What is the healthiest drink mix for kids?

As a parent, you want to make sure your kids are getting proper nutrition to help their growing bodies and minds. One area of concern is the beverages they drink. With so many drink options marketed towards children, it can be tricky discerning which ones are actually healthy. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most nutritious drink mixes for kids and help you decide which options to choose.

The Downsides of Sugary Drinks

First, let’s look at why sugary beverages like soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and even some juices aren’t ideal for regular consumption. These types of drinks often contain large amounts of added sugars, which can lead to the following problems:

  • Tooth decay
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Kidney disease

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 2 should avoid juice altogether. For older kids, juice should be limited to 4-6 ounces per day at most. Instead of fruit drinks or soda, the healthiest beverage choices are plain milk and water.

Benefits of Milk

Milk contains a powerhouse lineup of vitamins and minerals that growing kids need, including calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Here are some of the key health benefits of milk:

  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Muscle growth
  • Rehydration
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Weight management

The USDA recommends children ages 2-3 drink 2 cups of milk per day and kids ages 4-8 drink 21⁄2 cups. Unless your child is lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, plain cow’s milk is nutritionally superior to plant-based milk alternatives like almond, rice, or coconut milk.

Making Milk More Fun

While plain milk is healthy, kids often find it boring. Fortunately, you can jazz it up and make it more fun without adding a lot of sugar. Here are some healthy milk mix ideas:


Blend milk with a banana or berries to create a delicious smoothie. You can also add peanut butter, spinach, oats, or ground flaxseed to increase the nutritional value even more.

Hot Chocolate

Warm up a glass of milk in the microwave or stove. Then stir in a teaspoon of cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon for a cozy treat.

Strawberry Milk

Puree some fresh or frozen strawberries and mix into cold milk for a sweet pink drink.

Fruit Milkshakes

Use a blender to mix milk with fresh or frozen mango, peach, pineapple or other fruit. Top with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.

Chocolate Banana Milk

Mash up a ripe banana with a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a dash of vanilla. Stir into cold milk for a nutrient-dense sip.

Benefits of Water

Water is essential for staying hydrated and healthy, but many kids don’t drink enough on a daily basis. Water helps transport nutrients through the body, regulate temperature, cushion joints, eliminate waste, and prevent constipation. Some fun ways to encourage water drinking include:

  • Infuse with sliced fruit, cucumbers, or herbs
  • Freeze into popsicles
  • Drink through a fun straw
  • Set timers and goals for drinking water
  • Carry a labeled water bottle
  • Mix with a dash of juice

Healthy Powdered Drink Mixes

Powdered drink mixes can add flavor and nutrients when combined with water or milk. Here are some healthy options to consider for kids:

Drink Mix Key Nutrients Benefits
Protein shakes Protein, vitamins, minerals Muscle growth, fills you up
Greens powders Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants Immunity, energy
Probiotics Billions of live cultures Gut and immune health
Electrolyte powders Sodium, potassium, magnesium Rehydration and endurance
Vitamin C Immune supporting vitamin C Prevent colds and flu
Cocoa powder Antioxidants Healthy flavor

When choosing a powdered mix, read the ingredient list carefully and select ones without artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors or preservatives. The healthiest options use natural sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia. It’s also best to avoid drinks with excessive vitamins well over 100% Daily Value, as megadoses can have adverse effects.

Recipe: Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

Here is a nutritious drink recipe kids will love:


  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp chia seeds


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.

This power-packed smoothie provides protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The chia seeds thicken it into a milkshake-like treat. Feel free to substitute different fresh or frozen fruits. Enjoy!

The Healthiest Drink Choices

When it comes to selecting beverages for kids, the top choices are plain milk and water. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive fruit juice. To add extra nutrition and flavor, try mixing milk or water with fruit, greens powders, protein powders and other healthy ingredients. Set a good example by drinking healthy beverages yourself and making them readily available at home. With some creativity and wisdom, you can ensure your children are properly hydrated and getting the fluids they need to grow up healthy and strong.

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