Tea is more than just a drink in most homes; it has become a staple in several family and social gatherings.
There is always something soothing, refreshing, and just comforting about a cup of tea. As parents, you might love one in the morning or at noon with a dessert.
If you are looking for an alternative to giving children juice, teas are the perfect drink substitute.
However, with toddlers and young children, there are certain factors you need to consider before you give them tea.
Even though drinking tea has become a part of your daily lives, is it acceptable to let your toddlers drink it?
Here is everything you should know about choosing and preparing teas for toddlers, as well as some safety concerns you may want to consider.
The Health Benefits of Toddlers Drinking Tea
Are you looking for a quick solution to your toddler’s cold?
Warm tea will certainly help soothe their sniffles and come in handy in treating most of their sicknesses— while also providing some comfort to your kids.
Here are three benefits of introducing tea to your toddlers’ diet.
It Helps Reduce Their Anxiety Levels
Most children are prone to anxiety because of the underdevelopment of their reasoning and understanding capabilities.
A cup of recommended tea from your child’s nutritionist is hydrating, and aids relax babies’ nervous system, which in turn reduces their anxiety levels.
It Helps with Common Toddler Problems
Nausea is common in toddlers because their immune system is still developing. Hence, little children are very prone to constipation, colic, fever, and nausea.
For decades now, parents have been using hot tea to relieve toddlers from common problems like the flu, sore throat, and coughing.
Giving warm tea is also an excellent solution to nausea, stomach pain, and constipation.
The tea improves your toddler’s bowel movement, keeps their throat moist, and reduces irritation and discomfort.
If your toddler has a fever, some herbal tea blends have anti-inflammatory properties that will suppress the infection caused by germs and bacterial microbes.
Most Teas are a Rich Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your toddlers by warding off the harmful free radicals that attack the healthy cells in their bodies.
Free radicals can result in dangerous health concerns, such as heart diseases.
When your little one consumes tea with milk, it provides their body with calcium and flavonoid intakes, which is beneficial for their growth.
Feeding tea to your baby is a perfect way to ensure the development of healthy bones and teeth.
The Cons of Serving Toddlers Tea
Tea is made of compounds, called polyphenols, that have an iron affinity, making it harder for toddler’s bodies to absorb the mineral.
Since iron is essential for children’s brain development, a deficiency can result in the late development of your child’s brain, tiredness, anemia, and lethargy.
Iron deficiency may mean they reach developmental milestones late for small children, as iron is vital for brain development.
Most dentists also emphasize the potential of tea staining your toddler’s teeth due to the ingredient—tannin.
Serving tea, especially green tea, to toddlers can reduce their body’s absorption of thiamine. A deficiency of this mineral in children’s bodies causes beriberi.
Beriberi is a disorder of a toddler’s nervous system that causes your baby’s limbs’ weakness and destruction of their sensory perceptions.
Since caffeine is the main component of most teas, it is not suitable for toddlers as it tends to ruin their likelihood of getting a good night’s rest.
Another detriment is that a toddler’s liver and kidney are not fully developed to process some tea ingredients.
So, when you serve a cup of tea to your baby, you potentially make them more susceptible to the effects of these ingredients, whether good or bad.
How Safe is Tea for Toddlers?
When considering the safest type of tea for your little one, it is crucial to look closely at the ingredient list.
Most teas contain caffeine, a stimulant, which is not recommended for toddlers or any child under age 12.
Hence, the need to avoid teas with caffeine listed as an ingredient because it will alter your baby’s sleep pattern and lead to hyperactivity.
If you notice your little one exhibiting hyperactivity or tiredness to the brink of exhaustion, then it is best not to give any form of tea to your child.
Although teas are ruled safe for toddlers, your child’s allergies are another factor that would make the tea unsafe for them.
Most toddlers may be allergic to the ingredients and herbs included in tea, which will result in difficulty breathing and swelling of their face, mouth, and other body parts.
Hence, immediately you suspect an allergic reaction or have any concerns regarding toddler tea, contact your child’s pediatrician.
Other unsafe signs of tea to toddlers are lack of focus, insomnia, and restlessness. If your baby does not display any of these symptoms after taking tea, it is safe.
When toddlers start exploring food more and are at the age where they need various nutrients in their diet, you should introduce tea.
If your toddler enjoys tea, then taking it in moderation one a day or per week will certainly not harm them at all.
However, always consult with your child’s pediatrician to confirm specific tea blends and brews.
Regardless of what the tea label says, the pediatrician will give you an idea if the tea’s safe for your baby’s consumption.
You will also learn if the tea will interact with any medication your toddler is taking, an allergy, or any other conditions they have.
Moreover, it is recommended to wait for three days between any new meal added to your child’s diet to know the cause of any probable allergic reaction.
Finally, ensure that tea serving to toddlers is always a supervised activity, and do not give children tea in a bottle or Sippy cup.
Serving toddlers sweetened tea via a bottle or Sippy cup increases their risk of tooth decay. The tea gets direct contact with their teeth, which makes bacteria more likely to breed.