Herbal teas, also called tisanes, are some of our family’s favorite replacements for sugary drinks. My kids especially love them while we’re cuddled up and reading a book. There’s something so special about a nice, warm cup of tea, and we think these 8 herbal teas for kids are amazing for their health!
Iced herbal teas are also great for hydration in the summer. You can steep some tea at night and chill it in the fridge for the next day. Or to make an extra-strong tea, let it steep a few minutes, and pour it right over some ice to cool it down fast.
The best part is that there are hundreds of different herbs that are all packed with unique health benefits.
You can find many of these herbs fresh while they’re in season at the farmer’s market, in your community garden, and in your local grocery store. You can also plant your own. Dried herbs are available in bulk online and at most health food stores. You can also buy tea bags at nearly every grocery store these days. Companies like Traditional Medicinals and Numi make single herb teas and blends that we love and trust.
We often hear that herbal teas don’t have much flavor. If this sounds familiar, read on! We include many herbs with rich, flavorful profiles that will make your kids’ taste buds happy. There are also a few with dazzling colors. Plus, your kids will reap incredible health benefits from these 8 herbal teas for kids. Let’s dive in!
Ginger is a powerful aid in relieving nausea, motion sickness, cramping, gas, and bloating. Plus, it’s an easy remedy for kids, especially if you stir in a little raw honey.
Studies suggest that ginger inhibits neural receptors that signal vomiting, which in turn reduces nausea. Ginger also breaks up and gets rid of the intestinal gases that can cause pressure and cramping, and it’s associated with an increase in certain digestive enzymes in the body. So, it’s a great after-dinner tea, especially if your kiddos overate or something doesn’t sit well with them.
Ginger tea has a warming, slightly spicy taste. You can make it stronger or weaker by playing with how long you steep it and how much ginger you use. Ginger root is often available in the grocery store, so you can easily make this tea fresh by grating or thinly slicing the root and boiling it in some water.
In a review of 14 clinical trials in nearly 2,000 children, peppermint reduced the frequency, length, and severity of abdominal pain. Some studies have also shown that peppermint can have a relaxing effect on the digestive system.
Peppermint tea has a refreshing, cooling, minty taste. It’s lovely hot or cold. Mint is a weedy plant, so it’s very easy to grow. You can have your own mint garden right outside your door, just be careful where you plant it since it will spread quickly. You can experiment by combining it with spearmint which has a sweeter flavor profile.
Hibiscus is loaded with cold and flu-fighting Vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s a great replacement for “Emergen-C” which has a good amount of sugar, including corn syrup, in it.
Hibiscus also contains anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that’s found naturally in many foods. Anthocyanins are the pigments that give red, purple, and blue plants their rich coloring. In addition to acting as antioxidants and fighting free radicals, anthocyanins may offer anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits. Hibiscus also contains copper and potassium, which are an essential source of iron and keep our kiddos’ nerves and immune system functioning well.
Hibiscus tea has a tart flavor similar to cranberries and can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and keep it chilled in the fridge during the summer! The tea is a beautiful magenta which makes it fun to show off in a glass pitcher or jar. If your kids love bright colors, you can add a little hibiscus to other herbal teas to make them more exciting. We love making hibiscus tea as a substitute for sugary drinks like CapriSun! A pinch of mineral-rich salt and some raw honey can make a healthy pink electrolytes drink.
Similar to hibiscus, elderberries are also jam-packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, and anthocyanins which help fight free radicals and have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits. Some studies have also shown that elderberries can boost immunity to decrease the length and severity of cold and flu symptoms.
Elderberry tea has a sweet, tart taste with earthy undertones. You can add lemon and honey for a brighter flavor or add clove, cardamom, and cinnamon to bring out its warm, autumnal layers. Like hibiscus, elderberry tea has a deep color, so it makes for a beautiful drink.
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is recognized as one of India’s most sacred herbs. It’s known for its rich antioxidant and adaptogenic properties that are known to be stress reductive and immune supportive. This herb is also known to promote mental clarity, so you really can’t go wrong with this one!
Tulsi is known for its strong aroma and an astringent and bitter flavor with a hint of floral and pepper notes as well. If the flavor is a bit strong by itself, you can mix it with equal parts peppermint for a milder flavor. Tulsi, ginger, and rooibos also make a nice herbal “chai” that’s lovely with milk.
Chamomile is a gentle, calming herb that is well-known for sleep support. The thought is that a flavonoid found in chamomile, apigenin, binds to receptors in the brain which helps to induce sleep. Chamomile is also antispasmodic, meaning it helps reduce spasms within the body, so it can also be great if your child has stress-related digestive issues like IBS or a nervous stomach.
Chamomile tea has a light, subtly sweet flavor and is great served hot with a little milk and honey before bed or naps. It’s also great chilled with a squeeze of lemon for a laid-back afternoon outdoors.
*It’s important to note that if you or a family member has a severe allergy to pollen or ragweed, steer clear of chamomile.
Healthy Bone Support & Diabetes Management
Rooibos contains minerals such as calcium, manganese, and fluoride that help build strong bones. These minerals produce increased activity in osteoblast cells, which are responsible for building strong bone mass. Rooibos also contains two flavonoids, luteolin, and orientin, that have been shown to have the potential to increase mineral content in bones.
Rich in polyphenols, drinking rooibos regularly may also help protect against the oxidative damage associated with diabetes. In fact, research found that the antioxidant aspalathin, which is present in rooibos tea, has antidiabetic potential. Of course, this in no way is a replacement for medication or therapy prescribed by a doctor.
Rooibos is often described as having subtly sweet hints of caramel, vanilla, and smoky essence. It’s a darker, richer tea than most of the others. It tastes great with a hint of lemon.
Kidney & Liver Support
8) Dandelion Tea
Dandelion contains vitamins A and K and is an excellent source of potassium, which may help the kidney filter toxins more effectively and improve blood flow. The polysaccharides in dandelion are known to reduce stress on the liver and support its ability to produce bile and encourage bile flow.
Dandelion tea made from flower petals offers a delicate, sweet taste, while roasted dandelion root tea is very similar to that of coffee in flavor, smell, and taste. Roasted dandelion root tea is a fun option if your kiddo likes to pretend to drink coffee with you in the mornings! It’s also a great coffee substitute if you are moving away from coffee or it’s never been your thing. In fact, Dandy Blend is an instant dandelion drink meant as a coffee replacement.
These 8 herbal teas for kids offer so many health benefits for your kiddos.
Herbal teas are much better allies than sugary drinks like fruit juice and sodas. And you can use them as the first line of defense for simple ailments like bellyaches, brief nausea, difficulty transitioning to bedtime, and more.
Plus making tea can be a fun activity with your kids. If you often use tea bags, consider using loose leaf tea/herbs instead. We love this tea steeper. Let your kids measure out the amount of tea that you add to water.
We hope this blog sparks your interest in the many benefits of herbal teas for kids and that you and your family enjoy trying out some new flavors!