My 2 year old son and I love to have tea parties. He loves pretending, pouring, serving mommy and his stuffed animals and yes spilling all over. And I love the fact that he is developing a taste for herbal teas, learning about plants and nourishing his body with different herbs. Herbal teas are an excellent way to add vitamins & minerals to the diet, soothe an upset tummy, boost the immune system and much more. My son has always liked the flavors of most herbal teas, especially when I add a little honey to sweeten it. (Remember kids under 1 year should not have honey. You can sub maple syrup if you need a sweetener.) I think it helps that he doesn’t drink a lot of juice or any other overly sweet beverages. I also think he just loves being involved in the process; picking out the loose herbs, scooping them into the jar, waiting patiently (yea right) for it to steep. Then if we are home and have some time to play, I pour the tea into his teapot and we have a full blown tea party. Here are some of our favorite concoctions:
Peace Tea: Equal Parts of Lemon Balm, Catnip & Chamomile
This blend is made up of relaxing herbs that help to calm an overly excited child. These herbs are also an excellent remedy for tummy aches, making it my go to tea when digestive problems arise.
Green Tea: Equal Parts of Nettles, Peppermint, Oatstraw & Rosehips
This blend is packed with vitamins and minerals making it an excellent daily tea to add nourishment to your child’s diet.
Immunity Tea: Equal parts of Astragalus, Elder Berries, Marshmallow & Rosehips
Immune boosting, anti-viral and high in Vitamin C, this tea is an excellent, gentle immune boosting remedy. We drink it quite frequently this winter to help prevent colds and flu. Please note, this is not to be used during an acute illness due to the Astragalus. Astragalus is such a great herb for boosting the action of the immune system, but during an acute illness it can exacerbate symptoms.
To prepare herbal teas, combine the herbs together in correct proportion. Use 1 tsp of combined herb per cup of boiling water. Steep for 5-10 minutes. (The Green Tea can be steeped for up to 4 hours to get the maximum nutrient content from the herbs). Herbal teas are best steeped loose (forget the tea ball). A french press is a nice convenient tool for making loose herbal tea. Often times I just use a mason jar: Put the herbs into the jar, pour boiling water over it, steep with a lid on and then pour through a strainer when done.
Have fun and get creative! You and your kids can start to create your own delicious concoctions. Some other yummy, kid friendly herbs include: Spearmint, Hibiscus, Linden, Raspberry Leaf, Anise Seed & Fennel Seed.