By Katherine Burnett
It’s that time when we get ‘back to school.’ As the parents, there’s lots of stuff to consider when our kids need some help. Remembering the days when I had 4 teenage daughters, school supply needs varied depending on the grade. Clothing varied depending on their tastes and the rules. Gym classes had certain requirements. Then there were school bus issues, like missing the bus! All the rules stressed ME out, let alone my kids! But as kids, they too felt a tremendous amount of stress which usually stayed hidden until the school day ended and a bedroom door slammed or silence or tears expressed the tension. And currently we have the added concern of Covid 19.
Then there’s college when your offspring are supposedly and hopefully ready to make their own choices without your help. There’s little a parent can do now! When younger, we could pick our battles and stand firm. But now, we don’t always see their choices and when we do, we’re best to stay quiet!
Tea can help! And I’m not just referring to tea for parents. Tea time for our children can provide a really safe and sure ‘chill’ space after school and during study frenzies. Make it special. Brew together! Favourite mugs unite!
Study time at Leonhard's Cafe
For your college bound kid, provide a gift of tea and a special mug or thermal cup. Lady Baker’s TEAm loves to put together gift packs (each TEAm member has kids or is a kid by the way)! We are happy to customize so send us an email or call.
In the evenings, especially for elementary through junior high or middle school, herbal teas are really calming and soothing. Their own personal mug, especially designated to accompany homework and reading times can add that special touch. Caffeine is absent and a dollop of honey can add a touch of sweetness. This can also be a healthy alternative to a heavier sweet snack or bag of chips which are often the go-tos when our students feel the need of comfort. Naturally speaking, I'm a tea and cookie person, so I can recommend a little sweet!
As parents search for healthy alternatives to soft drinks, Rooibos or Red Bush, enjoyed in South Africa for centuries, has beneficial properties of iron, zinc, fluoride, calcium, is high in vitamins and minerals and caffeine free! It claims to ease headaches and soothe bodily tension too!
Lady Baker’s Rooibos selection is super popular for all ages. Take the Belgian Chocolate or Caramel which are naturally sweet, add a dairy-type beverage, perhaps a bit of honey in their special after school mug and you can help reduce the stress of a long day at school. Hearing “time for tea... and homework” may sound a bit more enticing!
Other herbs like Peppermint (we have this in tea bags now) and Lemongrass are known to calm the nerves and restore the spirit. I’ve mixed Camomile and Lemongrass myself for a winding down break when I feel tense.
The caffeine amounts in black and green teas may be a bit much for your younger children, but unless a teenager is extremely caffeine-sensitive, they could use the gentle boost that tea caffeine offers to get that project done on time! Tea per cup has about 1/3 the amount of caffeine stimulant as coffee and following a cup, sleep deprivation is not likely to be a problem.
Here’s a handy caffeine chart
Beverage per 250 ml/8 oz cup
76 - 106mg
80 - 180mg
3 - 15mg
43 - 60mg
5 - 12mg
30mg per 355mL (1 can)
A common misconception is tea should be avoided as a fluid replacement because of the diuretic action of the caffeine. The diuretic effect occurs only with high dosage: 250-300mg in one sitting (5-6 cups of tea). Since a cup of tea is 99.5% water, it is healthier for you than water.
I really want to encourage our college kids to get on the tea train. Stimulating and yet not agitating, the caffeine in a cup of tea can energize and calm in a unique way. Drinking a delicious cup of flavoured black tea like Lady Baker’s Cream Earl Grey (available in tea bags now) or a green tea, plain or flavoured, can help achieve better health and provide hydration and good energy.
Fox & Crow, UPEI
And if one must stay up all night, switch mid-way from a caffeine tea to an herbal, like Organic Peppermint to keep you going in a relaxed sort of way and to keep tummy troubles at bay.
Are your kids active in community or school sports?
Green Tea just may be the best choice for athletes! Combined with honey (carbs), it makes an excellent drink for hydration and during vigorous exercise can delay mental fatigue and improve cognitive function, mood, motor skill performance, and perceived exertion better than drinking the same volume of water. Our Green Explosion (also now in tea bags) or Organic Matcha are great choices. A spoonful of matcha is a great addition to a pre-game or workout smoothie as well.
As a grandmother now I am glad to have the school days behind me. Those were not easy years. My now grown up kids would agree. We didn't have video games or Facebook or TikTok to compete with but as the expression goes, "there's always something!"
Tea has made it through centuries of generations and will continue to be respite for every chaotic difficult scenario. If tea could talk, it would very likely say,
"Calm down, we can do this, hang in there, breathe...and sip."
Whether a parent, student or grandparent, may your days this school year be safe with an abundance of kindness and patience.