TISANES FOR TOTS
Choosing the right teas for your child.
“Peter lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.” Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
In all of children’s literature, nothing quite matches the enchanting watercolors and amusing stories of Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” a rascal of a rabbit prone to creating havoc along with Duchess the Dog and Ribby the Cat in Mr. MacGregor’s garden. After a day of such wild adventures, Peter Rabbit came dragging home (shoeless!) where his wise woman of a mother knew exactly what to do: she fed him a tablespoon of chamomile tea, and off to dreamland he went.
Of all the possible tisanes, perhaps none is as beneficial, safe*, and delicious for children, as chamomille and the finest of these golden flowers come from Egypt and offer a silkiness to its liquor, a pleasant fragrance, and its yellow to golden brown brew certainly gives the impression it is a “tea.” It tastes wonderful along with all sorts of tea sandwiches from ham to cheese to peanut butter and jelly and, of course, all types of cookies.
“I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter! 'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time. But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.” Tales of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
Peppermint is a bright-tasting tisane for children as its flavor is generally familiar in candies and “mints” they may have eaten. Peppermint, and Spearmint tisanes are readily available and they’re particularly good for upset tummies. They are naturally strong in flavor so to the uninitiated, consider watering the brew down a bit if introducing this tisane to the uninitiated. If serving with tea time treats, serve plain choices like shortbreads or scones, although chocolate makes a nice contrast to the bit of the mint.
Rooibos is from the bark of the South African red bush tree and contains no caffeine. Our Honeybush and Rooibos teas are most like the flavor (and contain the antioxidants!) of true tea, and are excellent choices for children who want something as grownup as possible. Excellent with all foods. Many of our selections contain kid-friendly flavors like honey or vanilla.
Not sure what to choose? We’ve made a quartet of kid-friendly tea gifts, one with its own teapot and cups, sure to enchant any child (or adult!)
All About Herbals:
As a general rule, most true teas, from the Camellia sinensis plant, have traces of three xanthines: theine, theobromine, and caffeine, well-known stimulants which may not be suitable for very young children. Herbals are all stimulant free except Yerba Mate which contains mateine.
One way to appease the “plea for tea, please” is to put a few drops to a teaspoon of true tea in a cup and fill the rest with milk. On the other hand, some families have given young children sips, then small cups, of tea for generations with no ill effects. When in doubt, consult grandma!
Some of our herbal flavors contain quite sophisticated ingredients like ginger or lemongrass that might be too strong for children, however, we know our adult customers love them. When shopping for herbals suitable for kids, look for our fruit forward blends, we have a lot of fun options! Check our the whole list here!
*The only caution about chamomile is if your child is allergic to ragweed. If so, do not use.
Sweetener options are many, and kids love sugary additions, however, we recommend honey with herbals. ¼ to ½ teaspoon per cup should be “just right.”
“If I have done anything, even a little, to help small children enjoy honest, simple pleasures, I have done a bit of good.” Beatrix Potter