Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kids and Coffee...what do you think?

As most of you know, I'm pretty much a health nut. Fortunately for me, there has been a lot of good news recently about coffee--antioxidants galore! I love coffee, and I've always had the philosophy that enjoying coffee every now and then is fine. The problem with coffee is that if you need it more than you want it, then you're looking at an addiction.

But what about kids and coffee? I started thinking about this topic is today when we enjoyed a family outing at the park. My 11-year-old son, Kyler, came up to me and said, "Mom, could you hold my white chocolate mocha so I could go down the slide?'

The incongruency of it all made me laugh. Here was my kid with one foot in the adult world sipping a mocha and the other foot in childhood wanting to play at the park. Every now and then, I will let my tweens and teens enjoy a cup of coffee. Like their mom, they LOVE the stuff! The rule is they can't have more than three cups in a week, so there is no danger of developing an addiction (and no matter how you want to put it, needing caffeine is an addiction).

But I want to hear what you think. Do you drink coffee? Do you let your kids enjoy coffee? What's the scoop? Let me know!

10 comments:

Lisa D said...

My girls are 13 and 11 and they too love a good Starbucks mocha ... whatever the flavor. Neither one of them drinks colas or other sodas very much, so I have no problem letting them order something at Starbucks. On the positive side, they think that my non-fat latte is pretty bad (no sugar)! They aren't quite ready for the strong stuff! Let them enjoy here and there.

Carianne said...

I start the day with a good "cuppa", and so my daughters grew up seeing that. They also saw Daddy with orange juice, so they have tried both, and prefer juice daily. That said, they do still try coffee with milk/sugar/flavor sometimes, and it is no big deal. Moderation in everything, including moderation!

Traci said...

I was almost afraid to read your blog today after seeing the topic. You see I'm a mom who loves her coffee. Well, let me rephrase that, I'm a mom who loves the flavors and nondairy creamers that make my coffee so yummy! My 4 children all enjoy drinking coffees too and like you a believe that it is not a problem as long as it is not a daily addiction. We usually only brew coffee a couple times during the week and on weekends so I don't mind letting them enjoy their own cups. However I think that maybe my motives are selfish, it keeps them from drinking all of mine! LOL

In.The.Garden said...

Actually, I am one of those moms who isn't for the idea of kids having caffeine...ANY caffeine. I have been diagnosed with SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia)and caffeine can cause my heart to race(fast!). This problem started in my early twenties, but as I looked back on my childhood I noticed that caffeine in sodas made me very anxious, jittery, and suppressed my appetite. My mom never knew this and I didn't realize it as a child. I know some can handle more than others, but I don't want to encourage it in my kids. They can try it when their bodies are finished growing. It is a natural drug, after all.

Heather B said...

HI, I am a mother of 5. I acquired 2 of my kids when I married their father 4 years ago. Being raised by a man and sometimes grandmas there weren't too many don'ts. Me, well I didn't listen to secular music, or give my children caffeine. Soda and fast food were occasional and with him they were the source of thier nurishment, if "Nana" didn't feed them cupcakes, pizza, and chips. I as a child did have coffee, but that was really special because it was my grandparents who gave it to me. Pretty much the same now goes for my kids. They might have a sip (except for the 19 month old who will find an unmanned cup of coffee and proceed to gulp it down and ruin her pretty little church dress and stain my carpet) but I leave it up to other people to spoil my kids and let them have thier little traditions and I do not mind that being handed down. It takes children's bodys 6 hours to process the coffee and with 5 of them and a small house, they do not need to have so much energy ( to fight) and in the meanwhile we are saving thier pearly whites. Just because my teeth are yellow and have to get them cleaned doesn't mean that my children should have to deal with such an ordeal. I know, do as I say, not as I do, well I have done a lot of dumb things, doesn't mean I have to let them try it out to learn a lesson. My step daughter's teeth are so yellow, the cleanings are never enough, so all or nothing for this family. I can appritiate your laid back way of mothering and I am glad to have you as an example in my life. Thank you for your blog and your MMM.
Heather

Catherine said...

My husband and college roommate are both Cajun. My roommate grew up with coffee-milk almost every day - with the proportion of coffee increasing as the child grew older. My husband also had the occasional coffee-milk when he was younger. So, I don't mind my kids having coffee at times. They are 9 and 12 right now and usually mix their coffee with hot chocolate. As your previous posters noted - moderation in everything is the key.

Blessings,
Catherine

momof5 said...

As a general rule, I don't think coffee is for kids. However, in the case of hyperactive kids it works to help them focus and stay on track. It can work as well as Ritalin, but without the side affects. My oldest was severely hyperactive, but was never on Ritalin.Coffee works--did for a couple of other hyper kids, too. I prefer not to medicate unless it's absolutely necessary. So, yes, some of my kids did drink coffee at a very young age, but not in large quantities and for a specific reason. Becky

annmarie said...

I looove my coffee, but I have always had a rule no coffee until they are 14 yo. They can have a sip or a baby chino, which is all fluff but not a whole cup. I always bought what we called "children's coffee" eg Ecco or Natures Cuppa cereal based alternatives. They had them from a young age and were really happy as they new no difference .I also used Rooisbos tea a good alternative to black tea . It's a South African tea made from the Rooi bush, with no caffeine in it, but similar taste. Its interesting to note, people don't use this line of thought and let their children drink alcohol even in moderation . Saying that all the soft drinks kids drink today, is probably far worse and chocolate milk can have quite a high caffeine level. Interesting info on using coffee for hyperactive kids.

Cheers and blessings Annmarie

Melissa said...

My 4 kids drink coffee as much as I do. I grew up on it and they are too. I can't have caffeine, because it triggers my migraines, so all of our coffee is decafinated. We do not allow soft drinks. All we drink is water, decaf tea, decaf coffee or milk. No milk from the store tho, we have a cow. I have no problem with kids having coffee.....the only stipulation is on how much sugar they can put in it.

P. said...

I am not a big coffee drinker but my mother(decedent of Creoles) is and she introduced my young son to coffee. Well, he loved it. I though to myself he only likes it because its sweet so I offered him a coffee bean. He crunched it up and asked for more. What can I say he enjoys coffee but he gets only as often as I drink it which is about six times a year.