When I look back upon my childhood and winter vacations, the warm memories of curling up in a fluffy quilt with a book – next to a heater make me feel all warm and fuzzy. And I always pestered my mother to whip up hot chocolate, eggnog, and other fancy warm and hot drinks for kids inspired by my Enid Blytons, Roald Dahls, and PG Wodehouse.
Here is how you can be cozy with your child this winter and also ensure they get that health boost. What’s more, they are so easy to rustle up that it just adds to the charm. Pour a mug for yourself too, while you are at it!
Healthy and delicious hot drinks for kids during this winter:
1. Malted hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows
Change up your favorite hot chocolate by adding malted milk powder and broiled marshmallows.
- 2 Tbsp hot cocoa mix (and the ingredients mentioned on the packaging)
- 4 Tbsp malted milk powder
- 5 Pieces marshmallows
Heat broiler (of oven or toaster oven). Place the marshmallows on a foil-lined broiler-proof baking sheet and broil until just golden, about 30 seconds. Meanwhile, prepare the hot cocoa mix according to the package directions. Mix with the malted milk powder. Top with the toasted marshmallows. You can drizzle some chocolate sauce on top or add a few chocolate chips.
2. Almond & maple hot chocolate
Made with almond milk and maple syrup, this is sure to be a treat that’s just as sweet as the real deal, but it happens a little healthier. This hot cocoa is creamy, rich, super chocolatey, and perfect for snuggling up by the fire with a good book! It also has tons of different options. You can use regular or almond milk, vanilla, or even another flavored extract. You can also sweeten it with pure maple syrup, honey, or unrefined coconut sugar.
- 4½ Cups almond milk
- ½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 Cup pure maple syrup
- ½ Cup dark chocolate bar, melted
- 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract or 3-4 drops essential oil
In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-low heat until steam starts to rise from the surface. Add cocoa, sweetener, and melted chocolate and stir well. Warm over medium-low heat until all ingredients are combined and hot chocolate is to the desired temp. Add vanilla or other flavoring and stir. Serve warm and top with shredded dark chocolate or homemade maple whipped cream.
3. Russian Tea
Cloves, cinnamon, tea, and juices combine for a super flavorful warm beverage. There are powdered recipes for this drink, but making it with natural juices is better for your health. So, give this version of Russian tea a try for a healthy alternative. This is a drink that warms you up from the first sip, giving you a nice cozy feeling from the inside out. It tastes amazing, makes the house smell great, and contains enough Vitamin C to keep seasonal flu away.
- 1 Gallon + 2 cups of filtered water
- ½ Tbsp whole cloves
- ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 Bags or 2 teaspoons black tea
- 6 cups fresh orange juice
- 6 cups pineapple juice
- 4 cups apple juice
- ½ Cup lemon juice
- Optional: ½ to 1 cup cane sugar or other natural sweeteners of your choice
Get out two pots – a large stockpot to start your water mixture, and a small one in which to brew your tea. In the large pot, pour one gallon of water. Bring to a boil on high heat.
In the small pot, pour two cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the four tea bags and reduce heat to low. Let the tea bags steep as you wait for the large pot of water to boil. When the large pot of water has come to a boil, add the ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and the ½ teaspoon of whole cloves. If you know for sure that you want to add sugar, this is a good time to add it.
Once all of these ingredients are combined, pour in the tea that has been brewing. Next, you’re going to start adding juices. It doesn’t matter what order in which you pour them – just get them all in and stir them well. If you didn’t add sugar before, now you’ll need to taste the tea and make sure you’re happy with that decision. It’s good without sugar, but a little sour, so for the kids, you may add half a cup of sugar added. If you do add sugar, stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the tea to simmer for a few more minutes to make sure everything is fully combined. This also concentrates the taste more. You can even store it in the refrigerator and reheat by the cup. The ingredients have a tendency to settle, so shake or stir well before serving.