6 soft drink alternatives

Fun and fruity alternatives that satisfy your sugar cravings, look impressive and the kids will love

In Australia, soft drink is commonly available, heavily advertised and affordable; which has led to a 30% increase in consumption over the past 10 years. That’s fairly startling considering we all know the high levels of sugar contained within those delicious bubbles – up to 40 g per can of cola, equivalent to 10 teaspoons! You wouldn’t pile 10 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, so trying any of the alternatives below, even slightly sweetened, you’ll be ahead of the health curve compared to those slamming the soda.

1. Fruit infused water

Literally fruit added to water, not only do these drinks look fantastic, they also provide some extra nutrients. Experiment with different fruit and veg combinations to find your perfect blend. We recommend slices of orange, cucumber, ginger and mint to make a virgin Pimms cocktail, or strawberry and lemon for a citrusy boost with a bit of sweetness.

2. Iced herbal tea

Once you try this winning combo we promise you won’t go back! Brew a strong batch of your favourite herbal tea (such as cranberry, pomegranate or rose hip), let it cool and then combine in a glass with plain mineral water. It’s sharp and refreshing, and you can add a bit of honey or sugar if you’d prefer.

3. Juice and soda water

Dilute one third of a glass of juice with plain soda or mineral water for a fizzy, thirst quenching alternative. We recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice – kids love it!

4. Homemade lemonade or ginger beer

There are multitudes of recipes online for either of these popular drinks, and while they take a bit more effort, you have absolute control over the amount of sugar added. And, it uses up that pile of lemons from your neighbour’s tree.

5. Coconut water

Loved by health nuts and superstars, coconut water is definitely on the fad food list, dubbed ‘nature’s sports drink’ for its natural electrolyte levels. While it still contains sugar, it contains far less than juice or soft drinks. Watch out for the flavoured varieties as they can contain loads of added sugar – instead, infuse your own flavours with fresh fruit.

6. Iced coffee

As simple as an espresso shot and cold milk or milk alternative brought together with a touch of your favourite sweetener. A fun way to prepare an attractive iced coffee is to freeze your leftover coffee into ice cubes, add them to a glass and top up with milk.

Tips for kicking the soft drink habit:

  • Start diluting soft drink with plain soda water.
  • Gradually decrease the number of glasses of soda you have. Start having one of the alternatives every second time, then third, and so on.
  • Be prepared – have your alternatives ready to go in the fridge so soft drink isn’t the easy option.
  • Be strong – don’t give in to pressure from your kids and think of the long term benefits, like weight loss and increased (yes, increased!) energy.

Find out more at betterhealth.vic.gov.au 

Recommended reading - Delicious soup recipes

Recipes

Butternut pumpkin and parsnip soup recipe

A rich and creamy pumpkin soup, infused with a blend of cumin, paprika and chives.

Read more
Recipes

Broccolini and Cauliflower Soup Recipe

This creamy soup is as filling as it is flavoursome

Read more
Recipes

Coconut roasted pumpkin and apple soup recipe

A hearty, belly-warming soup to rejuvenate and nourish

Read more
Recipes

Fish soup recipe

A surprising blend of flavours makes this Turkish soup a cosy delight

Read more
Recipes

Cauliflower and broccoli soup with sweet potato crisps recipe

Warm up with this creamy, nourishing soup which is packed with nutrients from cruciferous veggies.

Read more
Recipes

Curried cauliflower soup with toasted chickpeas recipe

The nutty goodness of chickpeas takes this creamy soup to delicious new levels

Read more
Recipes

Chicken soup with parmesan, rice, peas and lemon recipe

A soothing soup with rich veggie flavours and a touch of fragrant parsley.

Read more
Recipes

Spicy pumpkin and lentil soup recipe

Spice up your soup ideas this winter with a pumpkin and lentil soup inspired by Indian flavours.

Read more
Recipes

Lentil soup recipe

Lentil-based dishes like this red lentil soup are not only delicious but are packed with goodness.

Read more
Recipes

Lamb shank and vegetable soup recipe

Need a new soup recipe? This hearty lamb soup beckons with bursts of fresh vegies.

Read more
Recipes

Pea and ham soup recipe

Try this take on a classic soup by seasoning with Himalayan pink salt.

Read more
Recipes

Simple kohlrabi soup recipe

A creamy, comforting soup, perfect for the cooler months.

Read more
Recipes

Thai pumpkin soup recipe

Creamy smooth pumpkin soup with a kick of hot chilli, fragrant lemongrass and coriander.

Read more
Recipes

Lean green vegetable soup recipe

Get your green fix with this zucchini and spinach soup, infused with fresh coriander.

Read more
Recipes

Light pumpkin soup recipe

Looking for a lighter alternative to traditionally creamy pumpkin soup?

Read more
Recipes

Minestrone soup recipe

This minestrone by Dani of Fitness, Food and Style is packed full of antioxidants.

Read more
Lifestyle

Pumpkin soup recipe

This simple winter favourite is spicy and fragrant with ginger, nutmeg and cumin

Read more
Recipes

Roasted beetroot soup with macadamia sour cream recipe

Brightly coloured and full of flavour, this rich, warming soup is a deliciously satisfying.

Read more
Recipes

Vietnamese pho soup recipe

Fresh, healthy Vietnamese Pho soup recipe you can make at home.

Read more
Recipes

Trippy tie-dye soup recipe

Brighten up your winter with this rich, tasty and oh-so-wholesome soup from My New Roots

Read more
Recipes

Vegetable and lentil soup

A nourishing soup for a cool winter's day

Read more
Recipes

Chipotle sweet potato soup with black bean salsa

This spicy, fragrant sweet potato soup will banish any thought of the winter chills.

Read more
Recipes

Vegetarian laksa recipe

Fill up on colourful winter veggies in a light, creamy laksa

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.