文 By: 許玉蓮 Hooi Yoke Lien
As we hear Chinese New Year songs everywhere, the gong xi gong xi greetings are as if reminding us to prepare for the new year celebration. And of course, we are more than happy to be busy for the preparation. The long vacation for Chinese New Year celebration is hard to come by; please treasure it and get rid of our laptops and computer games and smart phones. When we look around, we will be greeted by the lovely smile of our family members.
During this new year, arrange a tea corner which is equipped with tea brewing tools. It allows our children to make tea, and both children and adults will enjoy the gathering to chat over a pot of hot tea. Family ties bind us together; nobody would be happy to find their family reunion distracted by gadgets.
To tackle such distraction, it is a good idea if we teach our children to make and serve tea for the elders. Other than an etiquette of Chinese new year celebration, tea-serving ceremony also nurtures our children a sense of belonging to the family because they are assigned the task to do something meaningful for the elders.
Although some thought that children shouldn't drink tea, the concern that tea ingredients are harmful to children's health is indeed unnecessary. In fact, their growth needs the nutrients of tea, including polyphenol, vitamins, carbohydrate, caffeine, zinc, and fluorine. In other words, children drinking tea aren't a problem – it is only the way they drink it that matters.
Some friends said I had once served a group of kids tea and they suffered from insomnia that very night. That was a mistake caused by a lack of understanding of the kids' lifestyle. There is indeed a step-by-step approach. Firstly, let them try one small cup of refreshing tea a day. Secondly, slowly increase the daily intake to two cups. As they get used to it, give them a bottle of tea to school.
Also, do not let our kids drink dense tea, which adults enjoy very much – it is too strong for them. We should dilute it by doubling the water portion. Similar to our principle to prohibit our kids from consuming food of excessive sugar and salt, warm and mild tea is always the kids' best choice.
Please pay attention to our kids' health condition as well. An additional cup or two is good for those whose body condition is fiery, and gluttons who love deep-fried food. Tea is also good for those who suffer from poor digestion.
As for those whose body condition is cold, sipping a cup of refreshing tea once and a while causes no harm. Also, children shouldn't drink boiling tea, for the heat would affect the sense of taste buds.
As long as we understand science and drink tea in a proper way, the benefits of tea cut across all age groups. It strengthens teeth, enhances digestion, protects us against computer radiation, and controls weight.
Quite a good news to welcome the new year as we usually indulge ourselves with too much good food – which is why we need to decorate our tea corner nicely to enjoy tea together.