During lockdown the mental health of young and old has been affected in some way. Adopting so much change coupled with uncertainty can make it an anxious time for the best of us that ordinarily manage change well.
We sat down with Kate Towers, founder of Small & Wild, to find out more about how her range of herbal teas created specifically for children that has helped reduce anxiety and build in much-needed stability during this time.
What prompted you to launch Small & Wild?
Becky (the co-founder of Small & Wild) and I met when we were pregnant with our second babies. We both absolutely love a cuppa, and this is something our eldest two, who were toddlers at the time, caught on to. They really wanted to join in, but adult herbal teas didn’t excite them. At the same time, we’d become increasingly frustrated with the lack of healthy, tasty drinks available for children – it often seemed to be a choice between sugar-laden juices, added sugar soft drinks or additive-full squashes. The penny dropped, and we realised delicious caffeine-free teas blended especially for children could provide a yummy healthy drink for kids.
What are the health benefits from drinking a herbal tea for children?
Herbal tea is a great way for kids to stay hydrated. According to Public Health England, most children are drinking just a quarter of what they should on any one day and even mild dehydration can cause headaches and a lack of concentration. Encouraging kids to take a moment to rehydrate themselves is incredibly important in itself.
Our Small & Wild blends have been especially crafted to suit children’s taste buds, whilst remaining naturally very low in sugar, with absolutely no nasties added and of course no caffeine. Some of our teas also have ingredients that are believed to have additional benefits, such as the antioxidant-rich rooibos in our Happy Toucan tea, and the calming properties of the camomile in our Snoozy Fox.
In the midst of a global pandemic, how does Small & Wild improve wellbeing?
We’ve had some really wonderful feedback from both new and existing customers throughout this time that Small & Wild has helped them add routine to their day, giving everyone the comfort of that much-needed tea break.
Because we’re all home and around the kitchen so much more, snacking has also increased, but often this can instead be driven by thirst, so having a cuppa or a refreshing glass of iced tea can be an alternative.
What age should herbal teas be introduced to children?
Our teas can be enjoyed from 12 months plus, and in our opinion (and that of our little tea drinkers!) that’s a perfect age to get started. As they can be enjoyed warm or cold, all ages really do enjoy them.
How should we best select a tea for our child?
When we were developing our Small & Wild blends, we really thought about the flavours and ingredients children naturally love which is why our teas really stand out from adult ones. They feature big pieces of fruits like banana, mango and strawberry, and are packed full of spices like vanilla and cinnamon.
So we’d say, think about the types of food and drink that appeal to your child already and get a tea that reflects this!
Which tea from the Small & Wild range would you recommend to a parent making their first foray into herbal teas for their family?
We find our fruity teas – Jolly Croc and Merry Tiger – are a great place to start, as they make delicious iced tea as well as a warm drink. However, our Happy Toucan is great with a splash of milk (or milk alternative) so great for kids who want a classic cuppa, and our Snoozy Fox is magic for bedtime, as it’s full of calming ingredients and has a wonderfully relaxing fragrance.
Small & Wild’s range of herbal teas are available in four fruity flavours packed with some wonderful herb and spice combinations for a warming and tasty blend. They contain no nasties and no added sugar for greater peace of mind. They are available from Ocado and Whole Foods priced £4.95 per box. For more information, a full list of stockists and to purchase, visit www.smallandwild.com