Growing up, parents were always advising their children to steer clear from coffee. A lot of beliefs were made around this notion. Adults usually tell children that coffee can make them age faster, give them a hard time sleeping at night, stunt their growth, or make them hyperactive. Is there truth behind all these beliefs? Is coffee really good for kids?
As parents, we must know first whether drinking coffee is actually beneficial to your child’s growth or could harm them in the future. Here are several facts about coffee and how it can affect your child’s growth and development.
Benefits and Dangers of Drinking Coffee Among Children
Coffee has known properties that are beneficial to the body. It is observed that, for children, having coffee mixed with milk can help them battle depression more effectively in the future while reducing their chances of experiencing it. Drinking soft-served coffee assists them in their concentration, allowing them to study their lessons more efficiently, resulting in better grades. Earlier exposure to coffee, alongside beer and other adult drinks, can help them control the intake of these beverages even better in the future.
However, alongside its benefits, there are also dangers and cautions that were linked to drinking coffee, especially with its caffeine content. Here are some of them:
Children who drink coffee regularly were found to experience difficulty in sleeping. Caffeine is a known stimulant, and the effects of it include the reduced need for sleep. Children, especially those below nine years old, were recommended to get at least ten to eleven hours of sleep for optimal growth and development. Teenagers need nine hours of sleep. The reduced sleep hours would lead to other physiological and psychological ailments in the body.
The acidity in coffee can reduce the strength of the tooth enamel. The substance produced by our body to make teeth takes years; the problem is that it is sensitive to acidic materials. Thus, having coffee at an early age could lead to oral health issues.
Children are required to eat balanced meals three times a day. Drinking coffee can affect their appetite for food. Caffeine is also an addictive substance and might incline the child to depend on coffee for everyday energy, which is not recommended by most pediatricians and dieticians.
Just consuming 100mg of caffeine takes away 6 mg of calcium content in our bones. Uncontrolled intake of coffee for children stimulates bone density loss, leading to bone problems, especially during their old age.
As a stimulant, coffee boosts energy levels in the human body. Children could become overly active, and coffee can affect their mental focus, leading to attention deficiency and loss of body control.
Amidst the claims of parents who observed their children drinking coffee, no studies have ever been conducted to properly and systematically observe physiological and psychological behavior in children when drinking coffee. However, it is not also good for children to become overly inclined to coffee and its substance.
Some parents suggest serving their children coffee mixed with milk and chocolate to lessen up the coffee content and help them take more of the essential nutrients through their coffee mixes. There are no known claims of advanced dangers in giving coffee to children, but pediatricians continue to counsel parents on the proper nutrition their children should take.