Is it okay to give your child green tea?

Most parents are often concerned about giving their children green tea as it contains caffeine. However, that is only a myth. Green tea has trace amounts of green tea which barely has any effects on children. It is a rich source of anti-inflammatory catechins, heart protective nutrients, and vitamins that help in your child’s growth and development. Despite the abundance of health benefits, consult your child’s pediatrician before starting it with her.

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Here are five health benefits of green tea for your child:

Helps fight cavities

A 2002 study published in Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Product states that drinking green tea significantly reduces the development of cavities in children as it protects them against bad breath and cavity-causing bacteria.

Health protective

If you child starts drinking green tea now, it’ll delay the chances of developing progressive heart diseases later in life. A study done on obese Japanese children found that drinking green tea reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.

Increased bone density

Starting with green tea earlier in life has a positive impact on bone density especially in women. It helps during the post menopausal state when bone density reduces to an extremely low level.  

Increased immunity

The catechins present in green tea fight off flu and keep your child healthy and active. It also has antiviral properties which improve resistance. In later stages of life, this green tea consumption can likely prevent different types of cancer especially ovarian and prostate cancer. In older age, it prevents Parkinson’s disease.

The amount of consumption should be regulated as everything that has positive effects also have adverse effects. Here are some probable side effects of consumption of green tea by children:

Excessive consumption can lead to hyperactivity

Limit the consumption to one or two cups a day as taking in too much caffeine can result in hyperactivity and restlessness, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, and heartburn.

Less absorption of metals

Excessive consumption can lead to reduced absorption of minerals especially calcium and iron. It can also lead to calcium resorption from the bones as it can turn the blood acidic. Calcium is usually excreted via the urinary tract. Lesser absorption of iron can result in anemia in the child. Therefore routine check should be done. If lower iron levels are seen, consumption of green tea should be monitored.

Look out for food allergies

It is very rare, but there is a chance for your child developing food allergies. Before starting with the drink, first, give it to him in a small quantity and monitor your child for 12 hours for development of hives, rashes, or sore mouth.

Beware of oxalic acid

Green tea consists very high amounts of oxalic acid. It is recommended not to give it to children below six years of age.

Don’t make it a compulsion on your child to drink it as a health drink. It is supplementary and not the only way to increase immunity.

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