Cool drinks for hot summer days

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When the heat hits, little is more satisfying than delicious, icy drinks to compliment sunshine and happy, active kids.

Stay cool this summer, with some drink ideas you can try out easily at home with the little ones.

Milkshakes and smoothies

Milkshakes are traditionally a favourite with little ones, but are well known to bring smiles to grown-up faces as well. You can't go wrong with a chocolate milkshake, but any flavour is usually a winner.

Milkshakes don't require any special equipment, can be made with any type of milk, and options on what to put in them are limitless. Try adding ice cream or malt for a thicker shake, or go back to basics with a glass of milk and a squirt of strawberry sauce.

For a healthy shake, throw your favourite fruits into a blender with a squirt of honey and a pint of skinny milk, and whizz until you can no longer resist. Smoothies with low-fat yoghurt and fresh fruit are healthy and delicious for both you and the children.

For that extra boost of relaxation, treat yourself to something refreshing like a chamomile, peach and ginger smoothie. Chamomile promotes relaxation and sleep, while ginger helps strengthen immunity – perfect for the mum who needs to keep up with active kids.

Under 300-calorie options

You don’t need to cheat on your diet, you can enjoy delicious milkshakes and smoothies without worrying about the calories. Find out 2 healthy & tasty recipes that will save you:”

Chocolate Almond Banana Shake
180 calories per serving.
Tip: The riper your banana is, the less additional sweeteners, like honey, you will need.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons honey
1 sliced frozen banana
1 cup chocolate soy or almond milk
3 pieces of dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

Directions: Blend until creamy and enjoy!

Watermelon Smoothie: with a hint of mint
98 calories per serving.

Tip: Add a bit of yogurt for a creamy texture.

Ingredients:

2 cups seedless watermelon
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1/3 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

Mocktails

Whatever your favourite cocktail, make a family-friendly version so everyone can enjoy them. Offer the kids a chance to mix up what they like with an array of juices to experiment with.

Let them colour their creations with cordial and food colourings, and make a game of decorating drinks with slices of fruit, cocktail umbrellas and plastic cocktail trinkets. Drinking out of plastic cocktail glasses will also be a fun way to make the little ones feel grown-up and special.

Water & Ice Tea

There really is no better thirst quencher than good old-fashioned water. It’s healthy, easy to find and won't send the children sugar crazy. Flavoured water is both easy to make and refreshing to drink. Try flavouring your water with citrus fruits, berries or cucumbers. Add fresh rosemary or mint to ice-cold water, and let it infuse for a couple of hours in the fridge for a tasty, thirst-quenching treat.

Iced teas are also a great choice for the adults. Although many recipes for ice tea can be found online, it is easy enough to make up your own special concoction using just your imagination. Make up a jug of lemon or fruit tea, and chill overnight in the fridge for everyone to enjoy the next day. Besides using just sugar, try vanilla essence or honey as a healthier sweetening option.

To jazz up your jug of summer-day tea, try throwing a handful of berries in, and for that extra wow, dress water jugs with edible flowers. Hot summer days are great for spending time with the family outdoors, but keeping the family hydrated doesn't have to be a struggle. Experiment with flavours and let your imagination take the reins while keeping the family cool.

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