The Risk of Giving Tea To Tots…
Why Tea Isn’t Good For Tots
Offering tea to small children in bottles or sippy cups is something I’ve seen a lot of on social media – thankfully, it is becoming less common and more frowned upon due to an increase in awareness of the potential issues that tea can cause for your child’s health.
What issues?’ I bet you’re wondering. Is caffeine the issue? Well, it is one of the issues, but I’ll go on to them later.
Caffeine, being a stimulant, can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, sleep problems, and it can also make any undiagnosed heart problems worse.
It is also a diuretic, so it could make your baby dehydrated and flush out important vitamins & minerals. In adults, this isn’t so much an issue as we can recognise the feeling of dehydration and have a glass of water, but a baby may be unable to convey this.
On to the next issue; tea, even decaffeinated, contains something called polyphenols.
Polyphenols disrupt iron and calcium absorption, something that the adult body (and diet) can generally deal with without any issues, but for a small child, it can cause problems, especially when given at meal times (NHS). You may think your child is ‘fine’, but unless you’re a doctor running tests, your child could be anaemic and/or calcium deficient due to drinking tea.
There’s nothing more restorative than a good cuppa, but it’s good to wait until your child is older – there’s no set guideline age stated as suitable to start offering tea, so making an informed decision is totally up to you, mama!
Love from Katie. Xx
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