Overweight and obesity in children is on the rise in the United States. According to statistics published by the Department of Health
and Human Services, the number of adolescents who are overweight has tripled since 1980 and the prevalence among younger children has more than doubled.
While genetic factors play a role in some cases, more often it is the lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits, including too
many sugary drinks like sodas and even fruit juice that contribute to the increased number of overweight children.
Statistics published by the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA state that thec onsumption of soft drinks is now over 600 12-ounce servings (12 oz.) per person per year. Since the late 1970`s the soft drink consumption in the United States has doubled and is now at 150 quarts per year, or about three quarts per week. Twenty-one percent of the sugar in the average American’s diet comes from soft drinks!
That’s more than just an unhealthy consumption of empty calories. It is a dangerous overload of caffeine and potentially hazardous, nutrient-depleting additives.
Instead of letting your child overindulge in sodas and other drinks loaded with sugar, artificial colors and preservatives, try other healthy and tasty alternative. Rooibos – also called African Redbush or simply Red Tea is a great way to introduce your child to a healthier, yet tasty drink option.
Even though it is commonly referred to as a tea, Rooibos is actually and herb (Asphalthus Linearis), which is indigenous to the Cederberg mountains of South Africa. Enjoyed for centuries by the natives, both as a beverage and health tonic, Rooibos has been gaining
in popularity here in the U.S. as well. What makes Rooibos such a great drink for kids is the fact that it is naturally caffeine free and due to the
low tannin content, it is mild and slightly sweet tasting. (without the added sugar!)
- Rooibos also contains essential minerals, such as potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium and fluoride. A glass
of iced Rooibos is the ideal drink to replenish electrolytes on a hot Arizona summer
- Unlike caffeinated drinks, Rooibos has properties that are calming and can even help with nervous tension and Â disturbed sleep patterns. Its antispasmodic properties have long been known to relief stomach and digestive discomfort in adults and children. South African mothers often give their babies Rooibos to relief colic.
- Much like green tea, Rooibos is rich in antioxidants and flavenoids
- Rooibos is available in its original form or flavored with fruit and botanicals. It is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
As a special summer treat, use Rooibos to make refreshing popsicles, lightly sweetened with agave syrup or stevia and replace
that juice box in your child’s lunch box with a thermos of iced Rooibos. For the occasional bubbly effect, just turn your iced Rooibos into an Arnold Palmer by adding some mineral water.
Rooibos is a truly a healthier alternative tosugar laden drinks, providing minerals important to your child’s health and it
is so delicious that your child will quickly come to love it!