Kids and Fresh Tea - Is Fresh Leaf Tea Safe for Children?
Author: Millennia TEA’s Official Science Steeper - Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
Should you serve tea to your kid? According to a research review, yes, there may be benefits to including tea in your kid’s day, particularly if it is in exchange for sugary beverages. The review, published in the Nutrition and Food Technology journal, analyzed 60 scientific studies on the wellness effects of tea (made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant). It notes that drinking tea throughout life is a low-calorie, healthy alternative to carbonated soft drinks. The study concludes, tea is a healthy drink to consume throughout life, from childhood (4 years and above) to older age, as habitual tea consumption is associated with better cognitive, immune, gut, and cardiovascular health. Here are some of the best ways to incorporate the health benefits of tea into your children’s days, including what’s the most delicious and nutritious formats.
Best Ways for Kids to Enjoy Fresh Leaf Tea
For kids, after you have steeped your fresh tea leaves to create your cup of tea, toss the steeped leaves in your little ones’ smoothies for a superfood, antioxidant boost. We personally use one serving of our fresh tea leaves in the blender, then divide the smoothie amongst the whole family. There are so many ways you can use the steeped leaves, from popsicles to salad dressings. You can even toss the steeped leaves in soups, stews, pasta sauces, or salsas.
3 Best Kid-Friendly Recipes Using Fresh Tea Leaves
Why is Tea a Healthy Choice of Drink for Kids?
Water is always best, but compared to sugary beverages, a cup of tea offers healthy bioactive compounds, without added sugar or high acidity. Tea contains flavonoids that promote health, including one of the most powerful antioxidants epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is 100x more effective than vitamin C at strengthening the immune system and protecting cells from damage. Tea leaves also contain L-theanine, an amino acid that acts as a regulator for caffeine is thought to be an important contributor to the health benefits associated with tea consumption, including its calming, effective easing of stress. Thanks to fresh tea leaves, kids don’t have to drink a cup of tea to enjoy the benefits of tea. Once steeped, the leaves have a very bland flavour you can hide in all sorts of kitchen creations.
Why Fresh Leaf Tea is Worth Steeping More than Once
STEEP 3x - When steeping our fresh tea leaves, you'll get the majority of the caffeine in your first steeping. Remember you can re-steep the leaves up to 3x! In fact, it’s worth steeping your fresh tea leaves more than once because the antioxidants actually go up on your second and third steeps.
How much Caffeine is in Fresh Tea Leaves?
Our Fresh Tea leaves contain naturally occurring caffeine, (30-50mg per serving) which is roughly the same as the amount found in 1/2 cup of coffee, and similar to what’s found in a serving of milk chocolate.
Sources of Caffeine Kids May Eat
- Chocolate (100% cocoa) – 240 mg/100 g
- Milk Chocolate – 45 mg/100 g
- Soda Pop – 50 mg
- Energy Drinks – 77 mg
- Fresh Tea Leaves – 30-50 mg
Natural sources of caffeine kids tend to consume include milk chocolate (45mg/100g). Synthetic caffeine is added to soda and energy drinks. Energy drinks concern medical professionals as they can contain higher amounts per serving than what naturally occurs in foods, in some cases the equivalent of 5 cups of coffee). Of note, caffeine has anti-inflammatory effects, hence it is present in some types of general pain relief medications.
What is the Safe Caffeine Limit for Children?
The recommended safe caffeine limit for children (ages 12-18) is 100 mg per day, or more specifically 2.5mg/kg of body weight (about two cups of tea or one small coffee per day). For younger children, always use your discretion, and follow your doctor’s recommendations. A review of scientific literature reported caffeine at doses (50 -300mg) does not appear to be harmful to children or adolescents.
Check out our recipes for more kid-friendly ways to incorporate the health benefits of fresh tea leaves into your family’s day.
The safety of ingested caffeine: a comprehensive review. Front Psychiatry 2017; 8:80.
Tea and wellness through life. Nutr Food Tehcnol 2021; Open Access 7(1).