I’ve been encouraging a friend whose 12 year old daughter is overweight and shows symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia to stop giving her juice or sugar-sweetened beverages. Her budget is limited, so I want to be able to suggest inexpensive options.

When her daughter visits me, I give her sugar-free Kool aid liquid drink mix. It’s fairly expensive – $3 for enough to flavour 12 500 mL drinks. (The bottle lists 24 250mL servings, but who drinks that little?)

Crystal light costs about $1 for enough to flavour a pitcher, so it’s an option if it goes on sale.

Today, I picked up an unsweetened package of Kool aid (44 cents) and mixed it with 3/8 tsp stevia and 2 L water. It’s pretty good. It’s possible my friend’s daughter will want 1/2 tsp stevia to make it a touch sweeter, but I know stevia can become bitter if you use too much. I’m also open to combining erythritol with stevia, but adding another ingredient will make it less likely my friend will do it.

I was raised thinking food coloring was bad. I still think it’s not ideal but that sugar is far more damaging.