Kid-Friendly Tea Options
The image that tea often evokes is a parent reading the morning paper or a group of adults chatting around a recently cleared dinner table. Rarely do we think of tea and imagine children, unless the tea is an invisible brew in tiny cups, clutched in the paws of various stuffed animals. Most kids' exposure to quality tea drinks is limited because caffeine isn't recommended for youngsters. Fortunately, there are a number of caffeine-free tisane alternatives that children can enjoy.
Tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. Tisanes are brewed similarly, and are often comprised of fruits, herbs, and other plants (but are not actually considered to be "tea").
Fruit Herbals Tisanes made solely from fruit are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and are an excellent, sweet alternative to fruity teas and juices. Since the fruit pieces are steeped and removed, there is often very little sugar left behind but the flavor is still there. A cupful of a fruit tisane can be as tasty as that of a juice box, without the artificial ingredients and unnecessary calories.
Rooibos and Honeybush Rooibos and Honeybush are two herbals that are rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. These naturally caffeine-free tisanes are cultivated in South Africa and were first introduced as a substitute for black tea during World War II, when tea supplies from Japan and China became scarce. Both are rich and slightly sweet, and boast a multitude of health benefits. Rooibos is high in antioxidants and minerals, and is also an anti-spasmodic (useful in easing stomach cramps and colic). Honeybush boasts similar properties with the added benefit of being an excellent expectorant (great for upper respiratory issues).
Other Popular Tisanes A vast number of other plants are often used in herbal blends. The list includes, but is certainly not limited to, chamomile, lemongrass, and many members of the mint family. These are often steeped longer than most teas, and create soothing brews for many ailments. Chamomile is a mild sedative and may be an effective anti-anxiety treatment, while peppermint is excellent for combatting nausea and stomach discomfort.
There are many child-friendly tisane options out there, and each offer benefits for the smaller members of our families. Healthful and flavorful, tisanes can be a wonderful alternative to sugary drinks, or a nice respite from the monotony of milk and water in sugar-free homes. We have some wonderful tisane blends in our Tree House and Story Time sets that are great for kids or the young at heart.