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Beverages

Beverages

Beverages can be a great way to get kids cooking. Making milkshakes, smoothies, hot chocolate and other kids drinks is fun with these recipes. Try these great healthy snacks for kids as alternatives to fattening desserts or junk food when your child is hungry. They're nutritious and fun to eat!

  • Complexity: easy

Avocado Smoothie

This drink has to be tasted to be believed. Not only is it rich and creamy — and our tasters loved the flavor — but it's also a good source of vitamins, fiber, potassium, and good-for-you fats. Did you know? Avocados are commonly used in drinks and desserts — including ice cream! — throughout Asia and South America.

  • Complexity: very easy

Banana Smoothie

The title is pretty self explanatory, but it's beyond delicious.

  • Complexity: very easy

Caramel Apple Cider

Warm up a cold day with a mug of hot cider topped with a hint of caramel. Serves 4.

  • Complexity: very easy

Chocolate Shake with a Twist

Summer heat getting to you? Cool off with a tall, frosty treat that takes the traditional chocolate shake to tasty new heights.

  • Complexity: very easy

Christmas Hot Cocoa Mix

The secret ingredient in this mix is the mini chocolate chips, which melt when combined with the boiling water and give the cocoa an extra-rich flavor. The recipe makes enough for four gift-size portions, each of which can be measured into a small plastic bag and tucked into a cup or mug filled with mini marshmallows, candy stick stirrers, and a spoon. Wrap each filled gift cup in cellophane and don't forget to include a tag with the following instructions: "Spoon 3 or 4 generous tablespoons of cocoa mix into your cup (depending on the size), add boiling water, and stir well."

  • Complexity: very easy

Creamsicle Slushy

Here's how to whip up a healthier version of a popular summer treat.

  • Complexity: very easy

Eggs-travagant Nog

This brightly colored party punch can be dressed up with an optional wreath of frozen berries and (for those who like its distinctive licorice flavor) bits of floating star anise.

  • Complexity: very easy

Frozen Slushie

Keep some canned fruit in your freezer and you can whip up this refreshing and fruity slush in a snap.

  • Complexity: very easy

Gelled Juice

April 1st is a day for fooling, so why not make a little mischief this year? A thirsty family member is the perfect target for this glassful of trickery that's impossible to drink. And since the undrinkable beverage is made by the batch, you'll be able to fool more than one person.

  • Complexity: very easy

Hot Vanilla

Turn the classic hot-chocolate treat on its head by serving up steaming mugs of this vanilla-flavored tummy warmer -- topped with dollops of chocolaty cream.

  • Complexity: very easy

Mango Lassi

The sweetness of fully ripened mangoes makes this refreshing beverage an Indian favorite.

  • Complexity: very easy

Peanut Butter Blast Smoothie

This milk shake is a refreshing treat, but it also offers protein, calcium, B vitamins, potassium, and a subtle dose of peanut butter flavor.

  • Complexity: very easy

Perfect Fruit Party Punch

Making fruit punch is a bit like playing mad scientist -- which is why it's so much fun to do with kids. You add a little of this and a lot of that to a pitcher until you come up with a drink that's "perfect." We made this version in just that manner, with our kids tasting every step of the way. If you don't have what we used on hand, don't worry. Just let your young scientists experiment with substitutions.

  • Complexity: very easy

Pineapple Crush Smoothie

The riper the pineapple and banana, the sweeter your outcome. This smoothie has it all -- fresh, tropical, and an excellent source of vitamin C

  • Complexity: very easy

Purple Mango Smoothie

Mango, one of the world's most popular fruits (and a vitamin C powerhouse), is finally getting its due stateside and makes a great smoothie. Some grocery stores now sell it chopped and frozen, so you don't have to wrestle with cutting it fresh.

  • Complexity: very easy

Watermelon Sherbet Smoothies

Mark Twain may have described the flavor of a juicy watermelon best by saying, "When one has tasted watermelons, one knows what angels eat" — and he never even sampled one of these frosty smoothies. You may want to consider buying "seedless" watermelon, which has small, white seedpods (instead of black seeds) that are edible and virtually unnoticeable once you blend the melon. For a special touch, serve in tall frosted glasses and top with a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.

  • Complexity: very easy

White Hot Chocolate

A dash of pudding mix turns a winter favorite into an extra-special treat.

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