In all honesty, I love coffee the same as the next busy parent with a job and little kids, but I’m also a fully functioning adult who recognizes when caffeine intake goes off the rails. This is not possible for toddlers. In this article on kidsrush.com, we will tell you that is it safe for toddlers to drink coffee. Let’s start!
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Toddlers have joined the coffee craze, believe it or not. An analysis by Boston Medical Center published in 2015 found that 15% of toddlers drink up to four ounces of coffee daily.
It’s not much for a child whose age and size are that old and big, but for half a rather significant cup. By age two, the number of children who drink coffee increases to 2.5%. Can toddlers drink coffee?
Why Do Toddlers Drink Coffee?
The issue is complicated. Specifically, the Boston study showed that Hispanic families gave their toddlers a coffee drink every day more often than whites did. Hispanic families make up a large portion of the city’s population.
Families with toddlers simply felt there was no reason to exclude them from this coffee-drinking tradition. It was interesting to note that female toddlers and infants drank coffee every day at higher rates than their male counterparts.
In addition to accessibility, there are other factors to consider. The likelihood of toddlers seeing their parents drinking coffee increases these days. As they sip their morning cup of Joe, they want to be just like their parents.
It is not surprising that children are curious about coffee if their caregivers drink it every day. It does not make sense to them to not have direct exposure to coffee.
Coffee’s effects on children
Children today consume more caffeine than ever before, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). According to their special report, 73% of American children consume caffeine daily.
Caffeine is most commonly found in beverages like soda. The second place went to coffee drinks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25% of all caffeine consumed by children between 2009 and 2010 was consumed in coffee. The third place was taken by energy drinks, whose consumption has also increased. Starting around the age of 2, tea was especially popular among young children.
Although the AAP recommends against the consumption of caffeine in children, it does not specifically set guidelines for it. Teenagers were especially prone to the consumption of energy drinks at the time of this recommendation.
It is possible to die of cardiac arrest and seizures when caffeine is consumed in extremely high doses. In addition to dulling appetite, caffeine can also cause children to miss meals or snacks after drinking it.
Due to their small body size and inability to process caffeine as well, children, especially toddlers, are more likely to suffer negative health effects from caffeine.
In fact, the biggest unknown as far as caffeine is concerned is that doctors still don’t know what long-term effects it will have on a developing brain, including in the toddler years, when so much is growing and changing.
Obviously, serving a toddler coffee will give them extra energy, but does that same cup of coffee harm their brain? It is difficult to predict what long-term effects might result.
Actions You Can Take
Accordingly, the trend is an indication of how many Americans see caffeine as being “normal” and without risk, as evidenced by the increasing number of children drinking coffee. Even though it is widely available and used, caffeine is a potent drug and stimulant.
What negative health consequences will your toddler suffer as a result of drinking one cup of coffee? I doubt it. While your toddler might love their morning cup of coffee, a habit of drinking tea or coffee daily could damage his or her health. You might want to discuss the potential effects of drinking coffee or tea every day with your doctor if you are beginning this habit with your child.
When caffeine is a staple in your household, it’s important to discuss healthy caffeine habits with your child.
If you want to include your child in a family tradition of having a hot cup of coffee together, fix something that does not contain caffeine so that they can partake. You can make them hot chocolate or steam milk instead of giving them a cup of coffee.
A Word From KidsRush
It is still unknown how much caffeine you should allow your child to consume daily, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not exceeding 100 milligrams per day, which is how much caffeine is in one cup (8 ounces) of home-brewed coffee.
If you are buying coffee from a coffee shop, there is a higher chance that it contains more caffeine due to the use of stronger coffee or the bigger size.