Kids Benefit From Tea Too
I remember when I was a kid begging my mother to let me have coffee – just a taste. She had a cup every morning all my life and it smelled so dang good. The answer was always no. After I had my kids, I learned that it’s not good to give a lot of caffeine to kids.
Without question, I had two kids very far apart but, both with a natural high. Too much for a low energy person like me. In other words, for my sanity, it was best not to give them any other stimulants. I suspect back then my mother was going from the old wives’ tale that coffee will stunt your growth.
What to Watch When Giving Tea to Kids
Some teas do have caffeine, but others have benefits for children. There’s a medically reviewed article over on Mom Junction that gives you all the dos and don’ts of kids drinking tea. Some key points include:
High amounts of sweetened caffeinated drinks can lead to cavities in children
Caffeine is a diuretic that can make your kids pee, replace caffeinated tea with herbal tea
Adolescents between 12 and 18 may take 100mg caffeine (around one or two cups of tea) in a day
Children below 12 years of age have no said safe threshold
Regular consumption of tea or coffee by children increased the risk of type 1 diabetes
Caffeine and sugar in tea may be associated with overweight issues in children
Caffeine in excess could be responsible for fidgetiness, jitteriness, and nervousness in children
Could be responsible for extra calories, which might result in heart diseases, tooth decay, and even type-2 diabetes
Besides caffeine and sugar, there are other things to watch for when giving kids tea. According to Healthline.com, herbal teas are the better choice because black and green leaf teas contain caffeine. You should still be careful of some herbs that are not good for children. Always read the ingredients and do your research when it comes to this.
What Teas are Good for Kids
Healthline.com suggests Chamomile, Fennel, Ginger, and Mint are safe tea ingredients for toddlers but, you should always check the ingredients they are mixed with.
Curiously, several websites, including Healthline.com, suggest Catnip which is part of the mint family. Who would have thought it? It’s not just for cats and helps with sleep, stress, and upset stomach.
Chamomile is a calming herb that may have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic (think muscle spasms) benefits.
Fennel is used for gastric distress like gas pain or colic. It’s also good for the upper respiratory tract during a cold and cough.
Ginger tea has anti-inflammatory properties, aids digestion, relieves nausea, or motion sickness. It also helps with circulation and congestion.
Lemon Balm helps with sleep issues and anxiety and may have antiviral properties
Peppermint is suggested for evening times when your child is suffering from an upset tummy, nasal congestion, stress, or a cough.
Preparing Tea for Kids
Mom Junction gives you a few tips for making teas for kids besides going easy on the sugar and caffeine, including:
Use fewer tea leaves to make a light tea.
You can also make a light tea by steeping the tea for two to four minutes. If the tea gets strong, add some water to it.
Serve lukewarm or chilled tea and not piping hot tea.
At the end of the day, doing some research whenever your child asks for something you’re unsure about is always beneficial. Don’t always rely on old wives’ tales or anecdotal evidence.
Talk to your doctor or even just do a bit of research into what doctors say.
Teatime could end up being a family bonding event in your home if you plan and prepare just right.