– by Lauren, Certified Tea Sommelier
Is it ok to give your baby tea? All it takes is a quick Google search, and you’ll find plenty or forums debating whether or not giving tea to a baby is appropriate. Now, I’m not talking about giving tea to a newborn – formula or breast milk will keep them well hydrated, and that’s all they need for the first 6 months of life. But once they become old enough for water, why not add variety by giving them nutrient-rich tea, instead of juice?
The main worry for parents seems to be about tea’s caffeine content. There IS caffeine in all types of tea, but choosing decaffeinated tea is not the solution. Decaf teas are often put through harsh chemical processes to extract the caffeine, so you are not benefiting your baby by choosing a decaffeinated tea. There are plenty of naturally caffeine-free teas (known as tisanes or herbals) that are great options for babies. They are sugar-free, calorie-free, and beTeas only carries tisanes containing whole food ingredients and natural or organic flavourings – can we say the same for juice?
There are so many different types of tisanes that are sure to please your baby’s taste buds! Take the time to browse all of the beTeas tisane selections, but here are some of my recommendations (check back often as selections may change each season):
- Rooibos Tisanes: Rooibos is a South African bush, with a high antioxidant and mineral content, that takes very well to blends. For years, the locals have used rooibos teas to soothe colic-y youngsters.
Try: Naked Rooibos (Organic), Rooibos Rose-Berry (Organic), MarketSpice Cinnamon-Orange Rooibos
- Fruit Tisanes: Fruit teas tend to have sweetness to them, because of the natural sugars that are found in the real fruit pieces.
Try: Rose Fruit Passion, Hawaiian Luau
Preparing tea for your little one is simple: just brew it like you would make any other tisane – 1 teaspoon of leaf per 250mL cup, with water off-the-boil. Steep time can be as long or short as you’d like, since tisanes will never get bitter. Once your tisane is done steeping, allow it to cool to room temperature, and let your baby enjoy!
My 6-month-old daughter, Brianna, is about the age where she can start having something other than breast milk and formula in her diet. For now, she enjoys sucking the condensation off of her frozen teething toys, but as we introduce her to different fluids, you can be sure I will give her tea before I give her juice! I’ll keep you posted on Bri’s favourite teas. 🙂
Have you ever given your baby tea? What did they enjoy?