Rooibos and its benefits for babies and toddlers
By Liezl Compion
As a dietitian I often get asked the question if it is save to give Rooibos tea to a newborn baby? And the answer is without a doubt, yes! Rooibos tea have many health properties and as a completely caffeine free herbal tea without any side-effects I feel confident to give it to my own children and prescribe it as a healthy alternative to water to babies and older children.
It is however important in the first 4 months not replace the Rooibos with any milk feeds but to use it in small quantities between feeds especially on very hot days. Do not add any sugar or milk as a baby’s sensitive gut cannot tolerate it. Your baby will soon love the natural sweet taste of Rooibos or flavoured rooibos teas i.e. Carmien Sleepy time Strawberry and Camomile tea.
From weaning time (around 4-6 months) you can feel free to give rooibos without milk and sugar as a drink between milk feeds. A tip of a teaspoon of xylitol ( low glycemic index and completely natural) or a small amount of apple juice can be added from around 6 months to sweeten it slightly. This is however not necessary as your baby will drink what he/she is introduced to, so keep the sugar away if possible.
For toddlers and older children, homemade ice tea or ice lollies is a healthy alternative to fruit juices. Make a milky rooibos and sweeten with xylitol or add a small amount of juice or fresh fruit like strawberries or lemon and xylitol to make your own ice tea.
Basic Rooibos ice tea recipe:
Make 1liter of Carmién Rooibos tea (4-6 teabags in 1liter of boiling water)
Leave in fridge overnight
Remove teabags the next morning
Sweeten or flavour your Carmién Rooibos ice tea with honey, sugar or your favourite fruit juice
Add fresh fruit such as berries, oranges or lemon
Tip: Try Carmién’s full range of teas for even more flavour.www.carmientea.co.za
Warning: Please note that honey should not be given to babies under 1year of age.