Although Starbucks made its name in the coffee industry, the international chain gets a lot more credit these days for the inventiveness of its drinks.
Many of the Starbucks drinks that make the biggest splash on social media don’t have much to do with coffee. As a result, many kids go to Starbucks, either on their own or with their parents.
But if you’re ordering Starbucks drinks for kids, what do you need to know? And what are the best drinks to make sure your child enjoys the experience as much as you do? Read on to find out.
Ordering Kids Drinks at Starbucks
Before you get down to ordering your child a treat from Starbucks, there are a few things to know about ordering for kids at the coffee chain.
Starbucks has some standard guidelines for kids’ drinks, so it’s a good idea to specify you’re ordering for a child (or children) when you’re getting certain drinks.
- Kids Drink Sizing: The typical drink sizes for kids at Starbucks are the Short and the Tall. For hot drinks, a Short is an ideal size for a child: it’s 8 ounces and enough to be a treat without being too indulgent. The Tall size is 12 ounces, which may be a bit much for younger kids.
- You can get hot drinks in either a Short or a Tall, but the smallest cold drink size is Tall.
- Related Read: Starbucks Cup Sizes
- Kids Drink Temperature: The standard temperature for hot drinks is too hot for children, and Starbucks doesn’t want your kid to burn their tongue any more than you do! So if you order a kid’s drink, the standard temperature is lower: 130 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the adult temperature of 160 Fahrenheit.
- You can ask for just about any drink short of drip coffee or hot tea at this temperature, regardless of if it’s for a kid or an adult.
- Want Less Sugar? That’s an easy fix. For most sweet drinks, Starbucks uses different syrups to add both flavor and sweetness. So if you want less sugar in your kid’s drink, just ask for fewer pumps.
- Tall drinks get 3 pumps of syrup by default, but you can ask for two pumps or even a single pump of whatever syrup or syrups the drink recipe includes.
- Refreshers Have Caffeine: While the Starbucks Refreshers line contains less caffeine than any of their standard coffee drinks, the drinks contain green coffee extract, which has trace amounts of caffeine. For a Tall, the caffeine.
The Best Starbucks Drinks For Kids 2023
While Starbucks has many popular drinks and tons of kid-friendly options, there are some that stand out as more popular.
The following list is based on ordering patterns: what gets ordered the most often by parents and kids, for kids.
1. Iced Strawberry Milk
Despite the name, you don’t actually have to get ice in the strawberry milk you order. You can if you want to, but it’s not required. The basic recipe is the milk of your choice, plus Starbucks strawberry puree.
How it’s made: Strawberry puree and milk shaken (with or without ice) and poured into the correct-sized cup. This drink is also very popular with adults; you can get it in any size you want.
2. Steamed Vanilla Milk/Vanilla Crème/Vanilla Steamer
This is another simple favorite, made up of basic ingredients: steamed milk and vanilla syrup. You can add whipped cream if you want, but the drink is definitely sweet enough without it.
How it’s made: the barista steams the milk of your choice and pours it into the cup, already prepared with vanilla syrup.
You can order with any type of milk you want, from the standard 2% to whole to oat or soy milk or even coconut milk.
3. Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk
This iced drink makes for an easy, tasty treat for kids who can’t have dairy or just kids who like the flavor of oatmeal cookies. All it takes is ice, oat milk, and brown sugar syrup.
How it’s made: the barista combines the ingredients in the blender, and whips up the frozen, milkshake-like drink, tops it off with whipped cream (if you want it), and done!
4. Hot Chocolate
Starbucks takes the classic kid’s drink to the next level by mixing its house-made mocha sauce with vanilla syrup with milk and whipped cream. The end result is rich, chocolatey, and definitely a far cry from Swiss Miss hot cocoa.
How it’s made: Equal volumes of mocha syrup and vanilla syrup go into the cup, and the barista stirs in steamed milk before adding whipped cream and (upon request) mocha drizzle.
You can also request no whip if you’d like to keep things from getting too decadent.
5. Strawberry Fruit Inclusions Infused Water
If you want something that’s fancier than regular water but less sugary than the other choices on this list, ask for iced water with strawberry fruit inclusions added to it.
The freeze-dried strawberries add some flavor and sophistication to the drink, which will make your kid feel included while you sip your latte.
How it’s made: the barista adds fruit inclusions to the bottom of the cup, followed by ice, and then water. Give the cup a careful shake and let your kid enjoy their tasty water. It’s a hydrating drink with a little glamor.
6. White Hot Chocolate
This kid-friendly Starbucks drink is caffeine-free since it’s made with white chocolate mocha sauce instead of dark chocolate.
And it’s simpler than the standard hot chocolate, too. It’s made with white chocolate sauce, steamed milk, and whipped cream.
How it’s made: white chocolate mocha sauce goes into the cup, followed by steamed milk and a little whipped cream to finish things off.
7. Horizons Chocolate Organic Milk
This is a good option for kids who don’t like darker chocolate but still want a hot chocolate experience.
While normally, the Horizons Chocolate Organic Milk comes cold or room temperature from the ready-to-drink section, you can ask for it warmed up to kid’s temperature for an alternative hot chocolate.
How it’s made: the barista empties the container of chocolate milk into a milk pitcher and steams it to the correct temperature. You can add whipped cream if you like.
8. Double Chocolatey Chip Frappuccino
All of the Frappuccino blended crème drinks are kid-friendly because they’re sweet and have no coffee in them.
The Double Chocolatey Chip features milk, ice, Frappuccino creme base, mocha syrup, and java chips, with ship and chocolate drizzle. The combination makes for a chocolatey milkshake with crunch.
How it’s made: your Starbucks barista puts all of the drink ingredients in the blender and blends them up into a frothy, cold shake before adding the topping and handing it off to you and your grateful child.
This drink is in the top five simplest beverages at Starbucks: just milk, steamed, with extra foam on top. You can modify it by adding a bit of caramel drizzle or cinnamon dolce powder, but its beauty is in its simplicity.
How it’s made: The barista steams milk to kid’s temperature and serves the freshly steamed milk up in a Starbucks cup as half milk, half foam. You can get more foam if you ask for it dry.
10. Strawberry Lemonade
You can get two kinds of strawberry lemonade at Starbucks: the classic is a shaken drink with ice, classic lemonade, and strawberry puree.
You can also get blended strawberry lemonade, which has the flavor profile of frozen lemonade or strawberry slush–or a combination of the two.
How it’s made: The barista either shakes the ingredients together or whips them up in the blender, depending on your preference. We definitely prefer the blended juice drink.
11. Strawberry and Crème Frappuccino
This classic crème Frappuccino is great on a hot summer day, evoking a strawberry milkshake with a little touch of Starbucks.
The drink includes ice, milk of your choice, strawberry puree, and Frappuccino crème base. This drink comes with or without whip, whichever you prefer.
How it’s made: the barista combines the ingredients in the blender and whips them all up into a creamy, cold treat.
12. Syrup Steamers
Another simple hot drink, syrup steamers are nothing more than milk and the flavored syrup of your choice.
The most popular options are cinnamon dolce, vanilla, and caramel, but you can use any of the syrups Starbucks has available.
13. Caramel Apple Spice
Another caffeine-free offering, the Caramel Apple Spice combines steamed apple juice, cinnamon dolce syrup, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle to create a candy apple in liquid form.
The Cinnamon syrup adds spice, and the caramel adds depth to the steamed apple juice base.
14. Passion Tango Tea Lemonade and Strawberry Inclusions
Another twist on classic delicious Starbucks drinks, this drink brings together iced passion tea, Starbucks lemonade, and strawberry inclusions to make a refreshing cold beverage.
The passion iced tea has a fruity, intense flavor that the lemonade and freeze-dried strawberries lightens up nicely.
15. Pumpkin Spice Crème
On a cold day, this twist on the syrup creme hits the spot. Pumpkin spice syrup is only available during a short season, but it’s worth enjoying, whether you’re a kid or an adult.
16. Regular Milk
Probably one of the most straightforward Starbucks drinks for kids.
If you don’t want anything sugary, you can request a Tall cup of regular milk of your choice. Almond milk, soy, 2%, or anything else you like, Starbucks is happy to serve it up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is kids’ temperature for Starbucks drinks?
Starbucks baristas steam the milk to 130 degrees Fahrenheit for any hot child’s drink to make sure it’s hot enough not to be a food contamination danger, but not so hot that it will cause a problem.
Does Starbucks have a kids’ cup size?
The Short size for hot drinks and Tall size for iced drinks aren’t technically just kid sizes but part of the standard Starbucks lineup.
That being said, they’re good sizes for small hands and stomachs.
Does Starbucks have a kids’ menu?
Not specifically, but Starbucks offers kid-friendly drinks in small sizes that work perfectly for children. Caffeine-free drinks in Short and Tall sizes are ideal to help children feel included.