Sugar-Free Drinks to Make At Home

Sugar Free Drinks

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children’s teeth – and we want what’s best for our own teeth, too! The good news is that sales of sugary sodas in the United States are declining, with research showing that Americans drank a whopping 51 gallons of soda in 1998, compared to 44 gallons today. The question that needs to be asked, however, is whether or not we’re drinking the right things.

The Dangers of the Sugar-Free Culture

Unfortunately, the relatively recent introduction of ‘no added sugar’ drinks in our local stores has created a bit of confusion, and many of us don’t know what the best options are for a refreshing, healthy beverage. While ‘no added sugar’ drinks may seem like the healthier option, they still contain large amounts of sugar. Just because they have no artificial sugar added to them doesn't mean they’re completely sugar free. Many drinks labelled as ‘sugar-free’, including Kool-Aid style sachets and fruit juices, contain natural sugars, which can be damaging to teeth. ‘Drinking too much can cause a host of dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, dental cavities, and even bad breath’, says Colgate.

Of course, you’re not limited to just water or milk if you want to keep your teeth, and your family’s teeth, looking and feeling healthy. Here are a few tasty ideas to try in your own kitchen:

* Fruit Water

If you find water to be a little too bland and boring, and want to steer clear of sugary fruit juices, whipping up your own fruit water can be a great alternative. All you need to do is make up a jug of water and sliced fruits in the morning (and a few ice cubes to keep it nice and refreshing), and it should last you and your family all day. Lemon water is the most well known example of fruit water, but why stop there? How about slicing up some strawberries or kiwi fruit and creating your own delicious concoctions...

* Coconut Milkshakes

If your little ones love milkshakes but you hate the sugar content of store-bought mixes, then why not make your own? It’s easier than you think. Coconut is a great addition to milkshakes; it’s strong enough to flavor the milk, yet natural and healthy enough to protect teeth. Blend some coconut water and milk together to taste and, if you like your milkshakes extra creamy, then half an avocado will do the job. It shouldn’t detract too much from the coconut flavor, and ‘green milk’ is sure to be a hit with the kids!

* Sugar-Free Grape Soda

If you’re finding it difficult to step away from your favorite soda, then this recipe is for you. Although it contains grapes, which contain natural sugars, the ‘syrup’ is diluted with water to make it a much healthier alternative to fruit juice or soda. Simply cook down about 1lb of fresh grapes until soft, blend, then push through a strainer to collect the juice. Allow to cool, then make up your ‘soda’ with half grape juice and half ice water for a refreshing, tasty alternative to the more traditional sugary drinks.

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