Family Magazine

7 Valid Reasons Why Your Child Should NOT Be Drinking Tea and Coffee

By Sangeetha

Is tea and coffee for child safe?

Is coffee and tea safe for children?

When did you start giving coffee and tea to your kids?

If you haven't started giving yet, have you thought of some particular age to start?

Have you come across suggestions from elders that you can give tea or coffee to toddlers?

Is coffee and tea safe for baby's well being?

7 Valid Reasons Why Your Child Should NOT be Drinking Tea and Coffee

The idea of today's topic is to give an insight on whether coffee and tea are good for babies.

I was told that I drank 2 cups of coffee as a kid, during the train journeys to my native place. The coffee vendor saying kaappi ... kaappi (kaappi is the Malayalam word for coffee) used to get me all excited and thus the two cups of coffee. But, otherwise it used to be milk all the time.

Now I get upset when I see coffee and tea being given to toddlers or babies. And I am not exaggerating here. I recently saw a baby who has been given tea, from her 9th month or so. This made me realize that most people do not know about the effects of these two beverages on their tiny tot's body. And hence today's post.

Caffeine - the villain:

The main ingredient in coffee and tea is caffeine. It is a stimulant and acts on the central nervous system.

Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, aerated drinks like coke, pepsi and even some medicines. Once you drink tea or coffee, you feel refreshed as it stimulates the nervous system.

100 grams of coffee has 40 mg of caffeine, while tea has 11 mg.

As per the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) the caffeine intake has to be lesser than

  • 5 mg (4-6 years old)
  • 62.5 mg (7-9 years old)
  • 85 mg (10-12 years old)
7 Valid Reasons Why Your Child Should NOT be Drinking Tea and Coffee

From the above statistics you know that coffee is indeed the greater of the two evils.

6 Reasons why tea and coffee for child is a complete NO NO:

So is coffee or tea good for teens? For older children a cup of tea or coffee in a whole day is fine. But for babies and toddlers, both coffee and tea are a big no!

Why caffeine should be completely off babies'/toddlers' diet? Here are the valid reasons.

#1. Sleep issues

Kids who consume caffeine are found to have sleep issues.

Caffeine causes increase in blood pressure and causes anxiety in kids and in turn results in sleeping trouble. It also leads to hyperactivity and difficulty in concentrating.

#2. Withdrawal symptoms

Just to quote an example, if I miss my morning tea or the evening one, I get a headache for sure. This is the same story for many of us. It applies to the kids as well. A coffee or a tea daily for toddlers is definitely an unwanted habit.

#3. Low nutrition filler

A cup of tea or coffee fills the kids' stomach with lesser nutrients. Rather than giving tea or coffee, give flavored milk or fresh fruit juice which will be much healthier for them.

Read: #4. Increased sugar intake

Coffee and tea always have sugar in it. Too much of sugar intake causes tooth decaying as well as obesity in kids.

#5. Diuretic

Coffee is a diuretic. This means that consumption of coffee makes you urinate more. This leads to calcium loss through urine.

6 grams of calcium is lost for every 100 grams of caffeine as per the records. As we all know calcium is an important nutrient required for bone development.

#6. Stomach problems

The tiny systems of children are not equipped to handle the powerful caffeine, so even if it is a small sip, it could lead to stomach problems and heartburn.

#7. Dehydrating agents:

Both coffee and tea dehydrates the body easily. So its always better to stay away from coffee and tea even for adults.

If someone asks you is coffee and tea safe for baby's health, you can safely say no and quote the above reasons.

At home, the toddlers loves to mimic the elder ones. In their little mind they might think of holding the coffee mug like how Daddy does in front of newspaper, or like how Mommy does.

Just to please the little minds, we can always let our kids have a cup of milk at our tea time probably in the same mug. Do tell them that they will get tea or coffee only when it is the right time!

So let's make sure we make tea or coffee for our little toddlers only for their pretend play and not in real.

Further reading

What are the drinks that you give to your little ones? Do share your thoughts with us.

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