Children are curious by nature and often want to do the same as the adults around them, from trying on their mothers’ and fathers’ clothes to taste the food and drinks they drink.
For example, there are drinks that adults clearly cannot give to children, such as alcohol or strong coffee, but there are others that make us doubt a lot, such as some teas and infusions.
This is the case with green tea, a very popular drink worldwide and with great health benefits. We answer the following question: can children drink green tea or not and explain from what age it is safe to take it, as well as what are the most suitable infusions for your little ones. Take note!
Green Tea Composition
First, in order to understand whether this hot and healthy drink for adults is really suitable for children, or not, it is necessary to know what it contains. These are the main components of green tea:
- Alkaloids: these are caffeine or theine and theobromine. Caffeine and theine are exactly the same substance, they are just called differently depending on whether they are in coffee or tea, or other similar plants.
- Catechin polyphenols: epicatechin, epicatechin galata, epigallocatechin galata. The polyphenol called epigallocatechin galata is the most antioxidant and is the one that gives this property to green tea.
- Amino acids: such as theanine, valine, asparagine, arginine, glycine, lysine, leucine, and histidine.
- Acids: such as ascorbic or vitamin C, nicotinic or vitamin B, caffeic, malic, chlorogenic, phenylacetic, gallic, oxalic, cinnamic, salicylic, lauric, and linoleic.
- Flavonoids: rutin and quercetin.
Can Children Drink Green Tea?
Now that we have seen that this type of tea contains caffeine or theine, we can think that for this reason, children should NOT drink green tea.
Although there are several medical opinions on the subject, the one that has more weight in the scientific community is that it is not a suitable drink for children because it is too exciting, alters the heart rate, and causes other effects too strong for a child’s body. Children are more sensitive than adults to this highly stimulating alkaloid substance.
Among the side effects of green tea in children, or of any other beverage containing theine or caffeine, are the following:
- Occasional hyperactivity.
- Headaches and migraines.
Of course, these effects will depend on the amount of green tea and the age of the child and may be more or less severe.
Thus, for this reason, none of the beverages containing caffeine, whether they are teas, coffees, or soft drinks, are recommended for children. For example, in the case of hot drinks containing theine or caffeine, this is the order of less quantity to more quantity of this component and, therefore, in order of lesser effect to greater effect in this sense, taking one cup as a measure.
- Red tea: less than 1 mg.
- White tea: 1 mg.
- Green tea: between 8 and 16 mg, depending on the type of green tea.
- Oolong or blue tea: between 10 and 55 mg, depending on the type of blue tea.
- Black tea: 25 to 100 mg, depending on the type of black tea.
- Coffee: between 60 and 200 mg, depending on the type of coffee.
At What Age Can Children Drink Tea?
Knowing that this drink is not recommended for small children, it is normal to wonder at what age green tea can be drunk, and to be clear about when we can start giving teas to our children. The truth is that the age at which you can start drinking it may depend on the type of tea (if it has less or more caffeine), the amount and frequency, and the general health of the child.
However, as a guideline, it is considered that it is not recommended that children under 10 years of age drink green tea or other types of teas, so it is from the age of 10 that you can start drinking tea in moderation, in small quantities, and infrequently.
However, the adult responsible for the child should discuss it previously with the pediatrician or doctor to have a clearer and more appropriate response to the health of the child in particular.
The Best Infusions for Children
If you are encouraged to look for other alternatives of natural hot drinks for your children because you have seen that green tea and other teas are not the best options to give to the little ones or to give it often to those who are already starting to be somewhat older (pre-adolescents and adolescents), then take note of what infusions children can drink:
As they contain only dried fruits, berries, and in some cases a base of rosehip and hibiscus, they are suitable for little ones. They can be drunk hot to warm up and relax or in summer, chilled and as part of a snack.
Rooibos for Children
The infusion of rooibos or red bush is one of the most famous nowadays and does not contain any caffeine, but it is rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid, flavonoids, potassium, calcium, and other healthy elements. It is totally suitable for children and is even recommended for pregnant and lactating women.
Chamomile for Children
It is one of the most beneficial infusions for children, as it has relaxing effects, relieves digestive problems, and helps regulate temperature and even lower fever.
If mint is added, it is usually liked more for its fresh flavor, since it is not recommended to add sugar to improve the flavor in the case of giving the infusion to children, and it helps to enhance the digestive and calming effects and to improve respiratory problems.
Itsnevernotteatime.com cannot and does not contain medical/health advice. The medical/health information is provided for general and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.