In short, yes. Children can enjoy tea, but we recommend reading these recommendations to make sure your child has a safe and happy experience (all advice is aimed at children over 6 months of age. Water and milk are the only recommended drinks for infants under 6 months).
You know that whole leaf tea is good for you, so if it’s such a healthy option for you then why not offer it to your child? After all, most drinks promoted to children are full of sugar and artificial flavours. With whole leaf tea you know they’re getting the natural product free of fat, salt, sugar, cholesterol and artificial colours and flavours.
Health benefits of tea for young people
- Whole leaf tea is sugar-free, salt free, fat-free and free from artificial colours and flavours.
- Tea contains catechins which help fight harmful bacteria in the mouth. This helps to keep breath fresh too. Tea also contains fluoride.
- It’s immune-boosting! Those same catechins have anti-viral properties, which help to keep the immune system in tip top condition.
- A Harvard Medical School study showed that green-tea drinkers were at a 31% lower risk of developing cardiovascular ailments. Further studies have shown that many of these ailments often start in childhood.
Basically, all the health benefits tea has for adults apply to children as well.
Children and Caffeine
- Check the caffeine level – You don’t want a hyperactive child! On our website we always make sure to specify high, medium or low caffeine content. Try and avoid the high-caffeine teas. A small amount of caffeine will do no harm. Surprisingly, some green teas contain more caffeine than black teas.
- Steer clear of all tea bags that look like they have dust in rather than whole leaves. The caffeine leaches out of the dust faster than it does with whole leaves. These dusty varieties are also more likely to taste bitter to your child.
- If the tea contains caffeine, limit intake to 5 cups per week as this can affect iron absorption.
- Cold brewing tea will reduce the caffeine content.
- Brewing for a shorter time will reduce the caffeine content.
- Look for caffeine-free teas. These are more common among herbal and fruit blends.
- Studies showing the negative effects of caffeine on children relate to high doses. A 10-year-old would have to drink 160 mg per day of caffeine (four to six cups of bagged hot tea). This is reduced to 2 cups for toddlers.
See our blog on caffeine for more insight into tea and caffeine. It’s super interesting… we promise!
How can children drink tea?
In our experience, children tend to enjoy these:
- Cold-brew teas – these are less bitter than the hot brew of the same tea. They also have less caffeine and more antioxidants.
- Cranberry rose sencha – this is a popular tea blend for children
- Fruit and herbal blends – these are packed with additional health benefits and taste great!
- Iced tea – it’s always good to have a jug in the fridge.
- Tea-infused iced lollies – because why not?!
It’s also worth making the effort to make a pot and share it with your child. Tea is a great way to strengthen bonds.
If you have any questions about tea just pop a note in the comments or drop us a line via the comment form!
Important: Make sure you follow the usual advice from health professionals with regards to food safety and please always make sure the tea is an appropriate temperature before giving it to a young child! If you are unsure about any of this information, or if your child has specific health needs then please speak to a medical professional before changing your child’s diet.