Is Serving Tea and Coffee Good for Your Child’s Health?

Is Serving Tea and Coffee Good for Your Child's Health?

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Here’s the truth: We all love to drink tea and coffee. Our day starts with a cup of chai or coffee and sometimes ends with it too. And while we enjoy that warm cup of our favourite beverage, our kids observe us silently and look at us with a hope that we will let them have a sip of that heavenly beverage. On days, you will want to give in and let your child drink chai, but is it a wise decision? Find out if you can give your child tea or coffee.

Is it Safe for a Child to Drink Tea?

Tea is usually not recommended to kids, but on days when your child is being stubborn, you can let him drink a cup of tea. But stick to green tea or herbal tea. Green tea is a healthy beverage; it contains catechins, which are natural antioxidants and help in killing germs, improving concentration levels, dealing with cavities and in maintaining the health of the heart.

Green tea can benefit your child’s health greatly but he should drink it in moderation once or twice a week. As green tea contains caffeine, you should give it your child occasionally and in limited amounts. You can give caffeine-free green tea to your child.

How to Make Tea for Your Children

If you plan to give tea to your child on days he is tempted, we suggest that you make it as healthy as possible. Here’s a recipe for tea that you can try:

  • Boil half a glass of water in a saucepan.
  • When the water is boiling, add a sliced cube of ginger and a pinch of cardamom powder to it.
  • Add in a teaspoon of tea, allowing it to steep for about 2-3 minutes.
  • In case the tea seems to be strong, do dilute it by adding more water
  • Adding milk or not is a mere choice, but remember to serve lukewarm tea to your kids rather than hot tea.

Health Benefits of Tea for Kids

Your child may benefit from drinking tea in the following ways:

1. Drinking Tea May Help Lower Anxiety Levels

Children are prone to anxiety as their reasoning and understanding capabilities are not that developed. Cutthroat competition and academic pressure may sometimes make children anxious. A cup of tea once in a while can relax them and help lower their stress levels.

Oat straw tea and chamomile tea usually help with anxiety. You can give these to your child after checking with a nutritionist.

2. It May Help Treat Constipation

If your child is constipated, you can give him a warm cup of tea. It will help him relax and help in normal bowel movement. Flaxseed tea is considered the best solution for treating constipation in kids.

3. It May Provide Relief From Fever

Drinking tea can also help cope with fever. If your child has a fever, you can give him a cup of tea. Adding a slice of ginger and 2-3 cardamom pods to the tea can help him heal quickly. Some other types of tea that you can offer to your kids include peppermint, lemon tea or chamomile.

4. It May Treat Nausea

An upset stomach and vomiting are major symptoms of nausea. Nausea is common in children as their immune system is still developing and hence they are more prone to sickness or nausea. Giving ginger tea can help treat nausea.

5. It May Cure Cold and Cough

Tea can also help with cough and common cold not only in adults but also in children. Be it a bad throat or a bad cough; tea is a common solution to both the problems.

Slippery elm tea or marshmallow tea are best teas given to children suffering from a cough. In case your child also has nasal congestion, prefer serving them coltsfoot or peppermint tea.

6. It May Help Treat Colic

Severe stomach pain could be colic which is very common among children. Serving lukewarm tea is a good solution for treating colic in children and the best teas for treating colic include peppermint tea and chamomile tea.

When Should You Start Giving Tea to Your Child?

As te contains caffeine, it’s best that you don’t give it to your child. The sugar present in the tea may also prove to be harmful to children. If you want to give tea, you should give herbal teas only. Children between the ages of 4 and 10 should only be served herbal teas as it contains no caffeine. Children between the ages of 12 and 13 can be served black tea, green tea, or milk tea.

Herbal Teas That Are Safe for Kids

There exist a great variety of herbal teas that are good for kids, some of which include:

1. Fennel Tea

Fennel is considered to be a safe ingredient for children as it provides relief from colic and respiratory issues. It also treats digestion problems in kids.

Fennel Tea

How to Make

Put a spoonful of fennel seeds into water and boil them for about 10-15 minutes. Once the water boils and its colour changes completely, filter it and let the tea cool before serving it to your little one.

2. Cardamom Tea

Cardamom tea helps provide relief from digestion problems, lowers stomach pain, reliefs a headache and also decreases phlegm and cough. You can give cardamom tea to your child.

How to Make

Boil a glass of water and add some cardamom pods or cardamom powder to it. Give it a stir and let it boil. Strain and serve.

3. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea can help treat gastric ulcers, digestion problems, nausea, and cold and cough in children. You can give this tea to your child.

How to Make

Take a small piece of ginger and grate it. Add the grated ginger in some water and let it boil. Let it boil for about 5-7 minutes, then add lemon juice and a spoonful of honey. Let the tea cool before you serve it to your kid.

4. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea offers a host of health benefits to children. It helps relieve stomach ache and cure digestion problems, gastric problems, insomnia, common cold, etc.

CHAMOMILE TEA

How to Make

Boil a cup of water in a saucepan then add two teaspoons of chamomile flowers in it. Cover with a lid and let the mixture boil for about 10 minutes. Strain and give it to your child once it cools.

5. Mullein Tea

Mullein tea helps provide relief from cough and treats pneumonia, colic, diarrhoea, fever, common cold and even bronchitis.

How to Make

Boil a glass of water with one spoonful of mullein in it for about 10 minutes. Filter out the leaves and serve the tea to your kid once it cools.

Is It Safe for Your Child to Drink Coffee?

You should not let your child drink coffee. The caffeine content in coffee is not at all safe for a child if he consumes it in excess. The effects of caffeine on children are generally negative and that is why it is not a recommended beverage for children.

Why Do Kids Prefer Drinking Coffee?

Drinking coffee has become a trend, and most kids mistake it as a substitute for milk, which is not true. Moreover coffee tastes good which is another reason why children prefer drinking coffee.

Reasons Why Your Child Should Not Drink Coffee

The caffeine present in coffee can cause affect your child’s health negatively. Stated below are problems that may arise if your child drinks coffee in excessive amounts.

1. Drinking Coffee May Result in Insomnia

Coffee contains caffeine which acts as a stimulant and makes one feel more alert by blocking a sleep-inducing chemical in the brain. Thus if your child drinks coffee, he may feel alert and may stay awake for long. Kids require a good amount of sleep, but if they drink coffee, they may end up staying awake.

Drinking Coffee May Result in Insomnia

2. It May Affect the Bone Health

Coffee boosts urine creation which in turn leads to a lack of calcium in the body and thus affect the bone health.

3. It Lowers Appetite in Children

Caffeine acts as an appetite suppressant and can negatively affect a child’s health by replacing nutrient-rich foods from his diet. Your growing child needs balanced nutrition so make sure you don’t give coffee to your child.

4. It May Result in Cavities

Coffee is generally considered as acidic which may lead to tooth cavities and also weakening of enamel, which in turn leads to oral health problems in kids.

5. It May Lead to Hyperactivity

Coffee is harmful to kids as it a hyper stimulant which leads to hyperactivity, lack of concentration, anxiety, and restlessness, which are not good at such a tender age.

Avoid giving caffeine to your children as it could lead to issues like bone loss and insomnia. Tea is the lesser evil of the two and if you must, stick to giving them herbal and green tea only.

Also Read: Sinusitis In Children – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment