Written by Ambili Kartha
Tea is an extremely popular beverage not only in India but the world over. For most of us, the day starts with a hot cup of tea and sometimes ends with it too. And we justify the saying “anytime is tea time” with our love for this amazing beverage. If you have toddlers in your home, you might have noticed them getting interested and curious about the contents of your cup and wanting to give it a try. So, what can you do as a parent when this situation comes up? Is tea for toddlers safe? Can you allow them to try tea once in a way? Are there any risks associated with giving tea to toddlers? This article has everything you need to know before introducing tea to your little one.
Is your little champ suffering from sore throat, cough, and cold? A warm, refreshing liquid can certainly give some relief from these problems. And what better option than a cup of hot tea!! Though some types of tea have multiple benefits for toddlers, you should consider a few things before offering tea to your child. You must know about the types of tea that are good for them and how much or how frequently you can allow them to drink. In this article, we are going to cover all these points.
As parents, we avoid giving tea to the toddlers, and avoiding it is recommended too. But when your stubborn toddler demands, you yield and give a small sip, which, later on, becomes a habit. Therefore, it is important to know the ingredients of the tea you are giving to your toddler. The black and green tea leaves contain caffeine, which is a stimulant and not recommended for kids under 12 years of age. Such teas may cause sleep problems, increase urine output, and even decrease the level of sodium and potassium in toddlers.
Herbal teas are considered safe and a good option for toddlers. These teas are generally free of caffeine. According to a report by the National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs), drinking herbal tea in moderation is beneficial for your toddler’s health. On the other hand, NCCIH says that green tea has caffeine in it, and therefore, you should limit the consumption to once or twice a week for your young toddler.
Studies reveal that herbal teas do not contain stimulating agents and are beneficial as well as safe for children. Let us look at some of the best herbs to safely make tea for toddlers.
This herb can cure gastric problems, provide relief from gas pain, and is even beneficial in colic. It is also useful for cough and cold and gives relief from respiratory problems. But the root of this herb has a strong flavor and your child may not be keen to taste this.
Cardamom is also safe and beneficial for kids. A glass of warm water with cardamom pods or powder works amazingly for headaches, common cough and cold, digestion problems, and stomach pains.
Ginger is a common kitchen ingredient, and we all know the good properties of this root. It also improves digestion. It has an amazingly positive effect on nausea and vomiting. The anti-inflammatory properties of this root ae helpful for kids who suffer from indigestion and related issues. Though it has numerous health-good properties, the spicy flavor may not attract your toddler. Too much ginger can cause heartburn problems and must be avoided. To prepare ginger tea, you can add grated ginger to a cup of boiling water, add some honey, and lemon juice for flavor and serve it to your little one.
This herb is used as a calming agent and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile tea is good for the digestive system of toddlers. Moderate consumption helps relieve stomach pain, improves the functioning of the digestive system, resolves gastric issues, and promotes sound sleep. It has a mild flavor as it comes from the floral part of the plant. Watch out for any allergic reactions from drinking this tea.
This popular herb can cure many seasonal and common diseases like cough and cold, asthma, seasonal fever, diarrhea, and bronchitis. It is found in a flowering plant that grows in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is famous for its beautiful aroma and rich taste.
Peppermint is very useful for preventing some irritating seasonal problems like upset stomach, nausea, bad bowel movement, common cough, and cold, and is even used as a stress-relieving agent. You can give peppermint tea to your toddler in the evening to rejuvenate them and boost their energy level.
Lemon balm is very beneficial to your kid. As the name suggests, it has a lemony flavor, and the aroma is also very soothing. Lemon balm tea often helps with better sleep and reduces anxiety. The antiviral properties of this herb make it excellent for treating seasonal viral fever and cough effectively.
Tea is an amazing beverage for adults, and it also brings some great benefits. But you must be curious about what are the benefits of herbal tea for toddlers. Let’s check those out.
Some types of herbal teas provide relief from stomach-related problems in toddlers. Fennel tea in moderation can be beneficial for toddlers suffering from gastric issues.
Herbal teas are a natural remedy for common cough and cold in toddlers. Moderate consumption of lemon tea, cardamom tea, and mullein tea shows good results in providing relief from seasonal cough and cold.
Babies often suffer from indigestion problems. Teas made with herbs like ginger improve digestion and regularalise bowel movement.
Some herbal teas have anti-inflammatory elements which help your toddlers with inflammation and pain-related issues.
Herbs are considered an excellent remedy to manage sleeping disorders in adults as well as children. Moderate consumption of lemon tea and peppermint tea promotes good sleep and keeps your toddler active.
As we discussed, herbal tea does not contain any caffeine. But that does not mean that this tea is side-effect-free. There is no clear evidence or report which illuminates the side effects of tea made of herbs. Herbal teas may not be suitable for children below. Look out for allergic reactions when you introduce your toddler to anything new, including a new herbal tea.
Prevention is better than cure, and this applies to giving your toddler tea too. You should take a few precautions before giving herbal tea to your little one.
As there is no clear evidence of side effects of herbal tea for toddlers, it is always better to consult your doctor before giving herbal tea to the little champ.
It is a matter of your toddler’s health. So, always buy from a trusted brand. You can be assured of the quality of the product.
Loose tea leaves can carry contaminants. For this reason, always buy tea bags after checking the contents on the label and making sure all the ingredients are safe for your little one.
To get the best benefits, make the tea as directed. Add the tea leaves or tea bag to the boiling water and steep for three to five minutes. That should be enough. Some teas and tea bags must be added to lukewarm water to avoid bitter flavor due to high temperature.
Sugar is not good for your baby’s health. Just avoid adding flavors to the tea to make it tastier. You can serve this tea with sides like cake or cookies.
Use a spoon to feed your baby. Avoid feeding bottles and sippers, as you cannot control the quantity if you use these.
Though tea is considered a harmless beverage for toddlers, the process of preparing tea for toddlers is different from adults. There are many herbal teas available in the market, but to ensure a proper quality product, check the label properly and the contents in it. It is safe to introduce tea to your baby after the age of 8 to 10 months.
If your baby is under the age of 6 months, do not introduce tea. The age recommendation for herbal tea is after they had crossed 8 months.
Tea that does not contain caffeine is preferred for toddlers. Caffeine is a stimulant and should be avoided.
Green tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Therefore, green tea is not suitable for toddlers.
Sugar is not good for toddlers, and therefore, you must not add sugar or artificial sweeteners when making herbal tea for your toddler.
It is generally not recommended for toddlers to drink tea every day due to potential caffeine intake and other considerations.
Babies under 6 months should not drink tea; after that, limited caffeine-free herbal teas might be considered under medical guidance.
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