Can kids have tea?
Can kids have tea? This question often leads to many more.
How old should they be before they have tea?
Will it be too hot?
Does it have caffeine? (and do my kids really need caffeine?)
Will they even drink it if I make it for them?
Are there tannins in this tea?
This last point is the one that is most important when thinking about giving your children tea, here's why.
Tannins CAN effect the absorption of iron through some foods. This can be a particular problem if you lead a vegan or vegetarian life style as it effects plant based iron sources the most. But fear not! There are lots of options and ways to ensure that tannins don't interfere with iron absorption.
First of all, tannins are found naturally in a large variety of food and drink and may already be a part of your child's diet (if strawberries or chocolate are on the menu, then so are tannins!) The difference with tea is that the tannin concentration varies with each cup, the longer you steep your tea, the higher the concentration of tannin. So to avoid high levels of tannin in your tea, ensure you aren't over brewing!
Different teas also contain different levels of tannins.
Black tea: ~13-14%
Green tea: ~3-5%
Herbal tea: ~0.01%
If you're thinking about giving your child tea it is best to start out with a herbal blend, we found the ones that were enjoyed most were those that went well with milk, Honey bush and Red bush. These are naturally sweet so really appeal to kids taste buds!
Of course some children want to be JUST like the grown ups around them ( my own daughter always asks for a kids version of whatever I'm drinking). To keep it as low caffeine and tannin as possible I take the teabag from my own cup (or the used leaves from the teapot in most cases!) and reuse them. This produces a much weaker tea with lower levels of caffeine and tannin making it more kid friendly.
Something else to think about when making tea for children is how HOT it is. Always test your child's tea first to ensure it isn't too hot for their little tongues.
To sum up; Yes. Children CAN have a wide variety of teas, but you should always use your judgement and knowledge as their carer to decide which, if any, is best for them.
Here is a list of ours teas I most recommend for kids:
AND a discount code on all herbal blends: KIDS10
Happy tea sipping!