Author: Luce Brandt
Growing up, I absolutely loved our collection of winter and Christmas stories. There was something so cozy and sweet about curling up near the tree with a stack of books made specially for December.
These stories in particular were so important to my childhood, and I still think about them today. I absolutely love how illustration and story can convey message and values, it’s what makes me want to write and publish my own work. Stories are so crucial to childhood development and learning, but they are also wonderful for adults too. I am still amazed at how much can be packed into a beloved story!
And so, today I would like to share some of my personal favorites with you. So find a little one to read to, or treat yourself to a sweet story!
- Why stories and tea for children?
- Are herbal teas kid-safe?
- Books & teas for a snowy day: Snowflake Bently and The Snowy Day
- Books & teas for Christmas: You Can Do It Sam, Gingerbread Mouse and The Night Before Christmas
- Books & teas for Christmas around the world: A Kenya Christmas, A Day on Skates, and A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Why Books and Tea for Children?
I know many parents who don’t give their children tea because of the dreaded caffeine component. Sadly this means that children lose out on a special drink, ceremony, and healthy antioxidants! Today we aim to change those minds, by offering (naturally) caffeine free and healthy tea options for your child. We have paired our teas with beloved children’s books in the hopes to create a special cozy time of reading and tea. What’s better than that?!
Keep reading for our best sleepy teas with relaxing and calming effects. Each one is packed with antioxidants with amazing health benefits. Hot chocolate so so full of sugar so but perhaps not necessarily an every-day drink! So feel good about giving a sweet treat that contains no added sugar or calories, and no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners (no sweeteners at all in fact and only natural flavors).
Are Herbal Teas Kid-Safe?
Is rooibos safe for pregnancy and young children?
Is rooibos tea safe during pregnancy? Glad you asked! Put simply, our research finds that drinking rooibos is indeed safe and in fact, rooibos tea is good for infants and young children as well: some benefits include helping with colic, cooling a fever (in popsicle form), helping skin conditions such as dryness, rashes, or chicken pox. To learn more, check out our blog: Rooibos, Honeybush, Pregnancy & Estrogen: What you need to know. It's one of our most popular blogs.
Is chamomile tea safe for children?
Yes! chamomile does wonders before bedtime as a calming drink. However, if a child has a ragweed allergy, then chamomile, being a cousin, can cause similar issues. Apart from that allergy there shouldn't be any issues from our research (as per the Canadian government funded EcoParent.ca). Similarly, we only find positive evidence for lavender, lemon verbena and other Blend@Home ingredients - to make the perfect cuppa just for you. (See our refs at the bottom)
What are the Best Winter Books for Kids?Whether it’s the holiday season, or simply a snowy day, these books are just what you need! Brew up a cup of tea (suggestions below!) and warm up to the:
Best winter stories for toddlers
- The Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman is an endearing story. Bear, content in his own hibernation, does not notice the other animals who seek shelter from the storm outside… culminating in friendship and sharing, this is a perfect story for young children. Have them join in on the iconic refrain “the bear snores on”...
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is so beloved, that the main character has made it onto postal stamps! This story follows an African American boy named Peter through adventures in his snowy neighborhood. He makes footstep patterns, snow angels, and a snowball packed carefully together. With its beautiful illustrations, and pure story, and love of snow, this is a delight to read.
Best winter stories for young children
- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian, is an incredible and real story. The book follows Bentley’s life growing up in Vermont to his work photographing snowflakes. The illustrations and snowflakes are given wonderful detail and care. After you read this, go outside and take some of your own pictures! (Elizabeth one of our co-founders is from Vermont too!)
While reading these, hibernating under a lot of blankets, I hope the below steaming teas will lure you out:
Perfect winter teas for children
Mango Punch Rooibos is another excellent decaf for a child. A mix of sweet, tart mango, and woody rooibos. With even more antioxidants than matcha, you are making a healthy choice too! To read more about antioxidants, check out our antioxidant series.
Alternatively, if you are ready for a snowy hibernation yourself, a sleep tea will do the trick. Pretty in Purple Lavender Chamomile has strong and decadent French lavender and Egyptian chamomile flowers to help you relax. Its sweet smell and 0mg of caffeine, will lull you right to sleep. Add loads of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and this is the perfect choice for your child.
What are the Best Christmas Books?
Whether you read these aloud for the whole family, or just yourself, these stories are like a warm holiday hug. From gingerbread houses, to stockings hung with care, these are the perfect way to end your night!
Best Christmas picture books for children:
- Gingerbread Mouse by Katy Bratun is my personal favorite Christmas book. In the middle of the night a huge branch falls on Mouse’s house. Setting out to find a new home Mouse finds herself a gingerbread house and furnishes it with impeccable candy design. This sweet adventure with its themes of establishing home and unexpected friendship, is a truly beautiful tale. In fact Katy was a neighbor of mine growing up, and her illustrations are absolutely lovely!
- During the holiday season, commodities and flashy items are absolutely everywhere. So how do you focus on the important side, giving? To help children understand the spirit of giving and caring for the needs of others, I recommend: You Can Do It Sam. This story by Amy Herst, is a beautiful tale about giving and courage. Sam makes treats to give to all his neighbors, and then delivers them all by himself. Sam takes charge, excited to leave something special for each neighbor and friend. This is a wonderful year to give where you can, people can use the extra cheer during covid. Remember, prepackaged treats are safer though!
- The Night Before Christmas is a Christmas classic. My family loves to read this on Christmas eve over a mug of hot tea or chocolate. This particular version, "A Classic Illustrated Edition", is compiled of images and art from all different artists, with a new style on every page. This gives the classic story a new and interesting twist, each viewpoint allows you to experience the tale in a unique way.
Best Christmas herbal teas for children:
If that tea sounds too strong for your child, or they like simpler flavors, try Happy Tummy Ginger Rooibos. This tea is also decaf but has a lovely balanced ginger that is not too overwhelming. This tea is great for digestion, especially if you have had a rich dinner. To learn more, check out 6 Best Herbal Teas for Digestion & Why They Work.
Ginger not your thing? Looking for a different zing? Try Zing & Zest Pure Thai Lemongrass for a fresh-tasting tea with tons of minerals and electrolytes. This decaf tea will lengthen sleep and reduce anxiety, perfect for an evening blend. Consider adding some chamomile, or another decaf tea for extra health benefits and delight!
Christmas Around the World
What better opportunity to dream and imagine people from all around the world, from different walks of life than at Christmas. I love these three stories, set in Kenya, the Netherlands, and Wales!
Picture books for young children
- A Kenya Christmas by Tony Johnston and Leonard Jenkins is about 10-year-old Juma and his aunt Aida. Together they plan a Christmas surprise for their Kenyan village, orchestrating a visit from Father Christmas. The story holds a bit of wonder when they themselves are surprised…
Christmas stories for older children
A Day on Skates by Holda van Stockum is one of my all time favorite stories. This book is a nice balance for children who are ready for a longer story but still love the pictures. The story takes place in Dutch Frisian village, in the bitter cold of winter. Evert and Afke arrive at school one day to the surprise of an all-day picnic on skates! (For years, I hoped my own teacher might surprise us this way). And so the class sets out on skates, traveling along the frozen river, stopping for warm snacks and hot drinks. While this is not a direct story about Christmas, the energy and excitement captures the true essence of holiday. I recommend reading this on Christmas day, and then setting out for a bit of skating yourself if you can!
- A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a lovely prose piece reminiscing about... well Christmas of course! Poet Dylan Thomas, narrates from the perspective of a young boy, whose story sparks nostalgia for the past. Since this piece does not have a formal structure, this is an excellent Christmas book to read as a family. With the mix of voices and narrators, this will produce the aspect of shared memory. The story itself is often produced as a play, so get ready for a bit of acting! Co-founder Vientiene grew up in Wales and recalls a lot of time in English Literature spent on Dylan Thomas :-)
Perfect teas for the whole family:
For a sweet decaf, try Apple Cinnamon Crumble Rooibos. This tea carries the essence of pulling a perfect apple crumble from the oven, smelling the sweet cinnamon steam and the toasted almonds sprinkled on top. What could be better than that? With zero calories and only natural flavors (like all MA teas) this is a fantastic and healthy treat for any one.
Vanilla Almond Wonderland Rooibos is another delightful choice. Picture the creamy taste of almond vanilla, the most perfect of desserts, but instead make it healthy with this loose-leaf red rooibos. This vanilla tea is perfect for your evening tea, making you calm and relaxed.
Alternatively, if fruity sweet tea’s aren’t your thing, try Pure Peruvian Organic Lemon Verbena. This lemony tea is soothing and fragrant! Also naturally decaf, this tea will not only be refreshing, but aid your sleep. Blend with chamomile or a honeybush for added pizzazz and tastiness.
A Note From LuceI really hope you enjoyed this compilation of winter and Christmas stories. I remember when I was young I would take this stack of books out of the attic each holiday and read them for uninterrupted hours! While I didn’t include many classics on this list (I wanted to keep the list fresh for you!) think back to your own childhood and make sure to add them to the pile as you like! Share with friends and family, and dedicate some reading time. What winter and holiday stories are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below or on IG!
Now that you are in the holiday mood, I suggest putting on some music and baking. Our Easy Vegan Yerba Mate Lemon Cake or Easy Tea-Infused Earl Grey Lavender Shortbread are both excellent baking choices. What is better than an afternoon of reading, tea and baking with tea?!
Pure Peruvian Organic Lemon Verbena
Happy Tummy Ginger Rooibos
This decaf tea has beautifully balanced ginger, strong and spicy without being overwhelming-perfect for the kiddos.
Zing & Zest Pure Thai Lemongrass
This zingy, fresh-tasting herb contains a myriad of minerals and electrolytes. With no caffeine or added sugars it is perfect for the whole family.
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All of the information regarding the herbs, botanicals, minerals, vitamins, etc., is information drawn from traditional use data or academic research and should be regarded as such. If you, the reader, has a health or medical concern, please consult your healthcare professional. The information found here is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe or cure and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for educational purposes only.
References & Further Reading
Rubinstein, Dr. Nadya Assaf. “5 Herbal Teas to Support Your Child’s Health.” Eco Parent, 30 March 2019, https://www.ecoparent.ca/eco-wellness/5-herbal-teas-support-your-childs-health. Accessed 11 December 2020.
“3 Mild Herbal Preparations for Children.” Growing up Herbal, 21 August 2014, https://www.growingupherbal.com/3-mild-herbal-preparations-for-children/. Accessed 11 December 2020.
Web MD. “Herbs for Kids: What's Safe, What's Not.” Web MD, 26 June 2000, https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/herbs-for-kids-feature#1. Accessed 11 December 2020.
"How to Safely Use Lavender to Help Babies and Kids Sleep Soundly" Green Child Magazine, September 18, 2020 https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/safely-use-lavender-baby-sleep/ Accessed 11 December 2020.