Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Caffienated Kids

On my last trip to Starbucks, I saw a mom purchase a grande cinnamon dolce latte for her daughter who looked to be about five years old. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I am in no way judging that parent, it just made me curious what other people think in terms of serving coffee drinks to their children. Is there an age at which you think kids should be allowed to order the regular coffee drinks? If you have children, do you let them have any coffee? I am very curious to hear what everyone has to say.

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40 comments:

Maria said...

I don't have children, but I doubt I would give them caffiene. I am sure they will be wild enough:)

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

hmmm i think children are crafted into "little adults" way too frequently. i have a big problem with giving kids coffee (grown up drink) or letting them wear make up too early. my number one pet peeve is cheerleader uniforms. they are way too sexy. let kids be kids and give them chocolate milk!!

Bi0nicw0man said...

Five seems a bit young to me...I wonder how that is going to affect the growing up, etc. Each parent has their own beliefs I suppose. I didn't even want coffee until I was 18...and even then it was only because I worked at a cappucino bar!

Heather said...

I'm wondering if it was the woman's first or third child. My mom was so overprotective with me, being a new mom and all. i ate from the pyramid, had helmets for everything and was watched like a hawk. by the time her third kid came around, my mom was pretty tired and figured she had kids to spare. my sister got away with a lot more, and did stuff earlier, simply beacuse her older siblings (10 year age difference) were doing it.

i'd like to think i wouldn't let my 5 year old drink coffee, but if i'm on my 3rd kid and am exhausted, i might not have the willpower to weather a tempertantrum everyday ;)

Dori said...

Hilarious sign! Love it!

Children should not have caffeine. I started drinking coffee in high school and I think that is acceptable. Any younger and I think it is very, very wrong.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Hmmm, I didn't like coffee when I was little, so my mom didn't have to worry :)

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

i dont have kids, but im pretty sure if i did, i woul;d slip them roofies to make them sleep instead of hyping them up.

dont worry, i dont think i will ever have kids

Kelly Turner
www.everygymsnightmare.com

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Hi Megan,
I am a pediatric nurse. I have 2 children. NO I did not let them have caffeine. It is a drug.

There is some evidence that caffeine is as effective as theophylline in the short term for reducing apnea in premature babies, is better tolerated and easier to give. Apnea is a pause in breathing of greater than 20 seconds. It may occur repeatedly in preterm babies (born before 34 weeks). Apnea may be harmful to the developing brain or organs if it continues. Methylxanthines (such as theophylline and caffeine) are drugs that are believed to stimulate breathing efforts and have been used to reduce apnea. The review of trials found that caffeine has similar effects to theophylline but has a larger gap between levels that are therapeutic and those with toxic effects. Caffeine is more easily absorbed and has a longer half-life that allows once daily doses.

It is a stimulant, and when I see parents pouring it down their kids throats I want to throttle them!

Oh, by the way, I am decaffeinated too because it makes me a jittery wreck and increases the problems with fibrocystic breast disease.
Once in a while I will sneak in a cup though.

Everything in moderation... but kids are small.. and what an adult can handle a little one cannot!
Leslie
LeslieVeg@msn.com
http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

NatNibbles said...

I think 5 years old is too young to be drinking a full cup of coffee.

When I was younger, my mom would give me sips of her coffee, but I wasn't allowed to have my own until I was about 13 years old.

Mom on the Run said...

I don't let my children drink coffee. When we go to a coffee shop they are allowed a kid friendly drink.

It is a personal preference though.

Bob said...

Kids don't need the extra energy. I mean, seriously. I see parents buying energy drinks for kids all the time, then the kids running around like little psychopaths. I bet these same parents also think their kids have ADD and such.

Emily said...

I don't think caffeine is good for kids. It likely has different effects since they are smaller and still developing. I know that too much caffeine makes me crazy, and I can't imagine what it would to to a child!

miss v said...

i started drinking coffee at about 12. however, it was regular coffee, and i was only allowed to have one cup on the weekends. i definitely think 5 years old is way too young, and does she really needs a grande jumbo whatchamacallit? my my.

VeggieGirl said...

I am NOT okay with giving a child a caffeinated beverage like that.

Lisa said...

Sounds a little crazy to me. I would never allow my children to drink a whole coffee, especially since it contained a load of sugar along with the caffeine. But who know what the mom's reasoning was. When I was about 5 or 6 i would stay at my grandparents and they would put a spoon of coffee in my milk. I thought I was so grown up and what a treat that was.

Rebekah said...

That seems a bit much to me. In my religion we don't even drink coffee, but if I did I probably wouldn't give it to my kids until they were at least teens. My kids are hyper enough without the added stimulants! :O)

Krista said...

Every now and again I will let my daughter, who is 9, have a short White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. Her usual drink is a kids hot chocolate. I don't think caffiene really has a place in a child's diet on a regular basis....

Erin of Care to Eat said...

I judge her! That seems kind of early to me! Yikes!

jesse said...

Hahaha, uhhh yeah... maybe if I wanted to get some endless cardio I'd give my children some caffeine. Why would anyone in their right mind do that???!!!

shelby said...

I would NEVER do that! I think that coffee can be VERY addicting (as I've seen with my dad and grandma...almost 10 cups a day for her!) so I would never want to start an addition that early.

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

If I had children, I won't let them to have coffee that young!!!! I'm trying to quit because I don't think it's a healthy habit.

Lori said...

That seems a bit young to me. However, with a drink like that I'm just as concerned about the sugar. :)

It has been interesting here in Brazil. While you don't always see parents giving kids coffee, it is much less of a big deal because coffee is so much part of their culture. In fact, I did a post about a handout from a local coffee shop here. It listed benefits and myths of drinking coffee. It was actually promoting that coffee helps kids study and do better in school. An interesting clash of cultures for sure. If you'd like to see it just let me know and I'll send you the link. It is on my ex-pat blog. :)

Not Another Omnivore said...

I'm against kids and coffee...I'm pro older children being free to make their own food choice...but I'm really just always amazed when really young kids can even stand the taste of coffee!

NAOmni

Run Saraah said...

Considering how hyper caffeine made me before I became desensitized to it...there's no way I'd allow my kids to have coffee!

Amanda @ Fake Ginger said...

My kid doesn't have caffeine. He's hyper enough as it is. Plus you know how too much coffee affects sleeping habits of adults so just 1 small cup can probably screw up a kid's system.

I don't know... I have family in New Orleans and whenever I'm over there I'm always shocked because all the kids drink what they call "coffee milk". It's about 3/4 milk and then 1/4 coffee. I guess it's a regional thing because seriously all the kids talk about it.

Brenda Campbell said...

I have 3 kiddos (age 17, 10, 4). My 17 yr old son does drink coffee, but he goes and gets it himself and he might have a little of my morning coffee before he goes to school. No way I would let my 10 yr old or my 4 yr old have coffee. My son pays for his own Starbuck's himself on his way to school, or whenever he feels like it. Even if I told him no, he would do it anyway because he is a teenager and he is almost 18. I do go to Starbuck's frequently with my other 2 kids, but they do have something on the menu called Kid's Drinks and that is what they get. They either get a hot cocoa, non coffee frappucino such as vanilla cream, or juice or something like that. There are plenty of choices available for kid's when you go to Starbuck's or most any other coffee shop. That is just what my opinion is and what I do with my kids.

Priscilla said...

I def. don't have any kids (ha!) but letting a little 5 year old drink a "whole" cup of coffee sounds like a bit much. I can barely drink a whole cup!=)

Zesty Cook said...

We have still not given our oldest child who will be 4 next week soda/pop or anything with caffeine in it yet.

Laura said...

I worked at Starbucks while I was in college and saw parents do this all the time! The amount of sugar in these drinks bothered me almost more than the caffeine. We had kids coming in regularly for venti fraps with extra whipped cream. I started gaining weight in middle school, so I'm extra sensitive to this kind of thing. It really annoys me when I see parents giving their kids 600 calorie drinks, especially when it's along with a giant muffin!

I don't know if there is a perfect age for introducing coffee, but I'd hope it would be into the teenage years. Sadly, one cup of coffee probably has less caffeine than the countless soft drinks many kids consume each day.

Sharon said...

Oh wow, coffee to children/ Hum. I don't know.....

Pumpkin said...

I worked at a coffee shop, and while most parents stuck to hot cocoa, juice or italian sodas, every now and then, one would get a coffee drink for their kids. I'm not sure how I feel about that... I wasn't offered coffee at family dinners until I was in junior high.

carolinebee said...

that seems pretty young! My mom put a TEENY bit in a cup with like 1 c warm milk and vanilla when i was like 10, 12...i called it "warm coffee" haha i loved it! I think the size and caffeine of starbucks bev's is way too much for kids though.

Courtney said...

My son loves coffee. But I would be out of my mind to give him caffeinated coffee. (He's got enough energy on his own) I give him decaf and that is only every now and then, like once a month or so. He's 7 and it's okay for a treat, but that's it.

Thinspired said...

I don't have kids but I don't think we should be caffinating kids so young! It really is a drug. I was allowed to have a sip or two when I was a kid, but that's it.
Funny sign ;)

stephchows said...

WOW... ok personally I think kids should be kept away from coffee until they are done growing... old wives tale or not, the whole stunting growth thing... and kids DO NOT need caffeine!!

Olivia said...

I think it's weird that kids would like the bitter taste of coffee, but hey if they want it why not right?

Susan said...

FYI... It is not uncommon for children with ADHD to be given caffeinated beverages. The stimulant calms them down. Many people use it in place of medication.. and they believe it truly works.

Bunny said...

It always surprises me when parents come into the restaurant with kids and let them drink coffee. I don't drink coffee , our kids don't drink it either, I don't like it when they drink Mountain Dew which is loaded with caffeine!

Andrea of Care to Eat said...

My friend works at the Bux and I was shocked when she told me that more often than not, they're serving coffee drinks to kids. I can't believe kids even like coffee, but then again, if their parents have been giving them it since they outgrew sippy cups, I guess you have an acquired taste to it. I find it appalling considering jury is still out on coffee quantities and adults!
p.s. I'm so sorry we couldn't meet up. I ended up being busier than I thought and the week just flew by. Next time!