[Ed Note: While I take the week off, I'm sharing what I hope are interesting posts from the archives that you may have missed the first time around. This one, about using herbal teas as a substitute for less healthful lunch box drinks (originally published on May 10, 2011), was very well received by TLT readers. Be sure to check out the follow-up link below the post with additional tea recommendations.]
So, this is one of those posts where you’ll either thank me for a great idea, or shake your head and say, “Well, DUH.”
The problem was this: my kids were growing dissatisfied with getting water in their lunch every day when so many of their friends were bringing sugary and/or artificially colored and flavored drinks. I was starting to give them Honest Kids juice pouches more and more often, but despite the fact that it’s low-sugar, I didn’t feel great about it. Why inculcate a juice habit, plus there’s the issue of environmental waste from all those empty pouches. (Although, if I were a really handy mom, I’d make a ball gown out of them.)
Meanwhile, my daughter was complaining that among her preteen friends the “in” thing right now is to bring bottled water to mix with packets of Crystal Light, a product I dislike for so many reasons – the artificial sweetener, the questionable chemical ingredients, and the message it might send these young girls about dieting and body image. I grudgingly let her try a natural, stevia-sweetened version of Crystal Light (verdict: blech!) and occasionally I let her bring a lemonade or bottled sweetened tea, but I really needed a long term solution.
I bought several types of tea with kid-friendly flavors like peach, pomegranate and lemon-ginger, brewed up a big pitcher, added a dab of honey, and now both kids are bringing to school delicious colored and flavored drinks — just like their friends. There’s an infinite variety of herbal teas out there so we’ll never run out of new flavors, I control the level of sweetener, and everybody’s happy.
Neat idea, or am I the last to figure this out?
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