Green Tea For Children – Health Benefits And Side Effects

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Green tea is a refreshing and popular beverage that is a favorite among many people due to the health benefits it offers. However, if you are unsure about the benefits and side effects of green tea for children, we will help you find the answers in this post.

Green tea has been scientifically proven to aid weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, and improve mental alertness. In addition, the high amount of antioxidantsiChemicals that protect your body from free radicals present in green tea may help strengthen children’s immunity , prevent signs of cold and flu. Read on to know more about the benefits and side effects of green tea for children.

In This Article

What Is Green Tea?

Green tea is rich in antioxidants

Image: Shutterstock

You can brew tasty green tea by boiling the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant in hot water. Sometimes, green tea extract is also used in alternative medicine.

Some of the health benefits that green tea consumers attribute to the beverage are:

  • Drinking green tea improves cardiovascular health as it helps and low blood pressure (1).
  • It is rich in antioxidants and helps to prevent various types of cancer, like endometrial canceriCancer that starts in the inner lining of the uterus. and ovarian cancer.
  • Regular and prolonged intake of green tea can improve bone density in menopausal women and prevent osteoporosisiA condition that weakens bones, increasing the chance of sudden, unsuspected bone fractures. .
  • Green tea also helps prevent Parkinson’s diseaseiAn age-related degenerative brain condition that leads to uncontrollable movements. .

It is important to note that excessive intake of green tea for your child can also have negative effects.

The Side Effects Of Serving Green Tea For Kids

Green tea is a proven ‘healthy’ beverage for adults. Research is yet to prove how green tea can boost the health of children hence most doctors do not recommend it.

Here are some side effects of green tea that you should consider before giving it to your children:

  1. Green tea contains caffeine, and its excessive consumption can cause hyperactivity, headache, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, convulsionsia condition in which the body shakes uncontrollably due to muscles that contract and relax fast. , and confusion (1).
  2. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), anemia is estimated to impact about 39.8% of children worldwide between six and 59 months. Green tea adversely affects the absorption of iron from food and may cause anemia in your growing child (2).
  1. Drinking green tea can interfere with certain medications and can cause negative reactions (1).
  2. Green tea consumption can weaken the bones of your kid as it increases the amount of calcium flushed out from his body in urine.

    Green tea can weaken the bones of your child

    Image: Shutterstock

  3. Your kid may develop a food allergy after consuming green tea.
  4. Drinking green tea can reduce his body’s absorption of thiamineiCommonly known as vitamin B1, responsible for the growth, development, and function of various cells . A deficiency of thiamine in the body can cause Beriberi. It is a disorder of the nervous system and can cause weakness in your kid’s limbs, impairment of his sensory perceptions, irregularity in his heart rate and more.
  5. Green tea also contains a very high amount of oxalic acid and can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
  6. If your kid has IBS concerns, it may worsen diarrhea and IBS (Irritable Bowel SyndromeiA disorder that causes discomfort in the stomach and intestines. ) symptoms.

protip_icon Point to consider
The tannic acid in green tea might stain your child’s teeth (1).

 Benefits Of Giving Green Tea To Kids

Sometimes, giving green tea for children may work wonders for them in the following ways:

  1. You may give your kid a little green tea if you feel they are always tired and lack energy. Make sure you watch out for any food allergy. If they seem energetic and happy, you may give them a small quantity of green tea the next day as well.
  2. Green tea contains the compounds catechin and amino acid theanine. Drinking green tea on an average of five cups a week could help them fight off influenzaiA widespread viral infection, particularly in high-risk populations, and has the potential to be fatal. . Honey can be added to warm green tea for additional benefits.

    Honey can be added to warm green tea

    Image: Shutterstock

  3. Having green tea may reduce his chances of developing a cavity and bad breath as it contains catechin that works against these (1). Add lemon to your green tea for its antibacterial properties. Remember that there is no adequate research to back this claim yet.
protip_icon Quick fact
The fluoride content of green tea may help prevent dental decay in children (1).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the healthiest green tea?

Matcha, a type of green tea, may be considered the healthiest, offering many benefits such as rapid fat burning, increasing energy, and better skin health. Additionally, it also helps in boosting one’s digestion (3). Organic green tea is believed to contain more natural antioxidants than conventional green tea.

2. Is green tea better than milk tea?

Green tea contains polyphenolsiSecondary plant metabolites frequently used in pathogen resistance and UV light defense. which help reduce the risks of cancer, chronic diseases, and stroke (4). Whereas adding milk to teas has been found to reduce teas’ beneficial polyphenol and antioxidant content. Therefore adding the right amount of milk and drinking it in moderation may help curtail these effects (5).

3. When can my child start drinking tea?

Experts do not recommend tea for children and teens (6). However, you can ask your pediatrician or a nutritionist if you wish to give tea to your child.

4. What tea is safe for children?

Certain herbal teas, such as lemon balm or chamomile tea, may provide some health benefits to children For instance, lavender tea has a calming effect on the nervous system (7). However, it is best to give such teas to your child only after you talk with your pediatrician.

Green tea is helpful to adults when consumed in moderation, but its effect on children is yet to be demonstrated. While green tea for children can provide them with energy and help them against influenza, cavities, and bad breath, it also contains caffeine and oxalic acid, which can be harmful to kids. It can also have a negative impact on iron absorption from meals, cause a food allergy, interact with some drugs, and cause IBS in kids, among other concerns. Therefore, it’s best to see a doctor before giving your child green tea.

Infographic: Interesting Green Tea Recipes For Children

If you offer your children green tea occasionally, the recipes in the infographic below can come in handy. They can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. You may tweak some ingredients in these recipes to suit your child’s palate.

unique green tea recipes for your child (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Green tea contains caffeine, antioxidants, theanine, and catechin.
  • Green tea provides health benefits for adults such as cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, and mental agility.
  • Green tea helps children by providing energy, fighting influenza, and reducing the risk of developing a cavity.
  • Excessive green tea consumption in children may lead to sleep problems, headaches, diarrhea, anemia, and hyperactivity.
  • Green tea may interfere with medications and cause bone damage.
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Shivani Sikri
Shivani SikriPublic health and Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Shivani Sikri is the chief nutritionist and co-founder of Nutri4Verve and holds about 13 years of experience in the field of nutrition. After completing her Masters, Shivani Sikri did a postgraduate in nutrition and health education, a postgraduate diploma in public health and nutrition (PGDPHN), and a postgraduate diploma in nutrition and clinical dietetics.

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Debolina Raja
Debolina RajaMA (English)
Debolina Raja came into the writing world while she was playing around with words and participating in various literary events. She found her writing interest in various genres such as health, wellness, parenting, relationship, and brand management and gained more than five years experience in it.

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Swati Patwal
Swati PatwalM.Sc. (Food & Nutrition), MBA
Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with more than a decade of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children.

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Shinta is a biotechnologist who is highly intrigued by science and technology. She holds a master's degree in Biotechnology from Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences and a PG Diploma in cellular and molecular diagnostics from Manipal University.

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