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Do You Let Your Kids Drink Coffee?

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM
  • 19 Replies

More & More Kids Are Getting Addicted ... To Coffee

by Lisa Fogarty

Kids love sugar. This isn't exactly newsworthy, is it? But a new study reveals that the under-18 set is straying away from soda and turning instead to sweetened coffee drinks. Coffee is to blame for nearly a quarter of children's daily caffeine intake, up 10 percent from a decade ago. The study suggests that our negative attitude toward soda has a lot to do with it, while our acceptance of coffee and some of its positive and healthy attributes is contributing to their habit. And yes, I said habit. Researchers fear all of the yummy, creamy frappuccinos and chocolate chip mocha lattes could be to blame for a potential future caffeine addiction

As an adult who prefers sugary, flavored caffeine beverages to straight-up, serious cups of black coffee, I understand the appeal these drinks have for children. But I also understand the appeal of apple pie and Twinkies. If we're talking about kids who are too young to have an allowance or spend money of their own, then it's obvious parents can keep them from drinking these beverages. There's no reason a 6-year-old child needs to cool off at the beach with a vanilla frappuccino.

Teens are different, though. I see them making pit stops at my local Starbucks after school and emerging with Venti-size frothy drinks in hand -- so I believe this is happening. They are consuming tons of sugar, which is the only thing that makes me wince. But, as far as caffeine goes, is a sugary coffee any worse than chugging down cans of Pepsi or Coke, like my friends and I did as teens? Is it worse than inhaling chocolate bars and energy drinks at 9 in the morning, as I've witnessed young kids doing at school? 

When I was a child, I was allowed to sip a bit of my parents' espresso after dinner. They are from Italy, where young people often drink milky coffee in the morning with their biscotti and STILL manage to live perfectly long and healthy lives. A bit of coffee isn't going to hurt our children. At the end of the day, I wouldn't mind it if my teen daughter drank coffee and reaped some of its health benefits, including antioxidants.

Do you let your children drink coffee?

What do you think is an acceptable age?

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM
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by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM


When they are grown and on their own, lol. We don't drink coffee at our house but my teen daughter had it one time and keeps begging for us to buy her some but not happening.

Growing up I only saw adults drinking coffee, so it's kind of weird for me to think of kids drinking coffee. So I am shocked by the readings guess I have been underneath a rock all these years, lol.

by Susie on Feb. 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM
My 22 yo hates it like me. Dd 20 only occasionally drinks Starbucks.
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by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM
My 17yr old does, but not in the way this article describes. He's a black, no sugar drinker.
My 19yr old will drink it occasionally (no sugar but with milk) but she more often then not she goes for tea.

Most of those flavoured ones aren't available here anyway.

I have an Italian background, so teenagers drinking coffee isn't at all weird to me.
by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 3:50 PM

 My son has never liked coffee but my 17 and 13 yr olds love it and drink it regularly.  I don't have a problem with it at all. 

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I do not let my children drink coffee until they hit 18. Of course, we don't do soda hardly ever either. Caffeine is a seriously addictive thing. Recent studies on antioxidants have surprised researchers in that most seem to accelerate cancer growth rather than protect against it.

Once they are adults - they can do as they please. Until then, no.

by Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 4:01 PM
1 mom liked this
My 14yro loves coffee, my 8 & 6yros don't get coffee.
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 7:35 PM
Yes he does (he's 13)
With no sugar but it isn't that milky either. But not a lot.
We are more tea drinkers, him included - a lot of tea :)
by Shauna on Feb. 15, 2014 at 9:53 AM
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My now 20 y/o drinks coffee, she has since she was about 14. My sons 11 and 8 do not. I don't have a problem with drinking coffee.

by on Feb. 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I have no problem with coffee - much more of a problem with soda.

One of my kids started drinkng it young - I think she was about 5 the first time she had it.  Unsweetened, and no milk.  Another was about 13 or so.  My older daughter didn't like it to begin with, she was a tea drinker, but being from Seattle felt she should LEARN to like it.  She's 23 now, drinks it once in awhile, but tea more often - both sweetened, no milk.

My youngest, 19, hates it.  Hates the smell.  Hates everything about it.  She's definately a tea drinker, with (imo) way too much sugar.  No milk.

But none of them ever drink soda.  We never had it in the house, since we don't drink it either.  Coffee (and tea) was always available.

by on Feb. 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I have always loved coffee. I enjoy decaffeinated coffee although I don't drink it on regular basis, maybe twice a month or so. Also only one of my three sons enjoys regualr caffeinated coffee, but like me he doesn't indulge frequently.  :)

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