Buzz Kids: Are Coffee Drinks Safe for Children?

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Diet & Fitness, Tween Culture, Teen Culture, Nutrition: Tweens, Expert Advice: Tweens, Nutrition: Teens, Expert Advice: Teens

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Has your kid been talking about her new friend Joe?


If so, you're not alone. Coffee drinking is on the rise among tweens and teens, which is sparking health concerns.

"Kids are really overscheduled these days," Dr. Roshini Raj tells the "Today" show. "They have so many extracurricular activities, plus their homework -- they're looking for ways to really stay awake."

There aren't federal guidelines about the amount of caffeine kids can safely consume, but Dr. Nancy Snyderman says she's more concerned about how many calories are in coffee drinks.

"Here lies the real danger: In an obesity-troubled society already, you can easily have a 400 or 600-calorie drink," Snyderman tells the morning news show. "If it tastes good, and it's sweet and it's filled with fat, you might be better just having a chocolate shake that, frankly, gives you more calcium. There are a lot of empty calories in this."

Instead of prohibiting coffee, here are some tips to manage your child's coffee consumption:

  • Don't buy your kids coffee drinks regularly.
  • Be a healthy role model.
  • Encourage kids to drink healthy beverages.
Related: Baristas Are Not Baby Sitters

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.