The first problem with added sugar is that it’s really not very good for you or your family. The second problem is that it’s in everything. Before we get into that second statement, let’s unpack the first one: why is added sugar so bad for you?
Simply put, your body doesn’t need it.
Everything we eat eventually breaks down into sugars, but if you’re eating healthy food, you are also absorbing their nutrients. The problem with added sugar is that it doesn’t provide any nutritional value. Fruit can taste very sweet, but it is also packed with vitamins to benefit your body. A can of soda, on the other hand, is basically carbonated water, sugar, caffeine, and a bunch of other chemicals to make it an appetizing color and keep the drink from going bad.
People have been drinking soda since the 1800s (at least), but like many syrupy treats, it is something that should really be enjoyed in moderation. Luckily, there are some alternatives! Here are some low-sugar drinks you and your family can enjoy making together that will still satisfy that craving for “something sweet” without all of the unneeded empty calories.
Flavored Ice Cubes in Water
Getting used to less sugar in your beverages may take time, but something like flavored ice cubes in water will not disappoint when it comes to flavor. Just think of all of the combinations you could come up with! Here are some ideas for flavored ice cube ingredients:
- Fruit! Frozen berries, cut up peaches, etc.
- Mint leaves
- Lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice
- Feel free to mix and match!
Fruit Juice in Soda Water
It can be difficult to get over cravings for the deliciously sweet and bubbly nature of soda, but you can always recreate a healthier version by mixing a favorite fruit juice with plain seltzer water (not to be confused with tonic water)! The possibilities for flavors here are endless, plus you and the family will get your bubbly fix without the sugar crash afterward!
Homemade Cherry Lemonade
Who doesn’t love a tall glass of lemonade on a sunny day? Unfortunately, lemonade has always been a beverage that is chock-full of sugar, the majority of which doesn’t come from the lemons. This recipe is especially tempting because it includes the delicious tang of fresh cherries! Honey or a little bit of Stevia takes the place of multiple cups of sugar, so it can satisfy that lemonade craving without making any members of your family feel the need to bounce off the walls!
Homemade Fruit Punch
Fruit punch is another favorite, especially among kiddos, but before you reach for that overly-sweetened juice box, why not consider a “from scratch” version? Depending on the brand, pre-packaged fruit punch can contain more sugar than a can of soda – not quite as healthy as the “fruit” in the title would suggest. Luckily, this recipe takes care of the fruity flavor while leaving the unnecessary sugar behind! It’s quick, easy, and uses herbal fruit teas, which are naturally free of caffeine, too!
Getting over soda can be trying, especially if your favorites include caffeine, but your body will definitely thank you. Establishing healthy habits is always easier with company, so get the whole family involved! Soon, you will be so hooked on the alternatives to soda that you won’t want to go back!