Take a trip back to the super soda fountains of the 1950s and make a float or two with your little one. Treat your child to a pint-sized recipe that features floats from the traditional root beer variety to more modernized versions using healthier alternatives such as frozen yogurt or fruit.
The first known soda float was invented in the 19th century by Philadelphia soda shop owner Robert Green. While Green’s first floats used regular cream, he soon swapped out the liquid for the ice variety. Follow in Green’s footsteps and create your own soda float recipe. This ultra easy concoction starts with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Traditional vanilla is a classic that pairs well with many types of sodas. For a more whimsical blend, add chocolate ice cream to your cherry soda or combine a fruit-flavored ice cream to a lemon-lime soda for a tropical feel.
If you don’t want to add the extra calories that ice cream has to offer to your little one’s daily menu, try a yogurt float. Simply substitute frozen yogurt for ice cream in this healthier option. While a frozen yogurt float certainly isn’t the top of the health food pyramid, it does provide nutrition-minded moms with an alternative. Add a scoop of frozen yogurt to your favorite soda or — for an extra-healthy option — switch out the sugary soda for sparkling water.
Play to your child’s imaginative side and create a funky float that features whimsical themes or an other-worldly look. Combine kooky colors such as lime green ice cream and bright red cherry soda or use an orange soda with a purple berry frozen yogurt. Add in an edible garnish to punch up these kid-friendly concoctions, such as a chocolate or cookie straw, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles or place brightly-colored fruit wedges (such as oranges) onto the cup’s rim.
Other Ice Cream Alternatives
Sometimes ice cream or frozen yogurt just won’t do. If your little one has lactose or dairy issues, try a milk-free alternative to the traditional ice cream float. Instead of saying no-no, substitute regular ice cream for a non-dairy treat such as lactose-free ice cream, tofu-based non-dairy ice cream or a coconut milk version. Use the non-dairy “ice cream” of your choice in your favorite flavor and add a cup of soda or mix seltzer with juice to finish off your float.