5 Healthy Homemade Lemonade Recipes For Kids

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Most children love relishing lemonade around the year. However, you may be wondering if lemonade is a good beverage choice for kids and if there are healthy lemonade recipes for kids that you and your kids could make at home conveniently.

Lemonade is a delightful drink made with lemon juice, water, and sugar. Several types of lemonade are available worldwide, but the two most common are cloudy lemonade (which comprises lemon juice, water, and sugar) and clear lemonade (a carbonated version of cloudy lemonade).

This post offers information regarding the health benefits of drinking lemonade and some suggestions for making healthy lemonade for kids.

Is Lemonade Good For Children?

Lemonade contains lemon juice, which provides abundant vitamin C, a nutrient necessary for boosting immunity and maintaining overall health. Yet, experts recommend against serving lemonade to children between zero to five years as traditional lemonade recipes contain high amounts of sugar (1).

Excess sugar intake exposes a child to several health risks, such as excess weight gain and dental caries. Therefore, avoiding or at least limiting lemonade intake for young children is necessary. It becomes even more essential if you use commercial (powdered or frozen) lemonade pre-mixes or ready-to-drink lemonades for your children. These products contain loads of sugar and unwanted additives and preservatives.

So does this mean you should stop giving your child lemonade altogether? Well, instead of preventing your child from drinking lemonade, you should make the traditional lemonade recipes healthy and suitable for children.

Tips To Make Lemonade Healthy

Lemonade is a simple drink made by mixing lemon juice, sugar, and water. Technically, this traditional recipe is relatively healthy when compared to commercial lemonades. However, there’s still much scope to make it more nutritious.

Here are some simple steps that you can follow to make healthy lemonade at home.

  1. Use fresh lemon juice: Several people use lemonade syrup and lemonade powder to make lemonade. However, most commercial lemonade powders and syrups contain added sugar and additives. Therefore, it is best to use fresh lemon juice and prepare the lemonade from scratch.
  1. Replace sugar:  Sugar is an essential ingredient of lemonade that balances the tanginess of lemon juice. However, too much sugar, as usually added to lemonade, is harmful to health. So, replacing sugar with a relatively healthier alternative, such as honey, molasses, agave nectar, and maple syrup, is a good idea. However, remember to use these sweeteners in moderation since they contain fructose sugar and contribute equal amount of calories.

Note: Stevia is one of the healthiest plant-based sweeteners that can replace sugar. However, this sweet product has a bitter aftertaste, which several children might not like.

  1. Add fruits: Lemonade doesn’t have to be just a tangy drink. You can play around with different ingredients and make interesting variations. Adding fresh or frozen fruits to the lemonade is one way of doing it. Adding fruits not only diversifies lemonade’s flavor but also adds sweetness and nutrients to the drink.
  1. Use herbs: Rosemary, thyme, basil, and mint are a few safe aromatic herbs that can offer specific health benefits. You can add these herbs to lemonade to enhance the drink’s overall flavor. While making lemonade for children, do not go overboard with the amount of herb you use. Use herbs in moderation.
  1. Avoid carbonated water: Fizzy lemonade looks tempting, but it’s not healthy. The fizz that lemonade has comes from carbonated water or carbonated beverage, such as sprite or baking soda. These ingredients are unhealthy choices not only for children but adults as well. So alert children not to drink carbonated lemonade daily.

Healthy Lemonade Recipe Variations

Here are some healthy lemonade variations that you can make from scratch at home.

1. Ginger lemonade

You will need: 

  • 1½ cups cold water
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • ½-inch fresh ginger piece (peeled and crushed)
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2-3 lemon slices

How to make: 

  1. Pour water into a pitcher.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and add the ginger, lemon slices, and mint leaves.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
  4. You can add half a cup of fresh orange juice to add some twist to this basic ginger lemonade recipe.
  5. Serve chilled with tango mango bowl or crispy burritos.

2. Blueberry lemonade

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Lemon slices and blueberries, for garnish

How to make: 

  1. Blend blueberries into a lump-free, smooth puree using a blender.
  2. Pour the puree into a pitcher and stir in lemon juice.
  3. Add water and mint leaves and swirl the mixture.
  4. Put lemon slices and blueberries into the pitcher and refrigerate the drink for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Serve chilled with nacho scooper or mini sandwiches.

3. Orange lemonade

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup jaggery powder
  • 2tbsp lemon zest (grated)
  • 2tbsp orange zest (grated)
  • Handful of mint leaves (roughly chopped)

How to make: 

  1. Boil jaggery powder and two cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the jaggery powder dissolves in the water completely. Take the saucepan off the stove and set it aside to cool.
  2. Stir in orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, and lemon zest. Mix well and let the mixture stand covered for an hour.
  3. Strain the mixture in a pitcher using a fine sieve. Add jaggery syrup and cold water, and refrigerate the drink for about 45 minutes.
  4. Pour the drink into glasses and garnish with mint leaves.
  5. Serve immediately with pin-wheel sandwiches, taco wrap, or chicken and bulgur salad with avocado.

4. Lavender lemonade

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

For lavender honey syrup

  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ cup organic honey
  • 1tbsp dried lavender (culinary variety)

For lemonade

  • 1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ¾ cup lavender-infused honey simple syrup

How to make:

  1. Put half a cup of filtered water, organic honey, and dried lavender in a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for five minutes and stir until the honey dissolves into the water completely.
  3. Once done, switch off the flame and set the saucepan aside to let the mixture come to room temperature.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass container, cover it, and place it in the refrigerator. Let it sit overnight to let the lavender infuse. Strain the mixture before using it to make lemonade.
  5. Place the lemon juice, filtered water, and a three-fourth cup of honey-lavender syrup in a pitcher. You can add more syrup or water depending on the taste you prefer.
  6. Serve the drink immediately with delectable snacks or any main dish of your choice.

5. Grilled lemon and thyme lemonade

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 7 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 5 lemons (halved)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups water (divided)
  • 1 cup jaggery powder (divided)
  • ¼ cup organic honey
  • ¼tsp almond extract

How to make:

  1. Soak thyme sprigs in one cup of water.
  2. Place one-fourth cup of jaggery powder on a plate and dip the cut sides of the lemons in the powder.
  3. Grill the cut sides of the lemons over medium heat for one to two minutes until the lemon turns golden brown. Put all the lemon halves on the plate and set them aside to cool.
  4. Next, drain thyme and grill them for about one to two minutes until they turn light brown.
  5. Boil one cup of water, honey, and the remaining jaggery powder in a saucepan over low heat. Cook the mixture while constantly stirring until the jaggery powder dissolves completely.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add grilled thyme sprigs and extract. Swirl the ingredients and let the mixture stand for an hour to steep. After an hour, discard the thyme.
  7. Squeeze the lemons and strain the juice. In a large pitcher, combine five cups of cold water, thyme syrup, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  8. Serve immediately with Meditteranean salad or any dish of your choice.

Try making these recipes with your children to add more fun and excitement to the preparation process.

Tips For Storing Lemonade

Here are some tips for storing lemonade so that you can use it for longer durations.

  1. Prepare lemonade in bulk and store it covered in the refrigerator for five to seven days.
  2. Freeze the leftover lemonade for up to six months by storing it in an airtight, freezer-safe container. While storing, leave an inch of headroom as, during freezing, the liquid will expand.
  3. Prepare traditional lemonade and then freeze it in an ice tray. Once frozen, transfer the lemonade cubes to a zip-top freezer bag. Melt these cubes and then add fruit juices and herbs to make customized variations of lemonade on sunny afternoons.

Lemonade is a rich source of vitamin C for kids. Whether it’s ginger lemonade, orange lemonade, or an exotic grilled lemon and thyme lemonade, the above lemonade recipes for kids can be refreshing and healthy. However, keep in mind the sugar content and use fresh lemons and fruits. It is advisable to add sugar in moderation after evaluating your child’s calorie intake throughout the day. Also, avoid using sweeteners and carbonated water in lemonade as they are harmful to health.

Key Pointers

  • You can make a healthy lemonade in minutes by using fresh lemon juice, adding a few fruits or herbs, and replacing the sugar.
  • In this post, we have listed a herby ginger lemonade and a few fruity lemonades.
  • You can prepare these recipes in bulk and freeze them in an ice tray for a quick treat later.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Recommended Drinks for Young Children Ages 0-5; American Academy of Pediatrics
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Dr. Sonal Dhemla

Dr. Sonal Dhemla, a gold medalist, is working with a pediatric hospital as a consultant dietitian/clinical nutritionist. She founded ‘Dr. Sonal’s Nutrittude’, a diet clinic specializing in child nutrition, complementary feeding, juvenile diabetes, celiac disease, autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, growth issues among children, different deficiencies, and much more. She also works in the field of obesity/overweight, PCOS/PCOD,... more

Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist and toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different organizations. Her interest in scientific writing... more