Dinner beverages not only sate your family's thirst, they help cleanse your taste buds and enhance the flavor of the meal. Beverages can also be a great way to sneak extra vitamins and minerals into your family's daily diet. Although some drinks work best with other meals, such as orange juice with breakfast, several beverage selections are well-suited for your family dinner.
Water is vital for a healthy body, regardless of your age. However, getting your family to drink enough water can become a challenge, especially with kids who hate the plain taste. The key to overcoming the problem is to add a hint of flavor to the water. Squeeze a lemon or lime slice into the water if your family members prefer a tangy hint. Squeeze an orange slice into each glass to provide a touch of sweet flavor to entice kids, or add a little cucumber juice to keep the water flavor light and refreshing.
Serve hot or cold tea, depending on the season, for a low-cost dinner beverage. One or two tea bags and a pot of hot water are all you need to brew herbal tea as a beverage for an Asian-style dinner. Mix hot tea with a little milk and lemon to compliment an English-style supper. Combine instant iced tea mix with water to create a quick budget-friendly beverage for a picnic dinner. Add lemon and sugar to the iced tea for a sweet touch. Mix apple, cranberry or cherry juice into the iced tea to make an occasional treat for kids.
Juice provides a nutrient-packed punch to any dinner, as long as it's pure juice not loaded with extra sugar and additives. Water down the juice a little to reduce the sugar content and prevent kids from getting too hyperactive after dinner. Add artificial sweetener to lime or lemon juice to create a low-sugar limeade or lemonade drink for a summer dinner. Serve vegetable juice with a less-than-healthy dinner to ensure that your family has a portion of vegetables with their evening meal. Go with a vegetable blend for a sophisticated taste, or stick with plain tomato juice for a simple flavor. Try a fruit and vegetable juice blend to help make the healthy beverage more appealing to children.
Providing a small glass of milk with dinner is an easy way to make sure growing kids get the calcium they need. Whole milk is fine is small quantities, but low-fat milk is a healthier beverage alternative if you're watching your family's fat intake. Serve lactose-free milk to provide lactose-intolerant kids with the vitamins and minerals they need. If you're serving the milk for protein, not calcium, substitute soy milk for cow's milk.
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