The weather is getting warmer outside (hooray!) and one of the most ubiquitous sights in the spring time is the lemonade stand. As soon as it gets warm, my kids want to set up a card table at the foot of the driveway with a hand lettered sign offering lemonade for a quarter a cup.
I’ve passed many a stand in my travels, and I started to wonder – is there such a thing as a healthy lemonade? After all, lemonade by it’s very nature is simply water, lemon juice and sugar. Often lots and lots of sugar, to compensate for the bitter taste of the lemon juice. Is there a better choice? I decided to look at several of the lemonade options in an effort to find the healthiest beverage.
Kool-Aid Arguably the most popular beverage choice for lemonade stands, the packet itself contains zero calories. It’s when you add the cup of sugar (770 calories) that you run into trouble. Adding 2 quarts of water means that you will have 8, 8-ounce servings, so each cup of Kool-Aid is approximately 96 calories.
Frozen Minute Maid Each serving of the reconstituted concentrate contains 110 calories, 29 grams of carbs and 27 grams of sugar.
Simply Lemonade One 8-ounce serving contains 120 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 28 grams of sugar.
Propel Not strictly a lemonade, this lemon flavored water comes in both regular and no calorie options. The regular Propel has 10 calories for each 8 ounces, but if you chose to use this, you’d have one expensive lemonade stand.
Country Time The lemonade mix I grew up on, this powdered drink mix has the lowest calorie count of any. One reconstituted 8-ounce serving is just 60 calories, 16 grams of sugar and 16 grams of carbs.
Make Your Own This delicious recipe from Truvia natural sweetener for Fresh Squeezed Lemonade has only five calories and zero grams of sugar! That’s compared to 120 calories and 29 grams of sugar in a classic sugar-sweetened lemonade. Truvia is made from Stevia, so unlike other sugar alternatives, it’s natural, and as you can see, incredibly low-cal.