For centuries, people have been drinking tea. Aside from the titillating flavors of the masterfully crafted blends on the market today, there’s no denying the immense amount of health benefits attached to tea. There are specially blended herbs, flowers, spices and leaves that aid in just about every ailment or situation you might find yourself in- from a stuffy nose to achy joints to sleepless nights.
There are some medical professionals and researches who are even going as far as stating that tea might actually be more beneficial to one’s body than water. They state this under the assumption that water’s main purpose is to hydrate the body. Tea hydrates the body and also provides it with powerful antioxidants.
So, with all of the benefits of tea clear as day, why don’t you see parents giving their children tea to drink more often? Is tea healthy for children in the same way it is for adults? Is it safe?
Many parents instantly shy away from the idea of giving their children tea due to high levels of caffeine in certain types of teas. Green Tea is known to contain one of the highest levels of caffeine – approximately 100 mg per cup. However, there are many health benefits of green tea for children. Green tea contains a disease-fighting nutrient called “catechin.” According to studies, catechins have the potential to reduce the risk of cavities in small children, combat bad breath, fight off flu germs and aid in heart health.
It’s important to note that while you might think caffeine is only in beverages, children consume different amounts of caffeine in common foods and treats that they eat daily, including chocolate. And while there are no recommended guidelines in the US for the amount of daily caffeine that can be safely consumed by children, many specialists tend to follow the Canadian guidelines of 45 mg /day.
(If you would like to consider adding small amounts of green tea to your child’s diet periodically, consult with his or her pediatrician first.)
While herbs can have amazing health benefits, there’s still a lot of questions floating through the air about certain herbs and whether or not they are safe for children to consume. Chamomile, for instance, is a beloved herb uses in tea to sooth, calm nerves and relax. Many parents find peace in giving their children chamomile tea at night, as it has natural mild sedative properties that can help calm them before bed. But chamomile can cause an allergic reaction in some, especially those allergic to ragweed. For this reason, it’s important to speak with your child’s pediatrician before adding any herbal tea to your child’s diet.
Where to Start
Tea for Kids
If you’re afraid your child might shy away from tea because of the stronger, more mature flavors, there are companies that make special blends specifically aimed at pleasing a child’s tastebuds.
Another great way to introduce your child to the wonderful world of tea is to give him his very own child-friendly tea set. Children’s tea sets have come a long way from delicate china in floral patterns. Green Toys Tea Set, made from FDA approved food-grade recycled milk containers, is a neutral tea set made especially for little ones. It’s durable, non-toxic and completely child-friendly. Your little ones will love having their very own tea set, complete with a tea pot, 4 cups with saucers and spoons, a sugar bowl and milk dish.
Tea can be a great and healthy alternative to sugary juices and soft drinks. Adding pediatrician-approved teas to your children’s diets now will help them build a taste for it that will benefit them throughout their lives.