Kids are naturally curious and often want to do the same things that the adults around them do, from trying on the clothes of their mothers and fathers to trying the food and drinks that they drink. For example, there are drinks that adults are clear to us that we cannot give to the little ones, such as alcohol or a well-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 around the world and with great health benefits. At Kidsrush.com we answer the following question: can kids drink green tea? or not and we explain from what age it is safe to take it, as well as which are the most suitable infusions for them. Take note!
Composition of green tea
First, to understand if this hot and healthy drink for adults is really suitable for the little ones, or it is 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 the same substance, only they are called differently depending on whether they are in coffee or tea or other similar plants.
- Catechin polyphenols: epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate. The polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate 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, vitamin B, malic, chlorogenic, phenylacetic, gallic, oxalic, cinnamic, salicylic, lauric, and linoleic. We recommend you to read another article from kidsrush.com which is about Vitamins for Kids.
- Minerals: sulfur, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, and potassium.
- Flavonoids: rutin and quercetin.
- Carvacrol, geraniol, timol.
Read Also: The Value of Vitamin E for Kids
Can kids drink green tea?
Now that we have seen that this type of tea contains caffeine or theine, we can already think that for this reason, kids should NOT drink green tea. Although there are various medical opinions about it, the one that has the most weight in the scientific community is that it is not a suitable drink for the little ones because it is too exciting, altering the heart rate and causing other effects that are too strong for a child’s body. Kids are more sensitive than older adults to this highly stimulating alkaloid substance.
Among the side effects of green tea in kids, or of any other drink that contains theine or caffeine, are the following:
- Punctual 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 serious.
Thus, this is why any of the drinks that contain caffeine, whether teas, coffees, or soft drinks, are not recommended for kids. For example, in the case of hot beverages that have theine or caffeine, this is the order from least amount to more amount of this component and, therefore, in order from least effect to greatest effect in this sense, taking 1 cup as a measure…
- Red tea: less than 1 mg.
- White tea: 1 mg.
- Green tea: between 8 and 16 mg, depending on the kind of green tea.
- Oolong or blue tea: between 10 and 55 mg, depending on the type of blue tea it is.
- Black tea: from 25 to 100 mg, depending on what black tea we drink.
- Coffee: between 60 and 200 mg, depending on the type of coffee.
At what age kids can drink green tea?
Knowing that this drink is not recommended for kids, it is normal to wonder at what age you can drink green tea, to be clear when we can start giving teas to our kids. The truth is that the age at which you can start drinking 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 kids under 10 years of age drink green tea or other types of teas, so it is from the age of 10 when you can begin to drink tea moderately, in little quantity and infrequently. However, it is most advisable for the adult responsible for the child to 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 kids
If you dare to look for other alternatives of hot natural drinks for your kids 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 beginning to be something older (pre-teens and teens), then take note of which infusions kids can take:
As it only contains dried fruits, berries, and in some cases a rosehip and hibiscus base, they are suitable for kids. It can be taken hot to warm up and relax or in summer, cold and as part of a snack.
In this regard we recommend you to read Learn which fruits are safe for babies.
Rooibos for kids
The infusion of rooibos or red bush is one of the most famous today 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 little ones and is even recommended for pregnant and lactating women.
Chamomile for kids
It is one of the most beneficial infusions for kids, as it has relaxing effects, relieves digestive problems, and helps regulate temperature, and even lowers low-grade fever. If mint is added, it tends to be liked more because of its fresh flavor, since it is not recommended to add sugar to improve the flavor in the case of giving the infusion to kids, and it helps to enhance the digestive and calming effects and to improve respiratory problems.
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