All you wanted to know about Chai and when you should be giving it to your kids!
A very common question most of the parents have is, when can I start feeding my child chai? Is it good for them or does it have adverse effects on kids?
All Indian households will agree that the one word that unites them all is 'Chai'. It is a habit for some, while some use it as a laxative for their morning chores, and others can relate to it as their 'me time'. But, many people are so passionate and addicted to tea that life seems dull without it.
A very common question most of the parents have is, when can I start feeding my child chai? Is it good for them or do it have adverse effects on kids? To answer this question, we will have to first understand the types of Tea available or consumed and its constituents.
Tea in India can be broadly divided into 5 parts. We look at them individually to figure out when they can be introduced to our kids and more importantly at what age?
1) Herbal Tea
What: Herbal tea is usually made with light ingredients that help us strengthen the immunity. Some also call it as Kadha. It usually consists of tulsi leaves, ginger, lemon, mint leaves, lemon grass and a hint of peppercorn. Many people have different variants of this Herbal Tea.
Why: It contains no caffeine and is absolutely safe to give kids. While feeding kids between 1-7 -year-old, the ginger, and peppercorn (or other spices) need be used in lesser quantities.
When: This can be given to kids who are one year old and above.
2) Green Tea
What: Green tea is usually made of few particular fresh tea leaves, that are not oxidized to form into a black tea. The level of oxidation usually results in different types of tea.
Why: For growing up kids, if you want to introduce tea, this is the best option. It is rich in antioxidants but contains 2-10mg per cup of caffeine.
When: Introduce green tea only after the child turns 6-years-old. The caffeine content and sugar causes the kids to become hyperactive.
If your child experiences insomnia, inability to concentrate, irritability, or hyperactivity after drinking green tea, it is a clear sign your child is either extra-sensitive to the effects of caffeine or has consumed too much at once.
3) Black Tea
What: Black tea is made from tea leaves that are oxidized longer, hence it is stronger.
Why: Black has beneficial impacts on high cholesterol, diarrhea, tooth decay, low-concentration levels, digestive problems, poor blood circulation, high blood pressure, and asthma. It is one of the most popular teas known to man and is well known for its medicinal qualities and benefits.
When: Black tea consists of almost 50mg of caffeine per cup. Try and introduce this only after the child turns into a teenager.
4) Milk Tea
What: This is the most common version of tea that is consumed in an Indian household. Black tea leaves are brewed well with water, milk, and sugar.
Why: It helps to strengthen the immune system and rich in antioxidants as well. The milk in this refreshing drink helps us gain calcium as well.
When: Introduce milk tea only after the child turns 7-8-years-old. Else they will suffer from sleep, stomach issues and withdrawal symptoms if they don't consume tea as a habit. Also, though the milk tea contains a lesser quantity of caffeine than the black tea, it is still substantially high.
5) Spiced Tea
What: The milk tea is enhanced further by adding a few spices. Different households prefer different spices according to their tastes. The most commonly used are elaichi, dalchini, ashvagandha, mulethi etc.
Why: This tea is rich in many nutrients due to the spices, but also cause the tummy to heat up. So for kids, it may or may not be suitable.
When: This tea has the same amount of caffeine as the milk tea, with additional nutrients from the spices. It is best to introduce this tea only after your child turns into a teenager.