Do You Let Your Kids Drink Coffee??

A friend of mine forwarded me an article the other day from the Huffington Post, “I Let My Kids Drink Coffee“, authored by Catherine McCord, founder of    I was completely surprised not only by the article itself, but by the multitude of parents who eagerly chimed in agreement.

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Judging by how many parents voiced that their kids drink coffee I think I might strike a bit of a nerve when I in turn voice my opinion, but I have to say that I 100% disagree with the article and the theory that “everything in moderation” is ok.  By that same logic we would let our children have a “thimble” of wine, or vodka, or cocaine, or heroin for that matter.  Not EVERYTHING is ok in moderation, and while the argument can be made that there is more caffeine in pop, chocolate and other readily available commercial junk brands, I believe the counter argument is that perhaps children should not be allowed any of those either.

I believe that children will be curious about what we as parents do, eat, say and so on.  It is up to us to model our behaviour so that they in turn follow us.  But we as parents also have to set limits and boundaries for our children.  They will ask us to do things we might not consider appropriate or safe, are we supposed to allow them to do these things “in moderation”?  Or is it our job to know the difference between what is safe and set realistic boundaries?

Will our children one day come back and say to us “but mom, I did X Y and Z but you said everything in moderation’.

Caffeine is not healthy, that’s a fact.  Another fact is that caffeine is highly addictive, even more so than alcohol.  And lastly, decaffeinated coffee is actually more harmful and toxic than caffeine itself, due to the process by which the caffeine is extracted. {Don’t take my word for it though, just read about it here, here and here.}

Lastly, a really REALLY great article to read if you’re interested as to the medical effects of caffeine on children {not just someone else’s opinion or personal experience} do yourself a favor and read this article published by the American Psychological Association, ironically titled A Sip Into Dangerous Territory, its pretty sobering.

Now that I’ve clearly articulated my point of view I want to know what your opinion is.  Do you {or will you} let your kids drink coffee?

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  1. says

    wow! I agree completely. bizarre though because my DH and I were just having this discussion last night an I hadn’t read the article. We agreed that we will not allow or support D to drink caffeine (coffee, soda, etc) until he is an adult. period

  2. Cristi Radoi says

    Again interesting stuff from you, Ana. I do totally agree with you, coffee drinking is wrong, especially for children.
    The problem comes with the age because after 12-13 years old the kids are less responsive to your education and personal example and the entourage from school and/or neighborhood and TV/music/movies idols become more and more influential in their behavior and preferences.
    How about drinking, smoking or even worse?
    But the main idea is correct, parents should never negotiate on these. No coffee and sorry Rosa but also no hot chocolate, it’s very unhealthy too. How about a nice flavored tea?

  3. Silje says

    Well said Ana 🙂 You captured my sentiments exactly! I was so shocked when I read the artical and everybody’s responses!! I would never have dreamed of giving my children coffee yet apparently it is somewhat common!? Anyways, Davis gets hot chocolate and we are happy to let him do so as he would have to drink about 15 mugs of his hot chocolate in order get the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

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