Tea has some potential health benefits. However, it has some undesirable compounds such as caffeine and nicotine.
Besides, most take it with sugar, which is not suitable for kids when served in large quantities. This article looks at tea for kids, its benefits and risks, and provides tips on selection and serving.
Is it Safe for Children?
Some teas are not recommended for children, especially those under five. They are high in caffeine and the artificial sweetening increases the risk of both cavities and staining of the teeth.
Besides, caffeine is a diuretic that causes the kids to pee more regularly. Other kids find it hard to fall to sleep due to the effects of caffeine in the blood.
You may go for herbal types, just as the ones sold by the online tea and coffee shop, as it has low amounts of caffeine than the black varieties.
However, you need to make sure that none of the ingredients in the herbal variety is harmful to your children. This is because some children develop adverse reactions against some herbs.
Is there an Age When Children can Start Taking Tea?
No health studies specify the age at which young children may start to take the beverage. Despite the risks discussed in the section above, if the child takes moderate amounts, they will not suffer from significant harmful effects.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, adolescents between 12 and 18 should take one or two cups, which is around 100mg of caffeine. There is no stated threshold f for the younger kids. Your best bet is to give low amounts, when and if necessary.
Are there any Benefits of the Brew to Young Children?
Tea has some benefits to your children that make that occasional cup worthwhile. Here are some of the benefits:
- By taking the brew, your children get hydrated. It particularly works where children do not like taking plain water. With these kids, you just need regular small amounts of light brews.
- Drinking tea may help deal with anxiety in children. It can help them deal with the anxiety that results from cutthroat competition or academic pressure. The best types to deal with anxiety include chamomile and oat straw. Talk to your nutritionist before giving any of these varieties.
- Taking a cup of the beverage can help treat constipation. It can help relax the gut and promote normal bowel movement. A cup made from flaxseed is considered the best solution to constipation in kids.
- Tea may also help deal with fever. If your child has a fever, you may add a slice of ginger or cardamom pods to his or her cup. Lemon, chamomile, and peppermint varieties can offer some relief to fever.
- Dealing with nausea: Nausea is common in small children as their immune system is still developing and interacting with various body elements. If you see symptoms of stomach upset or vomiting, consider giving ginger brew. It is safe and works in a few minutes.
- Dealing with cough and cold. The symptoms of the common cold are running nose, sore throat, and congestion in the trachea. Such varieties such as marshmallow and elm help deal with cough. Children with a congested nose can also get relief by taking peppermint or coltsfoot variety.
- Treating colic. Colic could cause several stomach pain in children. The best solution is to give a lukewarm cup. The best teas for this include chamomile and peppermint.
Tips for Making Quality Brew for Children
If you are giving your children that occasional cup of tea, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Use a few leaves
Make some moderate brew for your children. Remember that you are cutting on the caffeine intake. You may use tea bags to control the amount of caffeine that gets into their cups.
On the other hand, if you go for loose leaf tea, just steep a few leaves for a maximum of four minutes. You can always add water if the brew is very strong.
Ensure that You Serve a Lukewarm Cup
Do not give very hot tea to your children. Instead, serve it chilled or lukewarm. This prevents any likelihood that they might get burnt from the hot beverage.
Avoid Brewing After Dinner
Caffeine has lasting effects on sleep patterns and peeing behavior. Therefore, avoid giving that cup to your children on their way to bed or at least three hours before sleeping time.
This will enable them to have a good night’s sleep and avoid waking up after every few hours to pee.
Beware the Kind of Tea You Make for Children
There are tens of different brews that you can make for your kids. However, some may have undesirable effects on your children.
Therefore, talk to your nutritionists for the best types based on your child’s overall health and the ingredients in that cup. Besides, introduce new varieties in moderation and far apart.
Be Careful with Sugar
You should add just a teaspoon of sugar or honey to a full cup. Too much sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay and promote obesity. Children under 12 should not be given honey as it increases the risk of botulism.
If your child is addicted to the cup, you can help them take less by reducing the amount of the brew and replacing it with mock tea. You make this special drink with lemons, ginger, and honey.
You can add a few drops of lemon juice into a cup of tea and add some honey and a slice of ginger. This drink also has health benefits.
You are likely to find many recommendations on tea for kids. Just remember that the study is undergoing and the effect of many ingredients in that cup is not known. Therefore, give them little amounts with a light brew, preferably using loose tea.
Besides, be replacing the beverage with other drinks such as fresh fruit juice, lemon water, and plain water. Follow the steps above to keep your child safe and enjoy the benefits of tea.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.