Should children be allowed to drink coffee?

@miamilady (4924)
United States
June 18, 2007 9:15am CST
I grew up thinking of coffee as an adult drink, for the most part. I was never forbidden to drink it. My father worked nights and it was often my job to make is coffee for him before he went to work. Sometimes I would take a sip, but when I was a kid, it wasn't something I wanted to drink. The exception to this, is the fact that I am half cuban and in many hispanic families there is a beverage called "cafe con leche". This is similar to cappucino. It is something that many cuban's (possibley other hispanics as well) will have as a quick breakfast...Cafe con leche with toast. I was given this for breakfast sometimes in the morning and I have allowed my child to have that sometimes. One child likes this and one does not. For some reason, I think this is okay, but I hesitate to allow them to drink a cup of traditional "American" coffee. To me, this makes no sense, but it's how I feel. The other thing is this... Starbucks is popping up all over the place and it is yummy! I have allowed my children to have a frappucino on occassion. It tastes like a coffee shake. I don't allow them to have those often. It is more of an occassional treat. We went on a trip recently and there was a starbucks at the rest stop. Luckily the caffeine rush didn't make them too crazy in the car! There are times when I allowed them to have a frapuccino and then a short time later they asked again and I said no. They said "but you let me last time!" to which I replied "just because I let you do something one time, it does not mean you get to do it whenever you want"! Anyway, I think this is the longest intro to a discussion that I've ever typed. Let me know your thoughts on this subject, if you have a moment. Thanks!
14 people like this
40 responses
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
18 Jun 07
My eldest has always liked coffee and I have never forbidden him from drinking it. When he was younger, he'd only have a sip or two of his father's iced coffee. Same with my soda, he could have a sip or two; but it was pretty rare that he had his own glass of it. By the time he was a teenager, and really liked it I didn't mind if he ordered himself a coffee or a soda when we were out. He's an adult now and drinks it daily and I don't see any major harm in that.
4 people like this
@rapolu_cs (1184)
• India
20 Jun 07
I agree with you but i think it is god some way which stops the kids being stressed with the work al the day but it is ok for the teens and for kids i think it is not good and instead of coffee tea is the best one.
@kumar27 (129)
• India
20 Jun 07
i heard that tea is stimulant it has an adverse effect on human bodies especially on children becuse on delicate liver the liqueur acts a litle unfriendly way instead of doing good.tea is in no way a delicious salubrious food but inferior to coffee of course.there are some other reasons also. rest details can be found out from medical practitioners
2 people like this
@shorva (923)
• Philippines
20 Jun 07
Is coffee bad for children? How old is old enough to drink coffee anyway? I actually haven't heard or know someone personally that drinks coffee at an early age that had bad effects on them. But those frappucinos in starbucks are really good. I'm not a coffee drinker so I opt to drink frapps so I ask them to not put coffee or less coffee. Maybe if you omit the coffee they won't notice the difference. But I don't think coffee's bad still unless someone show me facts that it is.:)
• United States
18 Jun 07
I'm Hispanic as well (Dominican Republic - we're almost neighbors!) and heck my mom never let me drink coffee, though I loved (still do!) cafe con leche. The reason my mom wouldn't let me is because it has too much caffeine and it can be of course addicting. I don't have any kiddos yet, but I probably am not going to give them coffee. I can see how it's different nowadays though, with Starbucks in every corner. It may be a Hispanic thing, but it irks me when children are given coffee. At work we always have a pot, and when I see mothers give their young kids I think "ooookay." I can't figure out why though, I guess it's just how I grew up. Kids are never given coffee back home and that idea has just stayed with me. I also believe it's a drink for adults.
2 people like this
18 Jun 07
well, i think children have enought energy (sometimes even too much) even without coffee... imagine what coffee would do to them... they'd be too agitated and coulnd't sleep ... so my opinion is that children should not be allowed to drink coffee at least until they turn about 16 and their body is kindda mature.
2 people like this
@aprilgrl (4460)
• United States
18 Jun 07
I really don't know but I was 16 when I fisrt drank coffee and still drink them. I have noticed that ther's some kids at the age of 10 drinking it so I don't know if its good or not.
2 people like this
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
19 Jun 07
As a child I was always the first one up in our household. I would always go downstairs to make my parents coffee for them so that it would be ready. My parents told me a couple of times that coffee would stunt my growth, it didn't. I would have a cup a day with them. My oldest child has tried a couple of sips of grandmas coffee and doesn't really like it. If my children want to try coffee I see no real reason to stop them. If parent are afraid of the amount of caffeine then they could allow their child to try decaf. I don't see much difference between coffee and soda.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Wow, I wish I had a kid that got up and made coffee for me! lol Decaff is a good suggestion too, although I'm sure some scientists somewhere have found negative effects from decaf too. But then, I'm sure you can find negative things for just about everything. Thanks for your response.
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
19 Jun 07
My children haven't asked me to allow them to try coffee but I suppose if they do I will allow them to try a couple of sips. I know people who drank coffee as children who can't stand it as adults. So I don't see how it could hurt a child to have the occasional treat of drinking some coffee. I could see it being a problem if the child was hyperactive but otherwise I don't see an issue.
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
19 Jun 07
I don't think that kids should drink coffee or soda. Maybe tea every once in a while, if they need it. These beverages have a lot of caffiene and children are still developing. Kids have enough natural energy, they should not put that junk in their system. I would not want to give something that is not even good for me, to my child.
1 person likes this
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
18 Jun 07
When I was a kid my parents would let me drink a little glass of milk with a little coffee in it. I thought I was so big. I did not let my kids drink coffee, though. I did let them taste it but they did not like it. They are all grown and only one of my three drinks coffee.
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
18 Jun 07
Coffee is way over indulged in. It is much better as an occasional drink. Children have no business drinking it for sure. It is addicting since if you don't drink it you get a big headache. It is good for moving the bowels so again treat it like a medicine. Another one of those things that is not used as it is meant to be, sorry to say.
1 person likes this
@yaoyao918 (262)
• China
18 Jun 07
Hi miamilady. I have forgotten when I drank coffee for hte first time. I don't know why you are so worry about this things. In my opinion, coffee is a very common thing and sometimes it won't make people crazy. I am not keen on coffee but when I need to stay up all night for my study I will drink coffee. Fortunately, I always can flake out after drink coffee. I drink coffee only when I need them and I think it is bad for our health to drink too much coffee.
1 person likes this
@pranav04 (67)
• India
18 Jun 07
Hi, children can drink coffee.get energy to body.
1 person likes this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
18 Jun 07
I don't think kids need to drink coffee. And aren't those Frappy drinks loaded with sugar? I guess they might be the same as having an ie cream. I wouldn't consider cafe con leche and toast as a good breakfast. But I guess it is healthier than fast food...lol.
1 person likes this
@Inky261 (2524)
• Germany
18 Jun 07
Coffee was forbidden for me when I was a child and my parents let me try it when I was a teenager. The reason given to me was that coffee makes children weak, fragile and sick. I could accept this. I like to drink coffee and I did not give coffee to my daughter when she was a child. She loved milk and chocolate milk and was quite content with it.
• Australia
19 Jun 07
No, I personally think it creates bad habits. I myself have never druken coffee during my child years and currently dont drink at all. My older brother on the other has and guess what, he is addicted to it, a cup every morning is a must for him. Any connections? Co-incidence? Although I don't mind it, I don't find what is so fascinating about it. If drinking coffee is too help the kid stay away or be more alert, the make them sleep earlier and make sure they get enough sleep each night. That should do the trick usually.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Yes, I agree, coffee is either addictive or at the very least can be habit forming. I don't want it to become a "habit" for my children, but I don't see the harm in having it as a very occassional treat. I think they see the frapuccinos as a milk shake with a little extra "kick". I drink a cup every day, like your brother does. I stopped drinking it for a while, but then I started again. I don't think it is "too" bad for your health. One cup isn't that bad. When a person gets up to 3 cups a day, then I think it starts to become a problem. Thanks for your response.
@kumar27 (129)
• India
19 Jun 07
to express view flatly coffee is an innocuous to children.as tea maybe harmful to children to some extent cofee is not....but also it depends on medical experts who can tell about the properties of coffee whether harmful to children or not.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Just to clarify...are you saying that tea is more harmful to children than coffee is? If yes, how so?
• United States
19 Jun 07
Cafe con leche is really milk with a little bit of coffee - just as in many Asian cultures - children drink weak tea with loads of milk for breakfast. I agree with you - kids should not drink coffee - they get enough caffeine from coke and other cola drinks.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jun 07
I try to limit the amount of cola they drink as well. I don't forbid that either, but I don't usually keep it at home, although there are exceptions sometimes. Most of the time they drink cola/soda when we are dining out. Which, unfortunatley we do on a fairly regular basis.
19 Jun 07
Teens between 13 to 17 drink a great deal of coffee and I really don't think there is anything wrong with it as long as they drink it in the same mmoderation as cola.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Yes, I think moderation is important. It just isn't something that I wan't to become a habit for them at this age. I wouldn't want to see my teen "needing" to stop off at Starbucks on a daily basis, or even having to have that morning cup of cofee on a daily basis. Although I have to admit for a short period of time, the reason I was okay with giving my son the cafe con leche in the morning was with the hopes that it would get him moving a little better in the mornings. He is NOT a morning person. It worked for about a month and I think it was more about the novelty of getting that for breakfast in the morning than it was about the caffeine. After the novelty wore off we switched to other breakfasts again and now we are back to varying what we have for breakfast.