Tea warms in cold weather, helps maintain immunity and brings people closer to strangers. But is it possible to give a fragrant drink to a baby in the first year of life? And if so, how many months old should the baby be and which variety should I choose? After all, not every tea is equally useful for adults and children.
Should I give tea to a breastfed baby?
If a mother is breastfeeding, fluid requirements are fully met until the first solid food is introduced, but even then, experts recommend offering plain water if the baby is under seven months old.
However, in some cases, tea is prescribed to improve the functioning of the digestive tract or when the baby has a cold. Thus, the pediatrician may prescribe fennel tea to reduce colic, or a weak solution of chamomile for sore throats when the child is not prone to allergies.
To decide for yourself whether to offer your child tea in the summer, pay attention to the number of wet diapers. If there are less than 6-8 of them, it makes sense to introduce him to one of the drinks offered below.
Offering tea cold or warm depends on the choice of the parents and the reaction of the child, there are children who refuse warm food if they have not previously consumed it.
If the food becomes more solid when switching to the Family Diet, additional fluids will be required – initially about one cup (200 ml) per day. When the transition to adult nutrition is completed, the daily amount of fluid at each meal should be a total of 600-700 ml.
Types and varieties of tea for children of the first year of life
As already mentioned, types such as chamomile or fennel tea help with digestive problems. Other herbal teas are also suitable for babies and promote recovery. In the proposed list, you will find relatively safe options and learn about their beneficial properties.
- Fennel Tea: Suitable for babies and toddlers, it has a slightly sweet taste and is effective against flatulence.
- Chamomile tea: has a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Rooibos tea: a drink originally from Africa contains a large amount of minerals that positively affect health. Due to the antispasmodic effect, it can be used for abdominal pain.
- Anise tea: anise has an expectorant effect, so it is recommended for persistent coughs.
- Fruit tea or compote: any fruit tea for children under one year old can cause an allergic reaction. Compote of apples and rose hips is most suitable.
- Tea with cumin: cumin soothes the stomach, is useful for all kinds of digestive disorders. Especially popular is the tea mixture of fennel, anise and cumin.
Whether babies can drink ginger tea is still a very controversial issue. Ginger stimulates metabolism, the production of gastric and bile juice, on the basis of which, it should not be given to children before the third birthday, or it should be offered in small quantities after consultation with the pediatrician.
Herbal teas are recommended to be given to a child only if he is sick. Tea made from fennel, peppermint and lemon balm should not be drunk every day, the harmful effects on the health of the essential oils contained are not ruled out. It is best to simply alternate tea varieties.
Caffeine and tannins in black and green tea excite the nervous system, so these and other teas containing them should be avoided. The ban also applies to mate tea.
Popular children’s instant teas with added sugar are not recommended, as they can cause early tooth decay, even if the teeth have not yet erupted.
Danger of herbal tea poisoning
Various dried plants are harvested mechanically and sold by the ton in the world market. They are not always checked for the presence of harmful substances with high quality, and in addition, even the minimum dosage with individual intolerance can lead to poisoning.
It is the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in herbal plants that worries experts the most, as babies often drink tea from a bottle throughout the day. These substances are not part of the herbs, but get into the tea preparations through contamination, exerting a carcinogenic effect on the human body and, as expected, disrupt the genetic composition.
Symptoms of poisoning do not appear immediately, constant use increases the risk of damage to the liver and blood vessels.
General recommendations when choosing tea for children of the first year of life
If one of the relatives is allergic to one of the varieties of tea, it should also not be offered to a baby under one year old.
Pay attention to the origin of herbs. Give preference to a personal garden plot or ask your friends to bring some herbs from the dacha if they are in an ecological place – away from the highway, city and factories.
Buying organic children’s tea from the pharmacy without added sugar is encouraged, this type has been proven to contain higher quality ingredients.
- Always pour boiling water over tea. This is the only way to kill all germs.
- Allow the drink to cool to body temperature before giving it to a child, otherwise there is a risk of burns.
- Offer your child tea only for a change or when you feel unwell. Water should remain the number one thirst quencher.
- Children’s tea should not be mixed with fruit juice containing a lot of sugar.
Never use tap water to make tea, which may contain lead, which negatively affects the development of the nervous system.