoid. For babies under six months, breast milk alone should suffice as both food and drink – these babies don’t need water.
Once baby crosses the six month mark, you can start introducing other drinks, starting with tender coconut water. Then proceed with the drinks here. Always choose the freshest ingredients along with boiled and cooled water when preparing these. As with everything else, be sure to follow the 3-day rule along with the age recommendation for each recipe.
10 Healthy Summer Drinks for Babies
1. Barley Water
Barley is an easily digestible food and non-allergenic, making it an ideal first food. All you need for this barley water recipe is a tablespoon of barley and water – simple and nutritious! This recipe is great for babies over six months.
Pomegranates don’t just have jewel-like seeds, they are also loaded with antioxidants! It solves several common baby problems like diarrhea, gastritis and teething pain. This juice can be given to your baby once she turns eight months and can enjoy the taste.
3. Grape Juice
Grapes are super nutritious, being rich in Vitamin C, iron, copper and antioxidants. However, they can’t be fed to babies due to a choking hazard, so grape juice is the best option. This can be given as soon as your baby completes six months of age, but stick to 4-6 ounces.
4. Watermelon Juice
Once your baby crosses 8 months, she’s ready for the refreshing flavor of watermelon. Make this easy watermelon juice by blending 3 cups of seedless watermelon chunks with a tablespoon of homemade date syrup. If the watermelon is sweet enough, you can skip the syrup.
Apples are a popular baby food, with many Moms starting fruits for babies with apple puree. This stewed punch from Baby Center is a great way to hydrate babies with a familiar flavor that they’re less likely to spit out! The name may sound fancy but it’s just boiling apple pieces and straining!
6. Tomato Juice
We have juices made of fruits and vegetables, so why should babies be any different? Tomato juice is a good option for veggie juices for little babies over six months, since they are rich in Vitamins A and C. However, it may cause diaper rashes due to its acidic nature, so don’t offer more than two tablespoons at a time.
7. Carrot Juice
Carrots are a good idea to juice for your little bunny! It’s full of beta-carotene, iron, calcium and vitamins, and the juice has a nice bright color! Carrot juice is ideal for six month old babies, and is a pleasant change from carrot puree.
If your baby is ready for something a little heavier than watery juice, then this cooling watermelon smoothie is a good idea. This smoothie is ideal for babies over eight months, but stick to just curd and watermelon chunks. Choose a ripe red watermelon so that the smoothie is naturally sweet.
This may sound like an unconventional recipe, but Grasping for Objectivity shows us that it’s not that big a deal! She blends frozen breast milk and peach puree to make a smoothie that her son loved! You can use peaches or any fruit of your baby’s choice.
This recipe for GK Food Diary looks yummy enough for adults to try! While the recipe uses mango, chikoo and bananas, you can use just one or two fruits. Do make sure that your baby is familiar with each fruit individually before mixing them together.
30 Healthy Summer Drinks for Toddlers
Toddlers are notorious for their picky eating – a habit that intensifies in hot weather! Avoid force feeding and offer small quantities of food so they don’t get overwhelmed seeing a lot of food on their plate. In between, give them these drinks to sip on, but avoid giving it too close to meal times or they might not feel hungry enough to eat.
This is a refreshing punch, made with assorted fruit juices like orange, pineapple and apple. You can also add lime juice for an extra zing. The apple pieces will make the drink all the more interesting for fussy eaters!
This drink combines two summer favorites – watermelon and lemons! For an extra chill drink or a slushie, try freezing the watermelon or using ice cubes instead of ice cold water. You can skip the salt if you think the kids won’t like it.
13. Mint Lemonade
What’s summer without a lemonade? Take it a level higher by adding mint to it. Mint is naturally cooling and soothes the tummy too, so this drink has multiple purposes!
14. ABC Juice
This classic Apple-Beetroot-Carrot juice gets an immunity boost with the addition of elderberry syrup. It also has an extra tang with pineapple chunks coming into the mix to make this a one of it’s kind ABC juice!
Let the kids feel like they’re on a tropical island with this fun pineapple lemonade drink from Know Your Produce! The delightful yellow color is not the only draw though; one sip and they’ll be glad they tried it!
Take your usual banana milkshake to the next level by adding multigrain powder to it! With ingredients like whole grains and assorted nuts and seeds, this is one loaded milkshake!
Now this is something the fussiest eater of the world cannot resist! With yummy chocolate to disguise anything else, they won’t even realize how many nutrients they’re getting in one go!!
The king of fruits is also the king of summer, and this delicious milkshake is now going to be the king of milkshakes as well! After all, who can resist a nice, juicy mango – blended with multigrain powder and poured in a glass?
19. Apple Milkshake
Kids should have 5-6 servings of fruit a day, but that is easier said than done! Make life easier for them and for you, by sneaking in nutritious apples in a quick and yummy milkshake!
Cantaloupes aren’t most Moms first choice to make a milkshake, but this oft-ignored fruit is loaded with nutrients. With antioxidants, fiber, potassium and Vitamins A and C, this will soon have a permanent spot in your kitchen!
21. Chikoo Milkshake
Chikoos or sapodillas aren’t just a delight to eat because of their grainy texture, they’re also good for your child’s digestion and immune system. Give them all these benefits in a yummy chikoo milkshake – you can substitute the sugar with banana for sweetness with creaminess.
Protein is extremely important for growing children, for cell building and proper development. Most Indian kids are lacking in protein, so solve the deficiency with this simple solution – a protein shake made with protein powder!
Kerala banana powder is considered a traditional food that not many would think of making a milkshake out of it! But that’s what this recipe has done, by bringing together two naturally sweet foods for a yummy drink!
Dates and almonds – two nutritious ingredients on their own, but also tricky ones to get kids to eat. But there’s power in unity, as proven when these come together in a nutty, sweety milkshake!
This milkshake is a high energy milkshake and it can fill up your little one’s tummy! This makes it a good idea for breakfast, especially if your kids are refusing to eat anything in the morning.
The bright orange color of this drink is enough to attract kids, and the nutritional component is enough for Moms! This smoothie has a lot – papaya, pumpkin, carrots, banana and even candied apricots.
Unlikely ingredients become friends in this smoothie, that’s all pretty in pink! Beetroot, figs, banana and pomegranate seeds – all ingredients rich in antioxidants and essential minerals – make this smoothie a sure winner.
Potatoes and cauliflower – not ingredients you’d find in a smoothie! But when fussy eaters turn their noses away from veggies, Moms have no option but to sneak them into smoothies – like this one!
With tender coconut flesh and soft nutritious dates, this is one creamy smoothie! Add in the probiotic properties of curd and the antioxidants of walnuts, and you have a winner on your hands this summer!
Kiwi and broccoli give this smoothie that gorgeous green color, while bananas and oats add the bulk. Add in a few almonds to up the nutritional quotient as well as to add some nutty flavor.
31. Strawberry Lassi
You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to have this pretty pink drink! Make the most of strawberries when in season and whip up this drink in next to no time – with just three ingredients!
Here’s a sure-fire kid pleaser lassi recipe from Always Hungry – chocolate lassi! I’d recommend skipping the Nutella, and the cardamom if your kids won’t like it with chocolate. You can also skip the almond grinding and opt for Dry Fruits Powder instead.
Like watermelon, cucumber is also considered a cooling food that’s ideal for summer. That’s probably why cucumber lassi is so popular, although it’s usually the salted version. Full Scoops has a sweet version that may be a better option for little kids.
34. Rainbow Lassi
If you’re having a kids party this summer or just a playdate, be sure to make this rainbow lassi that’ll have all the kids going ‘Wow’!! Curry Trail makes this healthy multicolor drink using kiwi, mango and rose syrup – you can also add more fruits and colors that you like.
Many people think of spiced milk as a warm beverage for the winter, but trust me – it works just as well, chilled for summer! The dry fruits powder and spices make a lovely combination that’ll wake up your kids with a burst of flavors.
If your kids are tired of all the sweet smoothies, give them a taste of traditional India with spiced buttermilk, also known as masala chaas or moru. Awesome Cuisine has a simple recipe that doesn’t have green chillies. You can skip the onions for young kids if you like.
37. Sweet Ragi Kanji
We all know that ragi is super nutritious, and we’ve seen loads of ragi recipes for kids. Whisk Affair gives us a sweet ragi kanji – refreshing summer drink that’s packed with protein and calcium, is gluten free and easily digestible as well.
38. Jal Jeera
Jal Jeera literally translates into ‘cumin water’, but it’s actually so much more than that! With healing ingredients like mint, ginger, pepper and cumin, this is a great drink to drench your thirst and aids digestion at the same time. Raks Kitchen has a full tutorial on making this light but effective drink.
39. Aam Panna
This is a traditional drink that solves all common summer problems in kids. It restores the body’s salt balance, boosts immunity and prevents stomach problems. Check out this recipe from Yummy Indian Kitchen which also explains its benefits in detail.
40. Kokum Sharbat
You won’t have to convince kids to have this Kokum Sharbat from Hebbar’s Kitchen – the color will do the job! Make the kokum syrup yourself to get a completely homemade summer refresher!
There you go – a collection of 40 healthy summer drinks for babies and toddlers, ranging from traditional drinks to modern beverages. Make your child’s favorites, but do try to introduce them to some new flavors as well. With a new recipe for every day, there are enough here to last you all summer!