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If you’re a coffee lover with little ones, you might’ve faced the dilemma of them asking to have coffee when you think they might be too young. Kids naturally want what their parents have, or they want to do what they see their parents doing. If you sip a mug of coffee pretty often, chances are they’ll be curious about it. Of course, it is natural to wonder what health effects coffee might have on your child. This can be troubling for parents trying to decide on their own what age is old enough. We want to help you get an answer to this question, so this bit of parenting can be a little easier for those with coffee-curious kiddos.
The main reason we worry about giving coffee to kids is due to the caffeine content. Caffeine affects everyone differently due to individual tolerance, but it does have eight common effects that we have outlined below. Due to their size, kids would have a much lower tolerance to caffeine and therefore be more sensitive to the effects.
If your child wants to sip on your cup of coffee from time to time, that is okay for kids aged ten and older. It gives them the experience without many of the effects. However, if they want to regularly drink a full cup of coffee, that is best suited for after puberty. Their bodies will be better able to handle the caffeine at adulthood, but as long as they have had their growth spurt, it shouldn’t affect their growth or development.
As with most foods and drinks, moderation is key. It’s suggested that if caffeine is given to a child, it should be limited to 45 mg of caffeine per day. We hope they don’t drink coffee every day though, because this can start to cause some of the issues you read about earlier. 45 mg of caffeine is equal to about half a cup of coffee, or about four to six ounces. Monitoring how many milligrams of caffeine they have and the number of times per week they consume coffee is a good way to make sure kids don’t suffer from any of the health risks.