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

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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?

tea and coffee for child

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)

tea and coffee for child

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.

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.

About Author

A working mom who balances both her professional as well as personal life, Roshni tries to be a best friend to her 2 year old Lynette, fondly called as Linu. She along with her husband try to bring up their little one in the best possible way.

10 Comments

  1. So juice is NOT healthier it is filled with sugars. Also all tea does not have sugar… and there are many with no caffeine. Many herbals teas are actually healthier than giving your child fruit juice.

  2. Sarah Flesher on

    I have a babysitter that gives her children nothing but sweet tea in their sippy. Of course, when my daughter is there she keeps filling her cups up with it as well although i premake them with flavored sugar free water! I have told her several times to just refill with water because my daughter WILL drink it, but it NEVER fails I am dumping sugared black tea out and dealing with a restless, cranky toddler! Also, they do have milk flavorings that are sugar free and have nutritious additives! Shop smart!

  3. My daughter age not 2 years completely ( 1 year 11 month) she drinking tea she is always less weight 7 kg 800 grams only… So tea habit good or bad please clarify to me…

  4. completely agree about coffee 100% disagree about tea. Tea has many benefits and is taken as a health drink by many.
    My daughter is 4.5 and has been drinking tea for approximately a year. She doesnt have it everyday but as a weekly treat when mummy goes for coffee with grandad. The only time she has it more than this is wen she gets a bad cold and her asthma is terrible. 1 cup of tea (sweetened with honey) can cure a sore throat & asthmatic cough for up2 4 hours for my daughter. I think it much healthier for a child to have 2-3 cups of tea a day for a week than to pumping them full of drugs and chemicals 5-6 times a day for that same week!!!

  5. I was shocked to read your suggestion of juice or flavored milk to tea. I was also surprised to see that you consider tea a “low nutrition filler” when tea is full of antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals! While there may be plenty of reasons to not give a toddler tea/coffee (I wouldn’t), I really feel you’re giving tea a bad rap. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I won’t comment on coffee, but tea is quite nutritional. Of course, everything in moderation!

    Your comment about “Coffee and tea always have sugar in it,” is just wrong. The sugar comes when people ADD sugar. My husband drinks his coffee unsweeetened and I drink my tea plain. If you want to talk about unhealthy beverage habits, let’s take a look at your suggestions of flavored milk and juice. Fresh-squeezed juice has natural sugars in it because fruit is naturally sugary, but if you’re buying it from the store it often times has added sugar too. Fresh tea isn’t sugary, unless you add sugar to it. So when it comes to obesity juice is far more likely to load your kid up with calories than tea is. Of course, when it comes to tooth decay, the acids in some teas and added sugar might contribute to cavities, but sugary fruit juice and fruit itself is much more likely to cause tooth decay.

    As for flavored milk? What exactly are you flavoring your milk with that’s making it such a healthier alternative? Flavored milk is typically loaded with sugar, artificial colorings and artificial flavors. I’m quite surprised that you’d consider this a healthier alternative to tea.

    Everything in moderation, I suppose. I wouldn’t give my son flavored milk or juice, but he’s not even 2 yet, so what do I know?

  6. Really and truly, we shouldn’t be drinking it! Why would you offer it to those whose stomachs are less developed…??? It is for the amusement of the parent not for any other reason since there are plenty of drinks that are beneficial for a young child. Our culture has become so consumed with eating and drinking that we put anything in our mouths without a thought of what it is doing to our bodies. We have gone from growing our own food to buying grown food, to purchasing ready made meals and takeaways. We have lost control of what we eat and we project that same influence on our children.

  7. Parents must also remember that caffeine is already present in other foods children eat- like chocolate and soft drinks. So while considering coffee intake, they must count their caffeine from other sources too

  8. Thanks for writing about this Roshni. I always thought it is obvious that you shouldn’t give coffee and tea to babies, just like you will never give them alcohol or a knife, say. But I too get upset when people give tea or coffee to babies and toddlers and then brag that their kid loves coffee. My two and half year old has been matter of factly offered coffee by two people so far! It was funny….

    • Really? This is bull. I agree caffeine should not be consumed by babies and toddlers but there is such a thing as non-caffeinated tea. I give my son tea on occasion usually chamomile sweetened with a bit of honey. There’s nothing wrong with tea you just have to do your research and find out what is safe and what isn’t. All the reasons you listed are for caffeine not for non-caffeinated teas. Maybe next time post actual facts with sources. Don’t just spew hatred for mom’s that offer toddlers tea for relief when they are sick.

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