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Agua Fresca: A Healthy Alternative to Soft Drinks

As the mother of a toddler and a woman who is ALWAYS trying to make things healthier for my entire family, it’s been tough for me to find drinks that the whole family can enjoy that don’t have an appalling amount of sugar. Still, when the temperatures start soaring and we’re all chugging water round the clock, it CAN get a little bit boring… let’s be honest. That was until I discovered the wonders of aquas frescas! Soda has been banned in my house for a while, and my son is obsessed with apple juice, but we limit that to 6 oz. or less for him a day to stay in line with the recommendations of the American Pediatrics Association. Drinks are the number one way that unaccounted calories sneak into your diet, so I’m super mindful of soft drinks. Plus, the health outcomes for kids who are exposed to lots of sugary drinks are terrible, including increased rates of obesity, diabetes and lower intake of calcium and other necessary nutrients.

Aquas Frescas are traditionally Mexican beverages that are made by combining fruits, seeds, flowers, and flours with water, ice and sugar into a light, refreshing beverage. My favorite part about them is that you can control the ingredients and the amount of sugar and you can even add in fiber with things like chia seeds. You can also blend the whole fruit, making it an even healthier substitution for soft drinks.

The all time favorite combination in my family is watermelon mint recipe I’m going to share below. The only drawback to aquas frescas is that you can’t store them long-term so don’t make more than you can drink over one or two days in each batch.

Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

2 cups of water

1/4 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves (packed)

1/4 Cup (or less to taste) agave syrup

5 cups of coarsely chopped seedless watermelon

1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice


Combine mint leaves, agave and 1/4 cup of water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cool mint syrup and then transfer to a blender with watermelon, lime juice and the rest of the water and blend until smooth.  Serve over ice and garnish with mint sprigs.