Why should kids drink herbal tea?

Over at Small & Wild HQ, we’re massive advocates for herbal and fruit tea for kids and adults alike. We think having a cup or two a day comes with many benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing - plus we love the fact that it’s a healthy way for kids to stay hydrated too! Read on to discover why a herbal brew is a brilliant choice of drink for your little people… 

1/ For healthy hydration

Staying well-hydrated is important for both our physical and mental health. During the day, our bodies all lose water naturally through sweating, urination and even a small amount from breathing. To avoid dehydration we need to ensure we are replacing these fluids.

Did you know that our bodies are made up of between 50-70% water? As a rule of thumb, to keep in tip top condition, we need to be drinking around 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. According to the British Nutrition Foundation, for younger children these can be smaller cups of 150-200ml, for an older active child these should be around 250-300ml - and then more still for an adult.  

When we’re active, or the weather is warm, we need to increase the amount of fluid we take on board. Kids can be so busy they forget that they are thirsty, and really small children might not recognise the signs of thirst, so it’s especially important to regularly offer them fluids throughout the day.

boy drinking Small & Wild iced tea with bamboo straw

Whilst water is always going to be great for hydration, sometimes we all need something a little more exciting. We tend to limit juices, or just offer a small diluted glass, as these are full of free sugars which can lead to tooth decay. Higher consumption of sugary drinks has also been linked with weight gain and obesity in children. 

Herbal and fruit infusions like Small & Wild are a great healthy option with no sugar and we love that they can be served warm or iced depending on the weather. We’ve had many lovely reviews commenting that our teas are; such a nice change from the usual children's drinks… It's so nice to have a non-juice option for them.’ 

"Herbal teas like these blends are a great alternative to plain water in that they add natural flavor without any added sugars. They can be enjoyed hot or iced and kids have fun trying new flavors." Dr Emily Ventura, PhD, MPH

Happy smiling girl holding box of Small & Wild tea outdoors
(Image credit @whispersofawitch)

2/ For calm and regulation

As adults, we all recognise the sense of wellbeing and calm that overcomes us when we take that first sip of a cup of tea. Kids feel this sense of wellbeing too and we love hearing about the regulating benefits of making time to brew and sit down for a cup of tea as a family. In conversation with family psychologist, Dr Andrea Shortland, she spoke about how she often employs the ritual of making and serving tea to signal ‘safety and predictability’ and enable children to ‘feel safe to engage and connect’.

One of the very first blog collaborations on our Small & Wild journey, was with Registered Dietitian, Laura Clark, who put it beautifully when she said As well as an innovative form of hydration, these sorts of drinks can also provide an opportunity for families to come together and share in a healthful experience” - we think this healthful experience is both physical and mental. 

In fact, tea mindfulness or meditation is a well-established ritual and a brilliant way of taking 5 minutes in your day to put aside everything else that is going on. If you would like to explore some tea mindfulness you can find our guidelines here on our blog, which talks you through all the steps to enjoy a mindful tea moment with your little people. 

boy with curly hair holding herbal tea and relaxing
(Image credit @mamasparrowblog)

3/ For exposure to new tastes and flavours

Baby and child nutritionist, Charlotte Stirling-Reed, talks about the benefits of exposing children to a variety of taste, flavours and textures from a young age. What we give to young children to eat and drink, will play a huge part in forming their taste palette and influencing what they like and choose to consume as they grow. 

At our tastings, we love to show children our beautiful plastic-free pyramid tea bags and talk about their contents. Children can spot and identify the different fruits and herbs, smell them when they are brewing and taste them when they sip the tea. 

girl trying different herbal and fruit teas

Equipping kids to enjoy a range of tastes and flavours and to understand the importance of healthsome hydration is one of our key aims at Small & Wild. We believe kids shouldn’t be consuming overly-sweet beverages filled with sweeteners and sugar, so we’ve built our range of teas for little people to be filled with brilliant natural ingredients and absolutely no added sugars.    

4/ For functional health benefits 

Let’s not forget that there can also be some brilliant functional health benefits from the herbs and fruits present in herbal teas. 

Amie Lunn, Registered Nutritional Therapist, says “Herbal teas are an easy way to let your children benefit from some of nature’s powerful herbs and flowers such as camomile, mint, and lavender that can help relax and calm a child before bedtime; and the fruitier blends like strawberry and apple are a great source of antioxidants and can be served as ice-tea instead of the dilute juice/cordials”. 

For example, camomile (or chamomile), has been used therapeutically for centuries, primarily to aid sleep and digestion. It contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which studies have suggested can promote sleepiness and help you both fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep. We certainly find it to be calming and have used it in our Snoozy Fox blend, along with some other super soothing herbs, such as lavender, lemon balm and spearmint. 

As one customer commented; “My daughter loves the Snoozy Fox tea and it is now is becoming part of our bedtime ritual to relax before bed.”   

hands holding camomile based tea blend

It can be overwhelming to be a parent and make all the ‘right’ choices, but staying healthily hydrated seems like such an easy win - and herbal tea offers such a great way to keep our little people’s bodies and brains hydrated, without added sugars and nasties. 

Happy tea drinking x


British Nutrition Foundation ​​https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritional-information/hydration/ 

Gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/news/children-consume-more-than-a-years-worth-of-sugar-in-6-months

Dr Emily Ventura, PhD, MPH https://smallandwild.com/blogs/small-wild/how-to-reduce-sugar-in-childrens-diets-by-creating-herbal-tea-rituals 

Dr Andrea Shortland, Family Psychologist https://smallandwild.com/blogs/small-wild/tea-as-a-calming-family-ritual

Laura Clark, Registered Dietitian https://smallandwild.com/blogs/small-wild/herbal-tea-for-kids 

Healthline https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-benefits-of-chamomile-tea#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2