JFF When Did Your Kids Start to Drink Coffee or Tea?

Updated on February 16, 2012
B.F. asks from Arlington Heights, IL
42 answers

I just saw a video about Toddlers & Tiaras and one mom's controversial "go go juice", which is Moutain Dew and Red Bull mixed. It made me think about our own coffee and tea habits.

I started brewing a pot of decaf black tea in the afternoon for myself and my 10 year old son. He loves it (with some sugar) and I'm happy that he prefers the natural black tea over soda or other "artificial" drinks. When I grew up we always had black tea (not decaf) with dinner even when we were little. I tried to remember when I started to drink coffee but I'm not really sure when that was. I think I was allowed to have a coffee on the weekend when I was maybe around 10 years old. I didn't really like it at first, had to put tons of sugar in it but it made me feel so grown-up. Sometime around 12 or 13 I think I switched to coffee as my morning drink, but I'm really not exactly sure what age I was.

My questions:
- When did you or your children start to drink coffee?
- Other than the caffeine, is there any reason why children should not drink coffee (or tea)?
- Why does it seem "wrong" to give a 10 year old a cup of coffee, but it seems ok if he has a coke or a mountain dew?
- For good measures, let's add Red Bull to the equation. When were your kids allowed to have energy drinks?


1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all for your input. It was very interesting to see that most of you try to keep your kids' soda consumption to a minimum. So do I, mainly because of all the sugar and high fructose corn syrup in soda. Also, so far we haven't had and requests for Red Bull. I don't think my son even knows that it exists and what it is. I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

Moms, I just attended a meeting at my childs middle school and they discussed caffeine and teens (and how concerned they were with how much the 8th graders were drinking) . Bottom line:

Teens should try to limit caffeine consumption to no more than 100 mg of caffeine daily, and kids should get even less. There are lots of reasons why like bone density. A coke has 54mg a 5oz coffee has 115 mg Here is a link: http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/drugs/caffeine.html#

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My boys (11 and 9 does not drink coffee, tea or pop. One reason I don't give it to them.... It stains their teeth.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I grew up in a tea home. Always had sweetened ice tea in the refrig and lemon and a sharp knife out on a small cutting board ready to go. My siblings and I would eat lemon slices, some of us with salt on them, just as a snack (peel and all). Some of my nieces and nephews do this now too! LOL Guess the lemons don't fall far from the trees!! HA!

But hot tea was always an options too. We had a drawerfull of various flavored tea bags, some black tea-based, many herbal. Personally I like a very light brew (tea bags in a few short seconds in a regular size cup), but I like to add a flavor one to my black tea. So I will usually take the 2, tie them together and make a pot or pitcher out of them and just microwave my cups as I go thru the day.

Now a days I add Splenda to sweeten.

My daughter who is now 17 is a crazy wild tea gal! Gone are the days of my drawerful..she has an entire cabinet! She asked for and got many varieties of tea for Christmas, new mugs and all sorts of stuff tea related! Shes been drinking tea since she was a toddler. It was always watered down. Now she likes a STRONG brew and uses Splenda to sweeten. She does not like the taste of coffee, rarely drinks pop and to my knowledge has never had an energy drink (neither have I).

She was "bred" to be a tea drinking, book reading, art/craft loving sensitive girl! Shes a keeper!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

I am not sure when they started drinking coffee. I really don't think they drink a lot though. The two I am speaking of are adults by the way. The younger two they hate the taste of coffee.

We drink a lot of tea but it is herbal teas so I don't really think it counts.

I don't have a problem with sugar or caffeine. It really doesn't effect them, if anything caffeine helps them focus, ADHD, ya know? Sugar, god I love the people who use birthday parties and the like to show out of control children from sugar. Yeah cause being around a mess of other kids doesn't stimulate them at all. :p

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

My kids can't have coke, or mtn dew because of the SUGAR not because of the caffeine. Red Bull in most kids is WRONG. I have tried it with my 10 yr old because she is ADHD and they work opposite in ADHD kids. They allow focus , but she does not like the taste and she doesn't feel good after drinking one. Kids have died from drinking energy drinks. It raises the heart rate and can give a person a heart attack. Kids are more likely to have this happen. Just google it.
My daughter does have coffee every once in a while when we don't give her her meds or when we are out of it , my son NO , he is not ADHD.
They sometimes have tea with dinner at restaurants. I don't make it very often at home.
ETA ; caffeine stunting growth is an old wives tale.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We're an adhd house. We often have espresso before bed (it's soothing), and various caffeinated things during the day. Decaf was great when he was a toddler, because the caffeine was at the right dosage for him.

I started drinking coffee when I was 5. The family joke is that we sure HOPE it stunts your growth. We're all over 6' tall.

My son's ACTUAL first coffee was as an infant. My mum put some in his bottle to help him sleep. I nixed that, but, as you can tell we're VERY used to the calming effects of caffeine round these parts when it's a standard "baby trick". He started having caffeine regularly in chocolate at about 2, and in coffee/ tea/ etc. at about age 5.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Mmmmmm ... flame retardant and Red Bull! What a fabulous drink for a toddler! (the following soft drinks do indeed contain flame retardant, used in plastics: Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade or Fresca Original Citrus)


Anyway, our 6 yo doesn't drink sodas, energy drinks, coffee or any other caffeinated beverage.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Oh boy - that "go go juice" thing is just horrible! For a toddler? In my book that's abusive.

My kids are 7 and 9. They don't drink pop/soda. They have had it before, I just dont' serve it. And if we go to a movie or something they can get lemonade, punch, orange pop or sprite - only DECAF.

My daughter (7) has had some of my iced tea and has had hot tea while out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. My son (9) just doesn't like tea. Hubs and I are tea drinkers. We sometimes drink coffee. I would allow kids a taste, but wouldn't let them 'drink' a cup or anything. Caffeine is just not good for a growing body. I think for as long as I have any say over it, things will stay this way. :) Yes - they will eventually be able to get a mt dew out of a pop machine on their own, but it will be occasionally - I'm not buying it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My boys are young (5 and 2) but we only allow them Water or Milk, and Tea or Lemonade as a treat if we go out somewhere. I think giving children soda (in amounts more than a few small sips), coffee, and especially energy drinks is really bad for them. They don't need that garbage in their bodies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

- When did you or your children start to drink coffee?
------She started drinking cafe au lait in he fifth grade (around age 10). She has never cared for hot tea, and can take or leave iced tea.
- Other than the caffeine, is there any reason why children should not drink coffee (or tea)?
-------None that I can think of. And drinking a cup or two of coffee a day isn't going to give them any more cafeeine than the several cokes many kids drink every day.
- Why does it seem "wrong" to give a 10 year old a cup of coffee, but it seems ok if he has a coke or a mountain dew?
-------Doesn't seem wrong to me. Not sure why it freaks other people out.
- For good measures, let's add Red Bull to the equation. When were your kids allowed to have energy drinks?
--------Red Bull, Rock Star, etc. didn't come out until my daughter was an adult, but I allowed her to have Elements when she was in middle and high school. I treated them like any other soda. I bought a limited number per payday and when they were gone, they were gone. She rationed them out herself to 1/2 per day to make sure they lasted until the next payday.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Yikes, I may get berated about this but my kids are 4 and 2 and drink it now!! They have 'coffee milk' which I make with about a table spoon of coffee, milk and about 7 little drops of chocolate infused stevia (a safe herbal sweetener). The have tea whenever I make it, also sweetened with stevia. The do drink diet soda sometimes too. Now my 2 year old has only a little watered down but my 4 year old drinks it straight, but not that much, maybe six ounces or so and not that often. We don't do the sugary stuff, although I know there is much controversy over artificial sweetener, which is why I try to mostly use stevia. I drank coffee at around 11 and am no worse for wear. I never even started drinking it daily until my 2nd child was born. I have even heard that some parents of ADHD kids use it bc it has a calming effect on hyperactive children. I think I may fall in this catagory bc coffee has never ever kept me up. I can also drink tons and tons of soda and sleep like a baby. Even now at 35, I can go to starbucks, suck down whatever strong coffee I feel like at 9pm and be out like a light at 10. So it really does not affect everyone the same way. Anyway as far as the Red Bull stuff I don't ever drink that stuff and so neither have my kids. I just hate that way the Taurine, or whatever it is, tastes. So, there, my small little kids have had it all, minus the Red Bull, don't call CPS, they are sleeping like little angels and doing very well :D

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son is 2 1/2, and he drinks herbal teas. (no caffeine) I am totally against allowing children caffeinated drinks, while you can control the situation. By that, I mean at home and when they are young. When my son is older ( a 2 1/2 year old does not need to be allowed caffeine!) I will definitely allow him sodas at things like birthday parties. (Mostly, because I think the one kid who can't have cake or soda, is always left out and sad. I don't want that to be my kid.) I don't believe in NEVER allowing something, it just makes it more desirable. When he is old enough to purchase things himself, obviously I can't control that! In my home, I will not have it here. I grew up not really drinking caffeine, my husband grew up being allowed 1-2 a day since he was age 5. He has a SERIOUS caffeine addiction. We have finally broken it mostly, aside from a cup of black coffee in the morning. (For an a adult, I would consider that moderation, anyway.) People forget that caffeine is a stimulant, A DRUG. Why would I want to set up my child for failure, like my husband's parents did? Long story short, I won't introduce caffeinated drinks to my son. I don't buy them and won't ever. I don't think it's right (in MY house) to give a 10 year old coffee or soda. That's I don't buy them.
As far as energy drinks. NEVER. No one should drink thsoe. They are just poison to a body.

ETA - We do allow my son sugar, just in the from of home baked treats. And, it's not a whole lot, but it's enough. I think kids need to be allowed sugar, so they don't go nuts at grandmas house when they give them a cookie, or other situations like that. I just don't agree with sugar in the form of sugary drinks, or in caffeinated beverages. Again, that's for my house. It doesn't matter to me what other people do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Caffeine stunts growth so I doubt I'll be letting my son drink it until he's in college. Granted, I won't be able to control everything that he eats and drinks and on special occasions I'm sure he'll have a coke or something but it's not something we're planning on introducing to him for a long long time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ok, I was allowed to start drinking coffee around 16 or 17 but did not drink it often - mostly a starbucks frappucino (YUCK now) but not very often at all. I drank tea rarely with my grandmother, but I have never been a big fan of tea and she had the ONE flavor I could enjoy. \

My son is 5 he has not yet had soda - I have told him that it is for adults, not kids and he probably will not have soda for much longer if I can help it. His grandpa tried to order him a soda with his happy meal once and he told grandpa that coca (he was 4) was bad and he does not drink coca and to please get him a milk or apple juice. Grandpa was confused and apologized to him and got him an apple juice. When he was dropped off my son immediately told me that grandpa tried to get him coca but he knew better, I explained (what I thought was common sense) that we do not give coke to a 4year old and we are not offering soda to our son for as long as possible.
I have been told that coffee stunts a child's growth, not sure about it all however, if they get to have everything now then what do they have to look forward to as they age?
It is just as wrong to give a child soda as it is coffee or tea (caffinated)
My son will probably have the occasional energy drink as a teen but I will urge him to be cautious and advise him of the dangers - same with everything in moderation. I NEVER understood why soda is given to young children or even tweens to be honest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My husband cant function with out a cup of joe in the morning, one about 11, and then at 3. He needs his, what I call, hair on the dog -tea at about 5. Then again around 11pm. Creature of habit. ME, I need about one to two cups of brew coffee a day just cause I LIKE it. The kids have learned his habit. I shake mine up a bit, so they dont understand mine. They are after my husbands dregs at all costs. Scrambling to get at the last drops in the cup. They are 5, 2, and 1. The one year old seems to love it the most. I dont know if they truly like it, or just imitating dad. I agree with the difference of Mountain Dew to Coffee same damage done. By the way none of our kids are allowed any soft drinks, or energy drinks. Juice is the worst offense here



answers from Seattle on

My daughter is occasionally allowed to have a coffee drink usually decaf and she of course is allowed a sip or two of one of mine from time to time. Each of my kids occasionally drink green tea or raspberry tea. I don't give it to them often because I don't see the benefits for them plus they both love milk and water. I don't agree with giving a 10 year old mountain dew and I've never nor would I give my kids energy drinks.


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi happy-

My kiddos are all older...(15 to 22) and NONE of them had a 'taste' for coffee (although I am an avid coffee drinker) until the end of their respective college freshman first semesters! lol

My oldest daughter (now 20) has enjoyed ALL kinds of hot tea since she was about 15...but coffee, again...only since college.

Since we have moved to 'southern' va...some of the 'youngers' have a taste for sweet tea...but we make home brew...so I have control over the sugar.

High energy drinks were only requested once or twice several years ago...and my answer was NO.

No clue if the 'olders' drink them on their own.

We do not 'do' coke or mountain dew...other than special occasions...and they have never requested it other than that.

I have allowed kiddos of ALL ages to try my coffee...but as I like it black...the answer has been 'YUCK!'

Best Luck!


answers from Orlando on

My 13 year old:
-Does drink coffee never
-Just for the caffeine and the diversity on opinions on if it is good or bad and how much is good or bad.
-My daughter only drinks coke in very specials holydays and just a little since she was 11 for the same reason then coffee plus the sugars and other ingredients on coke.
-My daughter would not have a energy drink for a long time.


She does drink tea sometimes like Chamomile when she is having some pains (PMS) or stomach ache.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son is 8. He's always liked hot (decaf) tea with sugar & lemon--especially when he's sick.
Recently, he had coffee at a breakfast reception after an out of town wedding. He spied the coffee urn on the line and asked to try it, so my husband fixed a cup for him with some flavored creamer....loved it!
I think there are lots of health benefits to tea, so I don't think it's an issue--unless caffeinated and it's close to bedtime.
As for coffee--my son sometimes has half coffee/half milk in the morning, and that early I don't worry about the caffeine. You're right, the caffeine AND sugar in Coke and Mt Dew is alarming!
I don't allow my son to have energy drinks....just Gatorade for sports/practices.



answers from Washington DC on

My daughter is 6, and has just started drinking ice tea occasionally. When we go out to dinner I will let her order an ice tea sometimes. It's just every once in a while, so I dont see any harm in it. She doesen't get soda because I don't like all the sugar in it.


answers from Philadelphia on

my 5 year old started drinking hot decaf tea at 2? She loved it and it helped with allergies and her nose being stuffy? I used to drink tea with my pop pop and mom daily when I was little. She hates soda and had only drank stirred gingerale when sick and still says its "spicy". She J. started drinking iced tea which is caffeniated at dinner time. Ussually she'll J. take a few sips. Everything in moderation=)



answers from Sacramento on

Coffee and tea are highly acidic, and given my history with IBS (and a mom who also can't tolerate these drinks), I will hold off as long as possible before allowing them to try. Don't want them to go through what my mom and I have with these drinks (not knowing for a long time they were a key reason we didn't feel well). I didn't even try coffee until college and I don't see any real reason for it to be different for my kids.

That said, our nine-year-old has had caffeinated soda before. He has ADHD and the stimulant from caffeine is good when his medication is konking out for the day. We don't let our five-year-old daughter have caffeinated soda because it would have the opposite effect on her.

Will have to deal with energy drinks when the time comes, but I doubt those will come up at all until the teen years.


answers from San Francisco on

LOL my son is a college freshman and he is DETERMINED not to drink coffee because he sees how addicted I am to it!
We don't buy soda, but I have always let them order soda in restaurants, starting around age 5 or 6, because that's part of the "treat" of going out to eat.
My 12 year old likes herbal tea when she's not feeling well, and she likes iced tea from Starbucks (again, a treat outside of home.)
My 16 year old occasionally gets coffee drinks (those big sugary ones with whip cream) when she's out with her friends. If she WANTED to drink regular coffee I would probably let her, but I wouldn't encourage it.
Energy drinks? Never had one, and have no desire to. I get high enough on two cups of coffee, I don't think I could handle that kind of jolt. And I would definitely NOT buy it for my kids, it just seems like a nasty product :(


answers from St. Louis on

Good question! We do have tea occasionally in our house (decaf and regular) and the kids like to have 'sips' of our coffee which we allow now and then. Most of the time they drink water, juice or milk. Occasionally a yoo-hoo!! I think tea is okay most of the time (honestly didn't think about the caffeine factor...LOL). As far as drinking a can of soda - I'm not sure when we'll allow it but I'd like to prolong it as long as possible. Hubby drinks regular soda and I drink diet so it's always around (and kids ask for a sip and we'll usually let them have some) but as far as an entire can? Hopefully not for a while!!

Energy drinks - I'd say when they are old enough to buy them (so driving age?) With soda - I'd probably let them drink it at night on the weekends or for a popcorn / movie party when they are in junior high.


answers from Chicago on

My oldest daughter which is 12 had he very first cup of coffee on Black Friday, she said it was "ok" but didn't love it. Tea, all three of my children whom are 12,9,and 4, drink it every once in awhile with lemon and honey or even milk at time's. You have a GREAT point about the coke-mountain dew part although my kid's don't really care for soda that much and I myself don't find it to be a big deal. As for Red Bull...NOWAY! My brother is hooked on it and he will get shortness of breath and he says his heartbeats really fast and when he went to the doctor he was told not to drink it because of the caffeine amount in it. My kid's would much rather have a gatorade. I guess it depends on the parent, some make it a big deal and some don't. My daughter has friends that are already addicted to coffee! I didn't start drinking it until I had my second child and now i'm hooked!
ADD ON: FYI...Even decaf still has half the caffeine!



answers from Denver on

I have given my kids hot tea with half milk since they were 2 or so. They don't get it everyday but peppermint and chamomile tea are awesome when they are sick. My oldest, 9 will only drink tea while sick, and my younger two, 6 and 4 would drink it regularly except I limit to about 1 cup a week. Soda is REALLY rare for us. So I feel like the others occasional tea or iced tea is no big deal. I will probably allow 1 cup of coffee on the weekend at about 14 or so. No energy drinks. I started drinking coffee as a teen, but didn't drink it everyday until I became a mom. :)



answers from Kansas City on

My son is 2 and my daughter is 4 and neither of them are allowed soda. My 2 year old has had sips of my husband's iced tea, he drinks a lot of it, and he seems to be really excited about it, but I'm hesitant to give an already rambunctious toddler more caffeine. My daughter doesn't like tea or coffee and probably wouldn't like soda much either, she's kinda weird like that! ;) My son would probably suck down soda if we let him, he's got a major sweet tooth but I'm not into artificial sweetners and all that sugar content...however, and here's where I am a tiny bit hypocritical I guess, I do allow them to have slushies on occassion. I know they really aren't any different than a soda in terms of sugar (or high fructose corn syrup...BOO!), but at least most of them don't have caffeine. Even then however, slushies are a very rare treat for us, maybe one every few months.

Besides, caffeine, the other reason to limit coffees and teas is the teeth staining issue. I know you have to drink quite a bit to have a problem, but even dark liquids once a day can cause an issue. Yes, you can brush your teeth, but how many kids are that good about that! ;)



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter never has been coffee drinker - she's 32. I didn't start drinking coffee until I was in my 30's. As kids, we always had black tea, like you. We drank it all the time. Never had soda - wasn't even in the house. That was a vacation treat and then limited to 2 per day.

I'm now raising my granddaughter. She actually started having about 1/2 cup of coffee when she was in kindergarten. Her teacher suggested it as a way to calm her down. I don't think it worked and I quickly quit giving it to her in the mornings before school, but every once in a while on the weekend she will ask if she can have a cup. She never has a full cup, maybe 1/2 or less. She really likes it and I don't see that it makes her hyper. Actually she usually never even finishes her cup - I think she just likes to have it 'cause it makes her feel more grown up.

I don't know why it seems wrong to give a 10 year old coffee but okay to give them a coke. I don't give kids soda - my granddaughter gets a soda very rarely. She prefers fruit juice and water - yippee! And I do not allow children to drink Red Bull or Mountain Dew or any other energy drink. Kids usually have enough natural energy - I don't see any reason to supplement it!

I can't even imagine giving a child a mix of Red Bull and Mountain Dew! It seems like to me they would get too over stimulated and crash! It's not a good thing and in my opinion she should have a visit from her local CPS office!



answers from Missoula on

My four year-old likes iced tea with a little sugar and lemon. He also occasionally requests cafe au lait, which I make with about an ounce of coffee, a bit of sugar and some warm milk. I'd say he drinks this about once or twice a month.
We don't drink much soda and never Red Bull (bleh) or other energy drinks, so those aren't really issues.



answers from Seattle on

Wow, this has been a huge eye opener reading the variety of response to your great question...

I had no idea that so many parents allowed their children to drink caffeinated beverages, whether is coffee, tea or coke type products, or Red Bull, or whatever..

I grew up in a medical family, and caffeine was strictly prohibited for children. The reason is that caffeine negatively affects many growing parts of a body...specifically the kidneys, adrenal glands and hormones.
And the big unknown is that medicine does not know the long term affects of stimulants on a growing and maturing body.

This has been very shocking to me to say the least.

My parents drank coffee growing up.
We were not allowed to.
I started drinking black tea in the afternoon in college.
I now drink black teas with milk and honey, 3 large cups a day. I also drink ice tea.
My oldest started drinking coffee in college b/c her first job was at Starbucks and she could have all the free coffee she wanted, plus she could give her friends a free cup. That was a great way to make friends.
I don't allow my kids soda pop when we are out. They can have milk, juice, lemonade or water. About twice a year they get a rootbeer or fruitopia drink at McDonald's.


answers from Houston on

I was raised on unsweetened iced tea and for as long as I can remember I could drink out of my mother's tea glass. Now I mostly only have iced tea in our house during the summer when we make sun tea. Sometimes I use herbal teas for sun tea. Otherwise, it's just regular black sun tea. Our staple drink is plain sparkling water. I can't tolerate coffee; it makes my skin crawl and my stomach turn somersaults. My husband has a cup of coffee every third day or so. Clearly we are not big coffee drinkers. I prefer a cup of morning hot tea almost every morning. As for our 13 month we only allow him to drink water, milk and the occassional couple of sips of sparkling water which he quite enjoys. As he gets older we will greatly limit his soda and juice intake to treats as others have suggested just because of the sugar factor. None of us drinks energy drinks so I won't worry about that until it crops us. As someone else mentioned, moderation is a good watch word to live by. Oh, and to address your specific questions I let others raise their children as they see fit. What works in one family won't necessarily work for another. One size fits all never works for anything from t-shirts to rules for raising children.



answers from Boston on

My kids are not "allowed" to have energy drinks but I would guess that my 13 year old son has had one at a friend's house. I started getting him frappes from McDonald's on occasion last year but neither he nor our 14 year old daughter drink coffee or hot tea regularly.

My 6 year old likes coffee and tea. Every now and again I'll brew him some decaf coffee because I find it amusing that he drinks it. I don't drink coffee, ever (hate the flavor) but the kids have been taking sips of my husband's hot and iced coffee since they were toddlers.

I drink a lot of tea and my two youngest (6 & 7) will have some of mine or their own cup. The caffeine is minimal so I don't do decaf unless it's very late in the evening. We also have fresh brewed iced tea in a pitcher all summer and drink it like any other drink.


answers from Houston on

I allow tea almost as soon as they can drink from a sippy cup. We love green tea and rose tea around here. Coffee is another thing, my oldest was allowed it fairly recently, after age 6 and only on special occasions like Christmas and thanksgiving. Ive also allowed her to try wine and microbrews on special occasions. Caffeinated soda is a big no no here. Sometimes they get to have a sprite( no caffeine)

I'm more weary of the high fructose corn syrup than I am caffeine. But I certainly frown at both at the same time.



answers from Los Angeles on

My kids never drink soda (and husband and I don't either). For a special treat when at the movie theater (about three times a year!) we will let them have some sprite. My girls are 3 and 5 and drink herbal "sleepytime" tea all the time. They love it! They do not get caffeine ever and I doubt I would ever allow them to drink redbull or coffee until they are out of my house! Why start an addiction so young? I didn't drink coffee until I was 20 and in final exams! Bottom line for me is caffeine IS detrimental to your overall health and hormonal balance and sugar IS a toxin to your body. I like your approach of teaching an alternative to super sugary-caffeinated drinks.


answers from Kansas City on

My kids don't drink tea, coffee, soda or energy drinks. Actually the only one of those I drink sometimes is decaf sweet tea and my husband sometimes drinks coffee.



answers from Dallas on

Well my now 9 1/2 year old sometimes drinks caffinated coffee but it calms him. We are pretty sure he has ADHD so caffeen has the oposite effect on him. I don't know why people think it's ok for coks and stuff but not coffee I have not really thought about that. My babysitter gave me decaf coffee when I was about 4. I don't think I would have my boys drink energy drinks cause I don't trust all of what is in them. Mostly they drink water and gateraide. But once in a while they will drink cokes and if we are out and my youngest is hyper I will tell him to get some caffeen.



answers from Kansas City on

My kids are young (6, 3, and 1) and they only drink water, milk, and juice. My husband and I don't drink coffee or tea, so it's not in the house for them to try.



answers from Minneapolis on

I love coffee and tea, but my kids (12 and 15) haven't acquired a taste for it. My husband hates any kind of hot beverage so maybe they never will. I don't think a coke or mountain dew seems any better to give a kid than a cup of coffee, although coffee probably has a lot more caffeine per cup than a can of soda. Caffeine is one of the few things I have almost completely prohibited my kids to consume because they had sleep issues when they were younger and they've always been more than active enough without caffeine. My oldest is now allowed caffeine soda in very moderate quantities, but there are plenty of drinks he prefers over caffeine soda so it's not a huge draw for him. I will probably never allow energy drinks as long as they live in my home and have informed them that they can be dangerous and that is why they are not allowed. I think herbal tea is probably a good drink for kids, but it's probably too bitter for most kids without added sugar.


answers from Iowa City on

My 4 year old drinks tea occasionally. I think she had her first cup at age 3. She has tried black tea but when she asks for a cup she gets either herbal or white tea. She has sipped coffee and thinks it is "awful". She doesn't drink soda very often (maybe once a month) because of the sugar content, not the caffeine. She has never had an energy drink and I don't see that happening until she is much, much older. We don't buy them so she probably won't get an opportunity for quite some time.

I don't recall when I started drinking coffee or tea on a regular basis. I don't drink coffee very often but I do drink tea daily. I would say the daily tea habit started a year or two ago.

I don't see anything wrong with allowing a child to drink something (or eat) with caffeine (unless they have a sensitivity) but obviously it should be in moderation.


answers from Providence on

I started drinking coffee at age 5. I absolutely loved the smell and taste. Although my mom put more milk and sugar then coffee, but it made me feel like a grown up! My son hates the smell of coffee, and doesn't like soda. He hates anything with fizz in it. I don't think i would give him energy drinks, not until he can buy them himself.



answers from Minneapolis on

I had an English grandmother who brewed black or green tea for me and my siblings in the afternoons. I have fond memories of sitting at the table with our tea cups, old fashioned sugar dispenser, and her homemade bread and jam. I then and still do prefer black tea and drink it every morning and sometimes again later in the day.

I didn't develop a taste for coffee until my early 20s when I discovered it with cream. I still drink less coffee than tea. I don't like the amount of caffeine in coffee, and my body and my stomach do not handle it well. I have never tried an energy drink and don't intend to. If coffee is too much, I'm sure I wouldn't react well to them, either.

My daughter is 9 and she has had a few tastes of cinnamon tea and chai tea that she's liked. She likes iced tea, also. She doesn't ask for it much, so her intake is minimal so far.

I still don't think it's OK to give her Mt Dew or Coke, at 9. She has shared a few Diet Dew/Cokes with me which have 1/2 the caffeine as regular. I don't ever intend for her to drink energy drinks. When she's old enough to be out on her own, of course, she'll decide what she drinks.

BTW - the idea that coffee stunts growth is an old, really old, wives' tale!



answers from Chicago on

my mother gave both of my kids tea (with 3/4 milk) at 2.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions