Secret Starbucks Drinks You Didn’t Know You Could Order for Your Kids
Everybody loves Starbucks, including busy parents and grandparents. You might want to treat the kids in your car to something special when you pull up to the drive-thru to get your morning caffeine fix. But the regular Starbucks menu doesn’t have a whole lot to offer in the way of kid-friendly beverages. (And nobody wants to deal with a major caffeine hit or sugar rush.) Fortunately, the Starbucks secret menu has got your back.
Below, check out the most delicious secret Starbucks drinks that you can order for your kids. (Or for yourself, if you want to take a break from your go-to Frappucino or macchiato.)
1. Hot chocolate
The hot chocolate you order for yourself might be too big (and too hot) for the little ones in your care. But you can ask for a kids’ hot chocolate and get one that’s just right for your child or grandchild. As Mom.me reports, a kids’ hot chocolate comes in an 8-ounce cup. And instead of boiling hot, it comes at a kid-friendly 130 degrees. You can even ask for it lukewarm, which will get you a hot chocolate that’s only 100 degrees. 2% milk is the default, but you can ask for nonfat milk, whole milk, or soy milk instead.
2. Heated Horizon milk
You’ve probably spotted the Horizon milk cartons in the front display case. But did you know that you can ask a barista to heat one of these up for you? Mom.me reports that heating up a Horizon chocolate milk is a great alternative to Starbucks’ own hot chocolate. Some kids think that the Starbucks hot chocolate tastes a too dark. So if your kids prefer a milk chocolate taste instead, this is an easy way to go.
3. Vanilla steamer
Another drink available in an 8-ounce size and at a kid-friendly temperature is the vanilla steamer. Mom.me reports that this delicious drink consists of steamed milk and vanilla syrup, perfect for warming up little hands on a particularly cold day. You can opt for a sugar-free vanilla syrup, but just keep in mind that it’s made with sucralose. (That’s the same artificial sweetener used in Splenda.)
Want a cute drink with a cringe-worthy name? This kid-friendly beverage definitely takes the cake. Mom.me reports that the babyccino consists simply of extra-foamy milk. (Think of it as a cappuccino without the espresso.) Most kids love the light, bubbly texture of the foamed milk. You can even ask for this beverage “bone-dry” if you want it to be all foam.
5. Caramel apple spice
This delicious beverage consists of heated apple juice with cinnamon dolce syrup, topped with caramel and whipped cream. It’s the perfect fall drink for kids who want something special of their own when you stop in for a drink. And, as with the other drinks, you can always ask the barista to hold the whipped cream if you don’t want your kids bouncing off the walls later in the day.
6. Blended strawberry lemonade
Mom.me reports that this secret menu drink is a hit among both kids and adults. It features strawberry puree, lemonade, and a cream base. (That’s the same syrup that baristas use to make Frappuccinos blend better.) Sweetener is optional, and many kids are happy to go without. Either way, you’ll get a “sweet, slushy treat” that your children or grandchildren will love.
If you aren’t convinced that your little ones would go for the strawberry puree, you can also order a plain lemonade at Starbucks. Again, sweetener is optional. However, Mom.me recommends adding a little if you want to please young palates; the lemonade can taste a little sour on its own.
8. Passion iced tea
If you want to skip the sugar and cut out the caffeine, one of your best choices is Starbucks’ beloved passion iced tea. This hibiscus-flavored tea is naturally decaffeinated, unlike green or black tea. And you can order it either unsweetened or sweetened. (If you opt for sweetened, you’ll get three pumps of simple syrup in a 12-ounce cup of tea.) Alternately, you can add raspberry syrup or lemonade to amp up the flavor.
Want more choices for the little fruit lovers in your life? Then try out a Starbucks smoothie. Mom.me reports that the chain offers orange mango, strawberry, and even chocolate smoothies. Each one includes a banana, 2% milk, plus whey protein and fiber. Plus, the orange mango and strawberry smoothies feature real fruit puree. (The chocolate gets its flavor from mocha syrup.) The only drawback? Starbucks only offers its smoothies in one size: the 16-ounce grande. So you may want to share this drink with your child or grandchild.
10. Raspberry Italian soda
Mom.me suggests this secret menu drink for kids who like something fizzy. Just get a San Pellegrino sparkling water from the front display, and then ask a barista for about four pumps of raspberry syrup in a small cup. The result is a bright and bubbly drink that kids love — and one that won’t load them up with too much sugar, either.
11. Syrup crème Frappuccino
Another recommendation from Mom.me? Order your child a Frappuccino — as long as it’s one without caffeine. The Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino, the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, and the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino are all made without coffee. Each one also has a caffeine-free base. (That’s the syrup that helps the barista blend the drink.) Alternately, you can get a syrup crème Frappuccino. This beverage consists of milk, a caffeine-free base, ice, and any kind of syrup that you’d like.
12. Tea latte
A chai tea latte is too caffeinated to be truly kid-friendly. (The chai tea itself has a lot more caffeine than you might imagine.) But the good news is that you can order any kind of tea as a latte — with a tea bag, hot water, and steamed milk — without the syrup. Mom.me recommends the Vanilla Rooibos herbal tea as a good chai tea replacement because it offers hints of flavors such as a licorice, cinnamon, and fruit.
13. Iced tea latte
Alternately, a child who likes a hot tea latte (and has taken to one of the caffeine-free teas available at your local Starbucks) may be excited to learn that Starbucks also offers iced tea lattes. As with other lattes, you can order your choice of milk for this beverage. It’s a much more summer-friendly twist on the tea latte than the typical hot version.
14. Hot or iced tea
If your child is in the mood to skip the dairy (or dairy substitute), you can go with a plain tea instead. You can order your tea hot or cold. Just make sure to tell the barista if you don’t want a the tea boiling hot and that you choose a tea with no caffeine. You can always ask your barista for help if you aren’t sure which ones fit the bill, but a couple of safe choices are the passion tea and the mint tea.
15. Cinnamon dolce crème
This drink — and the final two that follow it — are technically on the official Starbucks menu. However, you’ll rarely see them on the signs at your local store, so ordering one feels just as fun as asking for something from the secret menu. A cinnamon dolce crème consists of steamed milk and cinnamon dolce flavored syrup. Then, you get whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon dolce on the top. (If you’re worried about your child’s sugar intake, you can always ask the barista to hold the whipped cream.)
16. Vanilla crème
The vanilla crème is a decadent treat for kids who might not love cinnamon but do love vanilla. This beverage, which even comes in the 8-ounce kids’ size, is a hot and creamy vanilla treat. You can get it with 2% milk, whole milk, nonfat milk, coconut milk, or even almond milk. Plus, you can have it topped with whipped cream or opt to skip the whipped cream to reduce the amount of sugar.
17. Steamed apple juice
Most kids love apple juice. You can make this standby feel extra special by ordering a steamed apple juice at Starbucks. Starbucks promises that this delicious juice is 100% pressed, and doesn’t come from concentrate. Steaming the juice makes it the perfect treat for a cold day. And you can order this beverage in the kids’ 8-ounce size to make it just right for your little one.