As the winter season approaches, kids begin to ask for a nice hot chocolate every time they get the chance. You cannot blame them, as the cold temperature is best paired with a hot chocolate drink to enjoy. Gone are the days when you struggle to prepare a nice and warm drink for your kids.
As a parent, particularly as a mother, you may be experiencing exhaustion after giving birth or a struggling single parent working hard to keep up with your responsibilities. Worry no more because this article is for you.
Making a healthy hot chocolate drink for your toddler is as easy as 1, 2, 3. It is also a favorite among children, so you can easily sway them to follow your requests and orders as a parent. A major plus to the word ‘healthy’ it gives additional nutrients to your children. You will learn all of that in this simple recipe that you can do with just four ingredients.
Why go homemade? A homemade chocolate drink is still your best bet as a parent to ensure that your child gets less processed food. Some commercial hot cocoa mixes in the market are already processed and contain a lot of chemicals and other unhealthy stuff. You don’t want these in your child.
RECIPE #1: Simple Healthy Hot Chocolate
In this easy-to-make hot chocolate drink, all you need are the following:
- 2 cups almond milk (or your milk of choice)
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Remember that cacao powder is quite bitter. You can add more or less honey, based on how your toddler likes their hot chocolate drink.
With all these ingredients prepared, first, you need to heat a small saucepan. Once it gets hot enough, place the almond milk and whisk the cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla extract. Whip well enough to remove any lumps from the cocoa. Once all the ingredients are mixed well in your preferred texture, you can let it cool for a while. Of course, you don’t want to serve a fresh hot chocolate drink as this may burn your child. Once the drink is warm for consumption, you are now ready to serve it. Easy, right?
An additional step you may opt to do is place the drink in the blender and blend it until it becomes frothy, and then serve.
RECIPE #2: Simple Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe – but tastier
If you are looking for a hot chocolate recipe a notch tastier than the simple one mentioned above, here is another recipe you can try. With this recipe, you can top the drink with your child’s favorite toppings.
All you need are milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt for this recipe. The same procedure as mentioned above is applied to this recipe. You can store the drink in the fridge and reheat it for up to 5 days. Also, make sure not to over boil the hot chocolate as it may lose its flavor.
RECIPE #3: Hot Chocolate x Medicinal Drink
If you want to take the healthy aspect of your hot chocolate recipe a little higher, you can follow this recipe from Well Nourished, which integrates several medicinal ingredients. Your child may take time to like this recipe, but it sure is healthy. You can also add more sweetening ingredients to cancel some flavors of the medicinal ingredients. But this is already a great way of introducing medicinal drinks to your child.
For this recipe, you need the following ingredients:
- 2 tbsp cacao (unsweetened or raw)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial ingredient, improves circulation, and balances blood-sugar levels)
- ¼ tsp ground ginger (for blood circulation and serves as an anti-inflammatory for the gut and respiratory and muscular-skeletal systems)
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric (a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial ingredient and supports liver function)
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom (an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial ingredient, improves circulation, and calms and soothes the gut)
- ¼ tsp vanilla -powder, extract, or essence
- 1 tsp rice malt syrup, honey, or maple syrup
- 4-500 ml of your preferred milk
- In a mug or cup, mix the cacao and spices together.
- Mix well and add the sweetener.
- Heat the milk and add a little to the cup. Mix to dissolve all the ingredients together
You can also top the drink with the remaining milk. Also, you can choose to reduce the sweetener each time so the kids can get used to the taste of the spices.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CACAO POWDER
Cacao powder is not only used to produce that tasty chocolaty taste for your kids. It actually provides many health benefits and is a good source of several vitamins and minerals.
First off, it is a great source of antioxidants, better than green tea. Also, it helps with digestion and prevents other digestive problems. It also contains a good amount of potassium, known to reduce the risk of heart diseases by regulating stress on cells. Cacao powder is also known to reduced inflammation all over the body, resulting in lesser risks of diseases, such as cancers, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, cacao powder is a good source of iron, protein, magnesium, potassium, and fiber to keep your kids healthy. However, make it a habit to watch out for the ingredients’ calorie content, especially if you are concerned about your kid’s weight.
CACAO POWDER VS. BAKING COCOA
Yes, you can also use baking cocoa as an alternative for cacao powder when making your healthy hot chocolate for the kids. Anyway, cocoa powder and cacao powder are similar to each other; it is just that cocoa is often packaged with additional sugar and dairy.
So, get those ingredients ready because there will be a high demand for healthy hot chocolate in your home once winter peaks through.