The Best Lemonade Recipe: Healthy Smart Kids in the Kitchen!

by Sharlene Habermeyer

Inside: Lemonade and summer go hand-in-hand. Here is the best lemonade recipe for your kids to make during the hot summer months (actually it’s good all year round) Included are 5 healthy ways lemons add a nutritious zing to your kids’ diets and fun ideas on starting a lemonade stand.

Everyone loves drinking tons of lemonade during the summer and every child dreams of having a lemonade stand during the summer! It’s part of growing up! There are examples of kids that became amazing entrepreneurs later in life and it all started with a simple lemonade stand when they were young.

Lemonade is also the perfect drink to take on family picnics; sporting events or even in the car on vacations. It’s refreshing, tangy and hits the spot on a hot summer day.

Here’s the best lemonade recipe for your kids to make. It’s fun and simple and kids as young as 3 can help. Not all lemonade recipes are created equal—so I’ve included some of our family tricks.

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Lemons are a very healthy fruit. They are filled with important nutrients and vitamins that keep kids healthy and strong. For instance, did you know that the juice of 1 lemon has 1000x the amount of vitamin C than the juice of 1 orange? Yes, it’s sour, but drinking the juice each day will ward off colds and the flu!

The Best Lemonade Recipe

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The Best Lemonade Recipe: Healthy Smart Kids in the Kitchen!
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The perfect lemonade for your children to make on a hot summer day. It's also the perfect lemonade for a lemonade stand!
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 4 quarts
  • 12 lemons
  • 1-pound sugar (purchase a 1-pound box of sugar)
  • 4 quarts ice water
  1. Zest two of the lemons with a zester. Put in the container. Adding these bits of lemon peel (zest) to your lemonade is wonderful for the taste of your lemonade and lemon zest has nutritional benefits (see below).
  2. Squeeze the lemons. Pour the juice into a big jar or pitcher (needs to hold over 4 quarts of lemonade)
  3. Add the sugar to the lemon juice mixture. Let the sugar and lemon juice blend together. The secret to great lemonade is to add the sugar and lemon juice together before adding the water.
  4. Add 4 quarts of ice water
  5. Serve!
Options: Add 6-12 mint leaves.

If you use essential oils from Young Living or doTERRA, you can add 3 drops of lemon oil. Be careful—essential oils are potent!

If you want to impress your friends, put your glasses in the freezer for 1 hour before pouring in the lemonade. Dip the cold glass into sugar so the rim of the glass is frosted with sugar.

Here are 5 healthy tips of why lemons are so nutritious for kids as well as some tips for your kids if they want to start a lemonade stand

Health Tip #1: Lemons and Vitamin C

Did you know that the juice of one lemon has 1000 times the Vitamin C as the juice from one orange? It’s true. If your kids drink lemon juice, they’ll get more than a hefty dose of Vitamin C. Colds begone!

There are two ways your kids can consume lemon juice: mix the juice with water or drink the juice straight. If your child drinks the juice straight, have him/her drink a little water afterward. Surprisingly, it turns a sour taste into a sweet taste.

Either way packs a powerful Vitamin C punch!

If your child drinks the juice straight, have him brush his teeth immediately. You don’t want the acid from the lemon rotting his/her teeth.

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Lemons pack a wallop of a nutritional punch! If your kids eat lemon peel it will reduce their chances of skin cancer by 30% and lemon juice helps with stomachaches and digestion. When making this recipe keep it healthy–use organic sugar!

Health Tip #2: Anti-Skin Cancer Lemon Peel

This lemonade recipe calls for lemon peel. Did you know that lemon peel is powerful for reducing skin cancer by 30%? Contained in the lemon peel are a group of compounds called limonoids and limonene—and both have anti-cancer properties. Consuming just 1 tablespoon each week will help keep skin cancer away.

Health Tip #3: Stomachaches and Indigestion

Do your kids get stomachaches after eating a meal? (check out my blog on digestion) If so, they may need enzymes. But, here is something easier than taking a pill…drink lemon juice! Give your child the juice of one lemon 10 minutes before a meal. Don’t worry about it being too acidic. Once the juice hits the esophagus, it turns into an alkaline. But the juice will stimulate the pepsin enzyme and will help them digest their meal easier.

Health Tip #4: Use Organic Sugar

Okay, the amount of sugar in lemonade is substantial. Here are some options: use organic sugar found in all grocery stores. It is free from pesticides and it is not processed like regular sugar. It’s an amber color and each granule is not as fine as regular processed sugar.

The other option is stevia. It is a sugar from the stevia plant and does not have all the issues that processed sugar has. It is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar (you would use a lot less) and studies have shown it is a healthful alternative for diabetics.

The main ingredient in lemonade is water. Check out my blog on all the helpful benefits of this life-giving substance!

Tip #5: The Proverbial Lemonade Stand: A Lesson in Math & Creativity

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Is your child interested in having a lemonade stand during the summer? If so, they will learn many important lessons in math, calculations, costs, and even creativity. A great way to keep their minds active during the lazy days of summer!

Every summer aspiring young entrepreneurs in neighborhoods across America set up lemonade stands to make some money and ease the boredom of summer. Do you know the history of lemonade stands and where they all started? Read on…

History Behind Lemonade Stands

Lemonade stands started in New York in 1879. A shopkeeper erected a stand outside his store and sold the drink to passerby. By 1880, scores of lemonade stands cropped up all over the city quenching the thirst of patrons. The cost? 5 cents per glass. The New York Times reported that children setting up these stands were doing it to make money and as a summer activity—pretty much like today.

Ten-year-old Edward Bok ran one of the first lemonade stands from 1873-1876. He first sold ice water for a penny and then advanced to lemonade that he sold for 3 cents a glass.

Then there is Alex’s Lemonade Stand started in 2000 in Philadelphia. Alex (Alexandra) was diagnosed with cancer at age 1. At age 4, with her parents, she created a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer awareness. She raised $2,000 and from her example children all over the nation set up lemonade stands to help Alex’s cause. Her efforts raised $25 million for children’s cancer research.

Starting Your Own Lemonade Stand

If your child wants to have a lemonade stand, turn it into a learning experience for them. Here are some things to teach him/her:

  • Costs: Teach your kids about costs—keep track of the costs of all the supplies, etc. (lemons, sugar, glasses, napkins, etc.). Costs begin at the grocery store. Take your child to the grocery store to compare the costs of ingredients. The cost of lemons can vary from store to store. Check out more than one store to find the best price and the best quality lemons.
  • Math: Using simple math, help them to calculate how much it will cost for each glass of lemonade. This will be based on all the ingredients; how big each glass will be and how many glasses you can get from each recipe.
  • Math: From that calculation, help them determine how much they will charge their customers per glass.
  • Creativity: Teach your children creativity–help them decorate their lemonade stand with posters; a basket full of lemons; tablecloth or other items that will make their lemonade stand, stand out! Check out the Dollar Store for fun decorations. When someone goes into business, EVERY aspect needs to be considered if they want to be a success.
  • Competition: It’s important that your child understands about the competition (since we live in a competitive world). Ask your kids: how can you make your lemonade stand different from the competition? What can you do to make your lemonade stand unique, creative and different?
  • Charitable Donations: One valuable lesson kids can learn from a lemonade stand is the importance of giving back. Even before your children start a lemonade stand, talk to them about giving to others in need. Help them choose an organization they can relate to such as a charity focusing on the needs of children. Let your children decide on what percentage of the profits will be given to that organization. Kids will never learn about giving to others unless parents show them the way.

Be Creative! Lessons from Jack Bonneau

One more thing about creativity…it’s important. Ever heard of Jack Bonneau?

Young Jack Bonneau started a lemonade stand to earn some extra cash but instead of setting it up in his neighborhood, he went to the local farmer’s market to sell to the patrons. The first year his profit was $900. The following year, Jack got more creative and expanded his business. He built a website and added additional stands at three more farmer’s markets. He called his business, “Jack’s Stands and Marketplaces.”

At age 12, Jack appeared on Shark Tank and The Today Show. This young entrepreneur has been an example to many young people of creativity, tenacity and hard work.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Lessons in Giving Back and Standing Up

the best lemonade recipe; 3 boys and their lemonade stand

Ben, William, and Jonathan started a lemonade stand to make money and give to charity. It developed into something bigger!

And then there’s the lemonade stand that teaches multiples lessons…

In 2018, Ben and his brothers, William and Jonathan wanted to start a lemonade stand. They thought it would be a fun activity to do over the summer and were anxious to make some money. However, while helping her sons understand the basics of entrepreneurship, their wise mother wanted to also teach them about charity and giving back.

With their mother’s help, the boys decided to give a generous portion of their earnings to Compassionate International—a charitable organization that helps children in need.

But little did these boys know, they would learn so much more!

Excited about their new adventure, the boys got busy doing the necessary things to start their business: finding the best lemonade recipe, purchasing ingredients to make lemonade; creating posters for their stand and utilizing their toy cash register.

With hyper-enthusiasm, they launched their neighborhood lemonade stand. It was doing a brisk business when two police officers arrived on the scene. They told the boys they lacked the proper permits and shut them down!

The boys were devastated, but their mom saw an opportunity to teach them a greater lesson…how to turn lemons into lemonade by making a difference for other children starting entrepreneurial ventures.

With their mother’s help, the boys started a campaign and took their story public. They were featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal; appeared on CBS This Morning, Fox and Friends and CNN HLN. Their goal—help other children across the U.S. have lemonade stands or other simple entrepreneurial ventures without permits.

With hard work and tenacity, the Lemonade Boys and their mom fight for the entrepreneurial rights of young children. In 2018, Governor Jared Polis signs a bill, “Legalizing Minors Businesses” giving young children the right to start a business without bureaucratic barriers.

Their efforts were rewarded—in September 2018, the Denver City Council passed an ordinance allowing kids in Denver, Colorado to have neighborhood lemonade stands without a permit. In April 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the bill, “Legalizing Minors Businesses.” It enables children to legally explore entrepreneurship ventures without bureaucratic barriers.

Ben, William, Jonathan, and their mom now have bigger goals: help other children and their parents across the United States support kids’ entrepreneurship!

First stop: they shared their experience with other children and parents by writing a book, “Awesome Adventures of the Lemonade Boys,” Parents—if your children are creative, innovative and have an entrepreneurial spirit—purchase this book and read it to your children. It’s charming, informative and just plain FUN! It will teach your children lessons of creativity, tenacity, giving back and how even the smallest people can make a difference in their community and world!

the best lemonade recipe; a book about lessons learned from a lemonade stand

A charming story about the “Lemonade Boys,” and their experiences in starting a lemonade stand. All about giving back, never giving up and changing a lemon into lemonade!

Second stop: in June the boys gave $8,222.29 to Compassionate International from awareness and proceeds of virtual lemonade stands and other donations given by the community who wanted to support the boys in their compassionate efforts.

And it all started with a lemonade stand…

The best lemonade recipe; boys giving to charity from proceeds of their lemonade stand

In 2018, The Lemonade Boys gave Compassionate International $8,222.89.

Books About Lemons & Lemonade for Healthy Smart Kids in the Kitchen

Last, cooking in the kitchen with kids would not be complete without adding a few books to make the learning experience complete. Here are some favorites. Many feature the best lemonade recipe.

Making lemonade is easy and fun—especially for kids just getting their feet wet in the kitchen. Try “the best lemonade recipe” today—it’s perfect for any occasion—from a family dinner to a family event to a kid entrepreneurial adventure!

What have been your experiences of making lemonade? Have any of your children created a lemonade stand? Does your family have “the best lemonade recipe?” Please comment in the section below.

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The post The Best Lemonade Recipe: Healthy Smart Kids in the Kitchen! appeared first on Good Parenting Brighter Children.

Syndicated with permission of Sharlene Haymeyer of

Sharlene Habermeyer is the author of “Good Music Brighter Children.” A blogger (Good Parenting Brighter Children) and educator; she has lectured all over the U.S.; holds a Master’s degree in Education and started a community orchestra in 1999. Visit:

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Patricia is the founder and editor of Little Bytes News, a former elementary teacher, radio talk show host, political activist and political blogger. In 2012, Patricia was nominated one of “Circle of Moms” top 25 political bloggers.

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