I recently wrote a piece revolving around the idea of drinking tea and it bringing happiness to your life. As I was proofreading it, I got to thinking about the fact that tea isn’t just for mommy’s sanity. It’s for children’s sanity (and health) too.
So, here I am- about to blab to you guys all of my feelings on tea and why it’s better than juice. Get ready to hear why you should be using tea instead of juice, what teas you should have your children try, how to brew the tea, and how to go about switching to tea. You’re welcome.
Our daughter has not tried juice. She will not try juice for a long time. She will be two next month. Are we crazy parents? Eh, maybe. But really, we’re not doing it to be mean.
If you break it down, even the most organic of juices have a ton of sugar in them. Sure, it’s fruit sugar, but is it still good for your little ones to be consuming so much of? Really, it’s not. The goodness and wholeness of fruit isn’t put into juice. The pulp is often left out, and you’re left with a sugary drink with basically no nutrition. Maybe a few vitamins here and there, but when you break it down, it isn’t exactly the best choice of beverage.
It doesn’t matter how you look at it. Juice isn’t pretty. A nice treat once in a while, maybe. A daily thing, no.
“But what will I give my child who refuses to drink water? He must drink something!,” you say.
Yes. This is true. Hydration is important.
But why turn to sugary beverages, organic and natural or not, when you could turn to tea? Tea is similarly flavored to many fruit juices you can find in the store, plus it’s packed with all sorts of vitamins and antioxidants. Seriously. None of the sugar, all of the benefits you could possibly cram into a beverage. Better than water, better than juice.
Think about it.
Do some research. Search your local grocery store. Pick a tea your children might enjoy the taste of and go from there!
When picking out teas for my daughter, I go for caffeine-free versions and fruity flavors. Her absolute favorite is raspberry tea. It’s great for boosting the immune system, can help regulate blood sugars, works to maintain a healthy heart, and is rich in antioxidants. We just throw in a bag into a pitcher of water and let it sit overnight. In the morning, with just one pouch, we have a full pitcher full of great flavored tea the whole family loves!
Other great options include:
Tazo Tea Passion – A fruity flavor that’s great warm or iced! Hibiscus, lemongrass, mango, and passion fruit meld together for a tropical taste any age will love. It’s got a ton of flavor and one or two bags is enough for a full pitcher. Plus, it’s a pretty pink. Available mainly at Starbucks, but also on Amazon and various other retailers.
Tazo Calm Chamomile Herbal Tea – Chamomile tea is an awesome tea for before bed. It helps calm toddlers and children alike down in a matter of minutes. Plus, it’s great for mommy too!
Your Tea Organic Chocolate Mint Rooibos Tea – Chocolate and mint? Need I say more? This organic tea is sure to please even the pickiest child. Really! It’s very low in caffeine, packed with nutrients, and is a great alternative for those children who can’t help but stay away from sugary drinks like juice or chocolate milk. Another awesome chocolate mint tea is Tazo’s Cocoa Mint Mate Tea.
When Choosing Your Child’s Tea Make Sure To:
- Check caffeine levels – pick one with little to no caffeine. Decaf is best.
- Pick a flavor similar to one they know and love. It will help the transition from juice to water, if there is one happening.
- Pick one you too will enjoy so you can drink it together. It’s a lot of fun to relax with a nice, warm (or cool) cup of tea with your child!
- Make sure you can brew it how you want (cold, hot, or both).
When Brewing Your Child’s Tea Make Sure To:
- Check the temperature of the water. Make sure it’s lukewarm, or about room temperature if you’re hot brewing. If it’s too hot, pop it in the fridge for a while, add some ice, or throw in some cool water.
- Brew for a limited time if brewing hot. Children generally enjoy weaker teas, so only brew for about 3/4 of the time the box instructs.
- If you’re cold brewing, you can leave the bag in as long as you would like. We do one bag per pitcher overnight.
- If the tea is too strong, add more water.
When Transitioning From Juice (Or Other Beverage) to Juice Make Sure To:
- Introduce it slowly. Give them juice or whatever else their vice is still for a few days, but introduce a cup of tea in replacement of the other beverage once daily. With time, start taking away the other beverage more and replace it with tea as often as possible. Eventually, the switch will happen.
- Be patient. It will take time. For some kids, a lot of time. Don’t worry and certainly don’t give up.
- Try various flavors. Maybe your child isn’t into raspberry tea and needs to try a passion fruit tea instead.
- Make it fun. Have taste-testing games. Try the tea with them. Get creative!
- Add honey if it isn’t sweet enough for your child. Slowly take away the honey if you so choose.
You can do this!