Thursday, May 30, 2019

Herbal Iced Teas To Make With Kids

Herbal iced teas are perfect for kids, and creating them is a fun summertime activity. Over Memorial Day weekend I noticed my 9-year old son picking some of the herbs in our garden and nibbling on them. My daughter then asked for some iced tea and I realized that I should combine the two into a fun family activity.

Creating herbal iced teas together is a fun and interactive way to get kids more involved in their food. You can create drinks that are low in sugar, and all natural. Kids can experiment with interesting flavor combinations, and learn a bit about herbs and tisanes in the process.

Herbal Teas For Kids- Getting Started
To create your herbal iced teas, of course you'll need some herbs. You can use whatever herbs you can find, or grow your own in a garden or windowsill. Certain herbs such as rosemary and tarragon can be quite strong, but let the kids taste each herb and decide what they'd like to use. I find that children have an amazing sense of taste, and will create delicious combinations an adult would never think of.

Now, get a selection of fruit. I like to use seasonal summery fruits such as berries, peaches, cherries (just be sure to take out any pits), cucumber and melon. A citrus or two is also a good addition. If you can, let the kids pick out the fruit they'd like to use.

Finally, you'll need something for the base of the tea. Decide with the kids what base you'd like to use. I'd recommend narrowing down the options to herbal ideas like rooibos and tulsi (you can do flavored if you'd like), and floral teas such as hibiscus or chamomile.You could even make a ginger tea base if they like a little spice. You can cold brew the tea the night before, or just make the hot tea and chill it in the fridge. Mint tea is also a nice option, although it can be a little overpowering if you're planning on adding other herbs to the tea.

Create An Iced Tea Buffet
Make the process as visually interesting as possible and all the kids will want to give it a try. Lay out a colorful selection of teas, herbs, fruits, flowers, and any other additions you'd like. Make it playful and fun by adding patterned paper straws and colorful cups. Let the kids taste every component before they decide on what they'd like to add.

Have the tea bases standing by in pitchers, and also a little bit of sweetner. You can use honey, agave syrup, or create a simple syrup of your own that'll keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Be sure to let the kids taste their creations before adding sweetner, they may like it without the extra sweetness!

Give each child a sheet of paper and colored pencils, so they can write down their recipes and even draw a picture to go with it.

Making The Herbal Iced Teas
Before adding the tea to the glass, let the kids pick out the fruit and herbs. Then, give everyone a wooden spoon and let them gently muddle the components together (younger children may need more help with this process). Gently mash up the fruit in the glass, releasing all of the tasty juices into the tea. Once that's done, add some ice, the liquid, and then let the kids pick a garnish or two.

You can also add a dash of fizz- seltzer or sparkling water adds a bit of bubbly fun to the tea. But this is an optional addition.

Fun Combinations To Try
If you need a little help getting started, here are a few combinations that are popular in my house:

Rooibos + Thyme + Fruit
Hibiscus + Mint + Berries
Tulsi + Lemon + Strawberries
Lemon + Basil + Cucumbers
Chamomile + Basil + Peach

The combinations are endless, and the kids can really use their imaginations. I'd love to hear about some extra special combinations your little ones come up with, so please be sure to let me know! You can also tag me in your photos on Instagram, I'd love to see them. Happy summertime sips, everyone!

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