Flowerchild Refreshment Tea – Healthy Homemade Herbal Kool-Aid Alternative

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Standing in the middle of the grocery store isle, I am at a loss as to what to purchase as far as kid's drinks go. On one side of the spectrum, you have the MANY kid's beverages with icky ingredients while on the other side of the spectrum you have the really great organic stuff (like Little Me Tea, which IS totally awesome by the way) that costs way more than my bank account can afford on a regular basis.

You might be surprised by this, but we don't actually buy juice in our house anymore either. After learning about the arsenic levels in apple juice, I began to juice fresh juice for Syfy. Juicing is a great source of vitamins but it can be a bit pricey by itself, so I began to look for an herbal tea that I could add a bit of juice too. It took me some time to learn to blend some great herbal alternatives, that still tasted amazing to my kiddo, but didn't cost my pocket book too much. After some experimentation, I was able to replicate a delicious fruit punch that packs a super immune boosting punch too! This is pretty much his favorite “juice” and is drank daily in our house.

Kool-aid contains nasty ingredients that promote ADHD behaviors

We have never purchased Kool-aid, Hawaiian Punch, or Sunny Delight in our home, but that's because they are literally GMO fakes with absolutely no nutritional value to them. In fact, as I talked about in my post “Calm Your Squirrel“, “Many of the leading causes of [ADHD] symptoms are additives in our food. Artificial food dyes, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and other artificial sweeteners have all shown to either create ADHD symptoms in a child without ADHD or exacerbate these symptoms in children with ADHD.” When you look at the Kool-aid labels, there is nothing natural about it. Kool-Aid's Grape Flavor Mix ingredients include:

Sugar, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Calcium Phosphate (Prevents Caking), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Artificial Flavor, Red 40, Blue 1.

With 5 tsp. of sugar per 8 oz. as well as artificial flavors and colors, Kool-aid is nothing but one big glass of ADHD.

Flowerchild Refreshment Tea Healthy Homemade Herbal Kool-Aid Alternative - thehippyhomemaker.com

Herbal tea that tastes like fruit punch and boosts the immune system

With practically every kid's drink on the market loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors, it's enough to exacerbate any mother. Seriously, I have stood in the juice aisle at Whole Foods, wondering where I could find an affordable kid's drink that actually promoted health rather than taking away from it. After experimenting further with flavors in herbal teas, I was able to create an herbal tea that tastes like fruit punch and is chock full of vitamins and minerals that help to keep the immune system strong! The ingredients that I chose to put in this tea are not only tasty but each herb lends their own herbal value:

Raspberry leaf – Vitamin and mineral rich, raspberry leaf is the perfect base for this tea. With a very mild tea-like flavor, you can't even taste it within the blend. Raspberry leaf is rich in vitamins E, C and B-complex, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, magnesium, and manganese.

Hibiscus flowers – Due to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content, hibiscus helps strengthen the immune system and acts as an immunostimulant to help fight off colds and infections. Hibiscus is the herb in this recipe, that gives the tea the tart flavor and beautiful red color.

Orange peel/Lemon peel – Lemon peels are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, and beta-carotene. Lemon peels improve bone health too! Since they contain high amounts of calcium and vitamin C, lemon peels have been shown to aid preventing osteoporosis, inflammatory polyarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Orange peels also rich in vitamin C have been used to help treat coughs, colds, congestion, and even digestion issues. Both lemon and orange peels are great at fighting colds and boosting immunities.

Lemongrass – With its lemony flavor, lemongrass is another great herb to add to this fruit punch tea. Used to help with digestion, cold and flu symptoms, and even depression, lemongrass is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal.

Rosehips – Another one of my favorite vitamin C rich herbs, one rosehip can have as much vitamin C as four lemons! With a sweet flavor to them, rosehips used to be made into a syrup that was given to children to supplement vitamins and minerals.

Chamomile flowers – Ahhhh the wonderful calming effects of chamomile. Not only is chamomile a wonderful digestive aid capable of soothing the ugliest of colic, but chamomile is also very soothing to the nerves to help calm and quiet the crazies! I sometimes feel like I am spiking my kiddo's juice by putting chamomile in it!

Flowerchild Refreshment Tea Healthy Homemade Herbal Kool-Aid Alternative - thehippyhomemaker.com

The Hippy Homemaker's Flower Child Refreshment Tea

I normally make this tea as a tea lemonade. You can mix all sorts of fruit juices with this tea, to make a delicious fruit punch that all the kids (and adults) are sure to love! Lemons and oranges are my two favorites because they have electrolytes in them and are chock full of vitamin C, helping to boost the immune system. I love to use this tea in my homemade jello, homemade gummy fruit snacks, and even in popsicles (which happen to be great when your kiddo's sick!)




  1. Combine loose leaf tea ingredients in a bowl and store in a sealed container when not in use.
  2. In the bottom of your gallon jug, steep 4 Tbsp. of the loose leaf tea blend, in four cups boiling hot water for 8-10 minutes.
  3. While tea is steeping, juice lemons (or other fruits).
  4. Strain tea and combine with fresh juice. Stir sweetener of choice into hot tea before adding ice cubes and cold water.
  5. Add plenty of ice and fill to the top with cold filtered water.
  6. Stir well, serve and enjoy!
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  • Kristen

    I just wanted to share that Walmart has these great glass containers right now for $4. They fit a gallon of this tea perfectly, which is great since we go through two and a half to three quarts of this tea a day!

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  • I link to my favorite organic source for each herb in the recipe!!

  • while taking high doses of Ascorbic acid can cause a miscarriage in very early pregnancies, taking vitamin C that has rosehips in it actually counteracts the miscarriage because of the bioflavonoid content in rosehips! They are safe to take during pregnancy and so are the rest of the herbs in this specific tea! You are correct though, it is important to take caution with herbs while pregnant! I am here to help and answer questions about which are safe and which are not!

  • yes!

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  • Lynne Castaldo

    This recipe is really delicious! I got the herbs (fun shopping trip at my local apothecary), blended the tea and made this recipe and it’s absolutely wonderful! The tea smells great as it’s steeping and the red color is so beautiful! I used freshly juiced mandarin oranges for the juice. My grandson and daughter love this and so do I! I will be making this all the time, thank you for sharing!

  • Stephanie

    Herbs can be infused in lots of mediums! It sounds like one of the best courses for you would be herbal-infused honey. Mountain Rose Blog has instructions on this, but in essence all you do is let your herb of choice sit in honey for at least a week then strain. You can also infuse herbs in oils or vinegars if you cook with them often. Or you can cook with some fresh herbs, like Nettles or Burdock, if you can get your hands on them.

    • Kristen

      Thank you so much!

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  • Marissa Peterson

    I’m excited to try this! I’m not really a fan of lemongrass, can I just leave it out?

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  • Jen Mockaitis Flesvig

    Omgoodness, Christine! Thank you, for this tea/juice recipe! When my step-daughter stays with us, she gets upset because we don’t drink soda in our home. When she was little, her mother gave her diet sodas and sugary fruit juices. In OUR home, we drink water, milk or tea. She doesn’t like milk, (not even on her cereal,) and has never tried tea, that I’m aware of. When I was a child, mom would whip up some Kool-Aid for us, but as an adult, I find that was WAYYYY to much sugar! (And, chemicals!)
    Thank you, again, so much for this! I pinned it straight away and now, I will have something else to offer my steppie when she visits us THIS summer! 🙂

  • Catherine

    Do you think I could leave out the orange peel and it still taste good?

    • there are a lot of other flavor defining herbs in this recipe, i think you should be good if you don’t have it! You can use fresh orange peel too, if you just peeled an orange!

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  • Lyndsay Cutchall-Van Horn

    Was just wondering about the one part/two part, etc. Would you say one part is equal to a tablespoon?? Teaspoons? Thanks so much!

    • A part is equal to anything you want it to be! If you want a large batch, then one part can equal 1 cup, if you want a smaller batch 1 part can equal 1 Tbsp. It’s all up to how much you want to make at one time! I make mine in bulk so that I don’t have to mix it every time I make tea, so for me 1 part is usually 1 cup (The final product with 1 cup as my “part” fits in my half gallon mason jar and lasts me FOREVER)

  • Lauren

    I think this is a great idea! Personally, I typically mostly drink water, but this is a great alternative if I want some variety. It’s also fantastic to offer to my daughter who is constantly begging me to buy her Kool-aid packets at the store. (Although she has never had them.) I would love to see more recipes like this as you continue to experiment with herbs. Do you think you might be able to come up with some Teavana knock offs (or something like them)? I was just told about the store when I was telling my brother about your recipe yesterday. Their stuff smells great (haven’t tried it yet), but it’s WAY expensive. I like your approach much better. 🙂

    • Thank you! I definitely have plans to create more delicious tea blends like ones you would find from Teavana. Part of the reason I started making my own blends was because I just did not want to pay the markup price for a mixture of herbs when I knew I could make it myself for so much cheaper lol! Keep an eye out, I will share everything as I perfect blends!

  • Laura @ Little Bits of Granola

    This sounds so yummy! I love the idea of using this for jello and gummy snacks too. My kids LOVE homemade jello but the juice is so dang expensive. I’ll definitely be trying this out soon!

    I just came across your blog on Facebook a few days ago. So glad I found you!

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  • Sharon

    If I bought 4 oz of each ingredient from Mountain Rose Herbs and followed your recipe portions how many Tbsp (approximately) would 1 mixture of loose tea equal?

  • I did the hunting involved to get the ingredients to make this – I had quit soda & needed an alternative to plain water. This is delicious & goes down very easy! Makes me feel super healthy thanks!!

  • Jennifer Arden

    Have you ever thought about selling this mix? I would like to try some before I buy each ingredient in bulk

    • Christina

      I would love to sell teas, but to be able to sell the mixed herbs I have to have a certified kitchen because they would be ingested internally! Unfortunately I am not at that point right now, but I forsee myself starting my own tea company at some point lol

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  • I didn’t grow up drinking kool-aid, so I would not serve it to my child. However, I do like this cold tea as a nice treat and immunity boost.

  • I just made a raspberry/lemon/mint iced tea this week as I am not buying any juice anymore. My lil guy is not a fan so this recipe will be perfect to try and I am sure he will love it much better!

  • Yum! I tend to give the kids water only, but this sounds like a tasty summertime treat!

  • I really need to try this! My kids would love this. I don’t really like tea but this sounds and looks delicious. 🙂

  • Amanda McMahon

    I love this idea! We don’t have kool aid usually, but sometimes we get other icky stuff – this is a much better alternative. I wonder about using tinctures. What are your thoughts?

    • Christina

      The easiest way to get kids to take their tinctures is by hiding it in stuff lol. This juice is a great way to do that too and if your kid’s tinctures are made with glycerin that will help sweeten the beverage further!

  • This sounds so good. I may make some just for me 😉