Can Children Drink Tea? Tips from Chinese Doctors

Tea drinking is an ordinary thing for adults. In our daily lives, we rarely see children drink teas. Many parents let their kids have soft drinks or juice, but they normally don’t allow their kids drink tea.

Then, can children drink teas?

On May 26th, the director at the horticultural research and promoting center of the Horticultural School at Hunan Agriculture University, Zhu Haiyan has explained that it is rarely seen kids drink teas because children might not like the bitter taste of the tea. Additionally, people think that tea is irritable to children’s stomach, which is not good for the children’s growth and development.

In fact, these understanding is one-sided. “From a scientific perspective, drinking health and safe tea, but not too strong, it can improve children’s eyesight, strengthen the teeth, and protect against various radiation.” says Zhu Haiyan.

Drinking the right amount of tea can help lose weight

Ms. Long from Shanghai is concerned about his 7-year-old son, who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. His son is weighted 51 km and 1.20 meter tall.

According to the research, more than one fifth school-aged children in the big cities of China have issues with over nutritious in different level. The more and more children have diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which have affected the development of the children. According to the journal of International Pediatric Obesity, by 2020, there will be one fifth Children have overweight issue in China.

“Drinking the right amount of tea can help children lose weight, and prevent cardiovascular disease.” Says Zhu Haiyan.

It can prevent decayed tooth

The benefits of tea are more than these. Tea contains high level of fluoride, with the bactericidal effect of the tea polyphenol, it forms the effect of anti-caries.

Zhu Haiyan has introduced that children that drinks tea are less likely to have decayed tooth. This is because the tea contains antacid antiseptic substance – fluorine. The amount of fluoride contained in the tea is higher than that of other plants. Green tea has higher fluorine level than that of black tea. Older tea has more fluorine than new tea. When brewing the tea, there is approximately 2/3 fluorine dissolved in the water. Fluorine is a chemical element that has the effect of preventing caries.

When the fluorine in the water get in contact with tea, the fluorine ions penetrate the teeth, which will strengthen the tooth’s resistance to acid and corrosion. “Rinsing your teeth with tea or chewing tea leaves after eating, they can also help prevent caries.” Zhu Haiyan says.

“Children that drink tea frequently can reduce the rate of caries by more than 60%. This is because tea contains high level of fluoride, with the bactericidal effect of the tea polyphenol, it forms the effect of anti-caries.” Experts in tea industry explained.

Additionally, drinking tea can supplement the insufficient ingestion of vitamin C and prevent bleeding gum. The carotene in the tea can help protect children’s eyesight.


Children should not drink more than three cups of tea daily

The benefits of drinking tea cannot be ignored. However, tea expert also reminds that because the heart, brain, kidney and other organs are still under development in childhood. The metabolic of children is different than adult. So, parents should pay attention to the notes listed below when giving their children tea to drink.

  1. Strictly control the amount

The daily drinking amount should not exceed 2 – 3 small cups (the tea used in each cup should between 0.5 gram to 2 gram)

  1. No strong tea

Because the tannin in the tea will become insoluble composite when combined with the iron in the food, which will affect the absorption of iron. The strong tea is irritable to the stomach, make the gastric contract, and dilute the gastric acid. So, the digestion function will be affected.

  1. Control the time of tea drinking

Tea should not be drink immediately after drink. The tea contains high level of tannic acid, it can form insoluble compounds with calcium phosphorus, iron, zinc and other minerals, which will prevent the absorption of minerals.

No tea should be drink before sleeping. The caffeine contained in the tea has certain simulative effects to the nervous stimulant. The children’s neurological development is not completely developed. Therefore, children can be very sensitive to such substance, which will make children too excited and have hard time fall asleep at bedtime.