Can babies be given tea? It is one of the most common questions that parents ask these days! Read the article to know the answer.
Babies are sensitive and cannot be fed normal food. Caution needs to be exercised while feeding new foods to babies. Tea is a common drink that parents wonder if their babies can consume. Learn can babies be given tea by reading further in this article.
Can babies be given tea?
Tea is one of the most widely drunk beverages around the world. It has a significant number of health benefits but contains caffeine proven to be harmful in excess. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it affects the central nervous system. 100 g of tea has 11g of caffeine. Considering this, can babies be given tea? According to doctors, tea is safe to give to babies who are six months and older but in small doses and it’s not advisable to make it a regular habit.
As per the guidelines of the American Academy of Paediatrics, the restricted amount of daily caffeine intake recommended according to age is given below:-
4-6 years old – 45mg
7 – 9 years old – 62.5mg
10 – 12 years old – 85mg
The AAP also states that there is no said safe threshold’ for children below 12 years of age when it comes to consuming caffeinated drinks.
Reasons to avoid giving tea to babies:-
It is best to avoid giving tea to babies as any sugared drink can cause obesity, tooth decay, and other illnesses. Tea has less nutrient value compared to flavored milk and fruit juices. It can cause stomach issues and heartburn in the delicate digestive system of babies. Caffeine is a diuretic and may cause babies to urinate more often. It also causes loss of calcium through urine which may affect bone health in babies.
The caffeine in tea acts as an appetite suppressant and may cause your baby to refuse nutritious food. Children become hyperactive and have trouble sleeping when they consume tea. Caffeine also causes a rise in blood pressure and causes feelings of anxiety.
Babies can instead be given herbal teas like peppermint, fennel, or chamomile teas which help soothe digestion and relieve colic. Ginger tea relieves nausea and treats an upset stomach. Cardamom tea alleviates stomach ache, eases digestion, and provides relief from headaches and cough.
After all the above stated points against tea, tea can have some benefits in short-term consumption, especially if your child is down with fever, cold, cough, or has a body ache. The homeopathy system of medicine advocates tea for children down with flu though not all doctors share this view.
Why should children not drink tea?
According to experts in child nutrition, tea does not figure in healthy drinks to serve a child. In addition to the above-stated reasons why babies should not be given tea, tea contains tannins which decrease the body’s ability to absorb iron from food. This may cause iron deficiency in children who consume tea. Tea can also cause restlessness, headaches, and dizziness in children. If children get into the habit of drinking tea, they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they wish to stop.
Children can be introduced to tea after the age of 5 but only occasionally. Regular tea should be watered down, brewed very light, and served with more milk. Use a very small quantity of tea leaves and avoid steeping them in water for more than 3 minutes. It is best to serve the tea lukewarm or chilled. Tea can be served unsweetened or sweetened with honey.
However, it is advisable to serve them herbal teas, which have health benefits. Green tea is a better option for children as it is rich in antioxidants and protects against illnesses. It, too, is best consumed only in moderation.
You’re allowed to give tea to your child but only in moderation to keep them away from all the harmful consequences of consuming tea.