It’s that time of year: “back to school” this, “back to school” that is all you hear. There is a sale on every corner, a promotion everywhere you look and some type of incentive to get parents and kids to spend their last dime! Why not spend some time and money on something that will provide a much needed break during all of the back to school craziness as well as a boost to your health?! Of course, I’m referring to tea! Childhood obesity is at an all time high and many children are slurping down their calories by means of sugar loaded soft drinks and juices. A little bit of these things never hurt any of us…but when consumed in excess, kids will feel bad both physically and mentally. A sugar crash is not good for the mood! By providing your kids with some healthy alternatives like tea, you can help them develop healthy eating and drinking habits from an early age. As a parent…you’ve just got to develop a few good sales strategies! Here’s how…
First strategy: Stay positive. Have you ever bought anything from a terribly sad, negative, and lethargic-personality? Of course not! Most sales people are type A’s to the core! There’s a reason this works too! We are more likely to return that positive energy that radiates from a happy person and buy into their ideas Now – here’s where I’m going with this…One of the oddest bits of information I cam across this morning as I was researching some background for this post is the fact that many parents refer to herbal tea as “medicine.” First of all…what kid is going to jump for joy if you present a cup of herbal tea to them in that way? Second of all…referring to tea as medicine is just plain, downright ignorant. True, some herbal teas can in fact help with certain ailments, but they are no where near what I would call a medicine! Perhaps a supplement, but definitely not a medicine! Present tea as something yummy and fun…a treat! Let them see you enjoying it, and they will most likely want to try it too.
Second strategy: Keep it simple! Now is not the time to search through the deep, dark catacombs of your tea collection and brew up the 20 year old aged Pu-Erh! If your kids like certain fruits…figure out teas that contain these fruits. Sounds like common sense, but many parents simply don’t know where to start when attempting to serve tea to kids. Teavana has many fruit based herbals, as does mass marketed and mainstream products like Celestial Seasonings, Twinnings, Bigelowe and even Lipton. Take a few minutes to hang out in the tea and coffee aisle when you go grocery shopping and I guarantee there is something there that your kid would drink. Don’t let the phrase “herbal tea” intimidate you. It’s mostly just a blend of fruit. Sometimes there are rosehips or hibiscus mixed in with these and they are often added for color.
Third Strategy: Use good judgement and watch out for weird herbs. I would suggest sticking to the basic blends – fruit teas using a foundation made from green, black and white teas are good to start with. South African Rooibos is also a great tea for children. It is mild and just about impossible to oversteep to the point of bitterness. The Reupublic of Tea (this is sort of a specialty-store-tea…I get mine at Whole Foods) has a special line of children’s tea that I’ve tried and they are yummy. Most of your mainstream teas that you find at your basic supermarket tea aisle displays are not loaded with odd herbs that would be questionable for children to consume. I would, however, stay away from anything that says “Mate” (Ma-tay). This is the tea equivalent of espresso: not good if you want to put your children down for a nap or attempt bedtime anytime soon
Fourth Strategy: Remove all the junky drinks from your refridgerator and replace with pitchers or iced tea. Just remove the opportunity to slurp down a days worth of calories! Although I don’t sweeten any of our teas (I think the natural fruits are enough to sweeten the taste of most herbals)…you can start your kids off on sweetened teas that will still in fact be much healthier than soft drinks! Use Splenda, German rock sugar, cane sugar, honey, agave or even a bit of 100% fruit juice to make unsweet tea a bit sweeter. Of course, don’t go overboard…remember, we are attempting to serve up a calorie-lightened drink! A little bit of these sweeteners can go a long way.
Fifth Strategy: Make it fun. When all else fails, get creative and have a tea party! Gather up the bears, bunnies and Barbies for tea and treats! You can use ANYTHING for your tea party! Little kids will love something as simple as cheese and crackers for their “tea food” if it’s served up in a pretty way or just use some hard boiled eggs (protein!) with a sprig of parsley to give it that “tea room” feel. They don’t care as long as you are there with them! And, tea parties are not just for little girls! Boys can participate as well. Line up the Transformers and other action figures for a pirate party! Cool down a pitcher of iced tea and take it out back for a camping adventure in the treehouse. Just use your imagination!