If you’ve been to Japan, you may have seen this sight: a baby with a bottle drinking tea.
In many parts of the world, tea isn’t seen as something suitable for children, much less babies, because it contains caffeine. But could we be wrong? Is tea suitable for children? This Children’s Day, teapasar investigates this issue to determine if you can safely share your love of tea with your little ones.
Now it’s true that you shouldn’t be giving babies caffeinated drinks. The research we’ve seen agrees that it isn’t beneficial to their health. However, what babies in Japan are drinking aren’t normal teas – they’re drinking barley tea (mugicha). Barley tea is caffeine-free and hence suitable for young children and even babies to drink. On that note, most naturally caffeine-free teas, or tisanes, can be great treats for younger children.
For example, The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.’s Chamomile Tea ($19 for 20 pyramid teabags) has wonderful properties which aid with sleep and relaxation, helping to soothe your child to sleep.
Alternatively, Tea Depot has a sweeter fruit tisane – Fruit Basket ($20 for 20 teabags), which, as its name suggests, is a blend of apple pieces, hibiscus, cranberries, sultana raisins, rose-hip peel and raspberry pieces, making it a yummy afternoon treat still full of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Australian Tea Masters has a whole Organic Kids Tea range ($18 for 30g loose tea), specifically catered to the little ones! All teas are blended in Geelong, Australia, and contain 100% organic ingredients. Berry Berry Blast is a delicious fruity blend of rooibos, blueberries, pomegranate, currants and dried apricots. Blueberries and currants are known to have anti-oxidant properties and can also aid in digestion. Currants are also high in Vitamin C which can help improve immunity. Rocket Fuel is a fun herbal blend with a sweet berry aroma and flavour. Honeybush, hibiscus, blueberry and blue pea flower give this tea a deep purple colour. Yum!
Alternatively, you can always view all “Herbal Tisanes” and “Fruit Tisanes” on teapasar.com to find the perfect non-caffeinated tea for your little one.
For other, older children, you can introduce tea to them by giving them lighter teas such as houjicha (check out Parchmen & Co.’s Amber Houjicha, $5 for a 10g sample). Apart from having a gentler flavour which appeal more to kids, these teas tend to be lower in caffeine as well, which makes them more suitable.
From there, you can slowly expand your little one’s tea palate. Start with milder teas that are not excessively strong in terms of taste and astringency, and follow their palate from there. Before you know it, you’ll have a little tea-lover joining you for tea whenever they can.
On behalf of the entire teapasar team, we’d like to wish all kids (and those who are still kids at heart!) a Happy Children’s Day, x.