What is bubble tea and is it safe for children?

bubble tea

Recently, bubble tea, a trendy Taiwanese drink, has become very popular and has become a favorite among many people, as it is a fun drink.

But with concerns about added sugar, caffeine levels, and digestive health, should your children drink it, or stay away from it? It is important to know what is inside a cup of this tea before drinking it.

What is bubble tea?

This tea usually consists of a scoop of tapioca pearls, or black, rubbery balls made from starchy cassava root, placed at the bottom of a cup. Cold tea is then poured over it, mixed with things like milk, fruit, or other flavorings, and served with a straw. Wide, so that a person can absorb the pearls and chew them while drinking tea.

This tea was originally created in Taiwan during the 1980s, although its exact origins are still somewhat disputed, and has now gained significant traction, growing in popularity around the world.

This tea comes in dozens of bright colors and fun flavors, such as passion fruit and caramel, and has many fans.

What is the nutritional value of bubble tea?

Bubble tea contains some natural ingredients, such as tapioca, but its nutritional profile is generally not ideal. For example, researchers found that a 16-ounce serving of the beverage typically contains about 300 calories, and large cups of bubble tea may contain more than 500 calories, about a third of what a young child needs in a day.

Bubble tea can also contain a lot of added sugar, with a 16-ounce serving found to contain approximately 38 grams of sugar, but this amount will also vary based on the flavors and additives chosen.

This is worrying; Because children aged two years and above should consume less than 25 grams of added sugar daily, and children under two years should avoid added sugar completely.

According to health experts, children who drink more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugars are more likely to have abnormal levels of cholesterol, including: high bad cholesterol (LDL), high triglycerides, and low protective (HDL) cholesterol. For the heart, they may also be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, Taiwanese-style milk tea was found to contain an average of 130 mg of caffeine per serving, while teens should not consume more than 100 mg of caffeine per day, as too much caffeine causes anxiety, headaches, and mood swings. Stomach upset, sleep disturbance, irregular heartbeat, and other negative health effects.

  • Bubble tea is safe for children, but only in moderation

After all this…is bubble tea safe for children?

Bubble tea has been linked to many different health concerns. For example, one news report stated that a 14-year-old Chinese teenager was suffering from stomach pain and constipation. Upon imaging the site of the pain, doctors found that she had more than 100 “pearls” of undigested tapioca in her digestive system, which means that she I drank very large quantities, which led to this, so moderate use is necessary.

Many times, online rumors have said that bubble tea is linked to cancer, which has not yet been proven, as it is unlikely that tapioca pearls contain carcinogens, or substances that can cause cancer.

Another cause for concern is choking, as it may be difficult for young children to swallow the rubbery tapioca balls (usually 10 to 15 mm in diameter) properly, and children under 4 may be at risk of accidentally inhaling the pearls into the lungs.

Can bubble tea still be enjoyed safely?

Answer: (Yes), bubble tea is safe to consume; If enjoyed in moderation, that is, an occasional cup is suitable for children and teenagers.

To make it healthier, you can prepare it at home and control the ingredients in it by using decaffeinated tea, homemade or store-bought tapioca pearls, choosing the right milk, and the right amount of sweetener, as can parents who buy the drink from a bubble tea store. They should ask for it to be less sweet, and to choose smaller cup sizes.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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