After those sleepless nights, coffee can be a lifesaver, especially for parents. You can keep yourself active throughout the day by drinking regular or decaf coffee.
When you rely heavily on coffee, your child will inevitably notice you clutching your morning cup of coffee. Being naturally curious creatures, your kids might want to try your coffee.
Despite being around for centuries, it is still not determined if decaffeinated coffee is safe for children to consume.
Decaf coffee has the least caffeine of all coffee types; however, it is still not recommended for children. But If your child is curious about your morning caffeine fix, you can occasionally give them a sip or two of your decaf coffee.
Whether or not kids should drink decaf coffee is a matter of conflicting opinions. There is no one size fits all regarding how children react to caffeine.
Some believe decaf coffee is unsafe for them since it contains caffeine, while others believe that the lower caffeine content of decaf coffee makes it safe for them.
Read this article to learn about decaf coffee’s benefits, potential cons, and how you can prepare decaf coffee for kids.
What is Decaf Coffee?
In 1906, decaf coffee was first commercially available in Germany and became global.
Coffee beans go through decaffeination to remove 97% of caffeine.
The decaffeination process can include chemicals, but many brands rely on a natural process called Swiss water processing.
The Swiss Water Process removes most caffeine from coffee using only water as a decaffeinating agent.
People often choose a decaf beverage to avoid the adverse side effects of caffeine, such as jitters, anxiety and restlessness.
Can Kids Drink Decaf Coffee?
While decaf coffee doesn’t contain high caffeine content, it still significantly affects child health. Decaf coffee can disturb your child’s sleeping pattern and affect their energy levels.
The decision to give your child a decaf coffee depends on your preference, but I wouldn’t recommend it to them. The younger your child is, the more adversely the coffee will affect their health.
Most children get addicted to eating junk food like chocolates and candies throughout the day. Therefore, if you let your kid try decaf coffee now, and they are highly likely to get addicted to it, there is no stopping them.
Drinking coffee, decaf or not, is not beneficial for children in the long run. The biggest con of a kid drinking coffee is that it can irritate the stomach lining. However, some people believe that giving your children decaf coffee helps relieve constipation.
If given occasionally, a reasonable amount of decaf coffee brings no harm to the children, but you must keep the quantity in check.
When Can Children Start Drinking Coffee?
There is no specific rule regarding when kids can drink coffee. It depends on your child’s health, maturity, and taste preferences.
However, only when an individual is mature enough to understand the healthy consumption of coffee, its benefits, and side effects should they drink it.
Children younger than 12 years old are more likely to get rogue with drinking coffee if they love it as much as we adults do.
As a result, overconsuming caffeine at such a young age will lead to several health complications like anxiety, heartburn, insomnia, or stomach issues.
For kids 18 years and older, indulging in a delicious cup of coffee once or twice a day can give them the energy boost they need.
Nevertheless, the ultimate decision of letting your child drink decaf coffee depends on you. It is advisable to observe how your child reacts to caffeine; if it suits them well, they are good to go.
What are The 10 Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee for Kids?
Even though decaf coffee might not be the most healthy drink for your kids, there are some benefits.
If consumed in moderation, decaf coffee can bring the following benefits to your kids:
- Kids who struggle to stay awake during school can drink decaf coffee to keep them alert and energetic.
- It can help your child stay focused during the day and improve their concentration.
- A cup of decaf coffee boosts blood flow to the brain, which enhances cognitive performance.
- Decaf coffee has a laxative effect which prevents constipation.
- As there is less caffeine, decaf coffee doesn’t pose the danger of having acid reflux flare-ups.
- Decaf coffee lowers the chances of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- Decaf coffee can prevent type 2 diabetes in children, especially if it runs in the genes.
- Many antioxidants are present in decaf coffee, which help the body fight diseases and stay healthy.
- Decaf coffee contains vitamin B-3. Vitamin B-3 can help your child calm their nerves and lower anxiety.
- With one cup of fresh, brewed decaf coffee, you can get 2.4% of your daily magnesium, 4.8% of your potassium, and 2.5% of your niacin requirements.
What are the Risks Associated With Giving Kids Caffeine?
If you think decaf coffee is 100% safe for kids, that’s not true. There are several risks associated with giving kids caffeine; here are a few:
Your Kid Can Become Addicted to Caffeine.
Just like adults rely heavily on coffee to get through the day, children can also become addicted to it. If your kid drinks decaf coffee regularly, he might need help to go a day without it.
So, the more your kid is habitual of drinking coffee, the higher the chances he has coffee withdrawals. Coffee withdrawals can lead to headaches and irritability.
Decaf Coffee Can Disrupt Sleeping Pattern
Even though decaf coffee has lower caffeine levels, it is still a stimulant. Decaf coffee can disrupt your kid’s sleep cycles. A child who drinks decaf coffee a few hours before bed will struggle to fall asleep.
As a result, if your child gets less than 10 to 12 hours of sleep, it will affect their mood and energy levels.
Too Much Decaf Coffee Can Cause Dehydration
Dehydration can occur from caffeine because it is a diuretic that causes increased urination. If your child is not having enough fluid throughout the day and instead gulps down decaf coffee, they are prone to dehydration.
Dehydration can cause fatigue and weakness in your child, leading to severe complications.
Decaf Coffee Can Affect Your Child’s Mood
Decaf coffee can agitate kids and cause anxiety. It is also likely that your child will become irritated and restless after drinking decaf coffee.
All these symptoms can either be due to excessive coffee or your child is allergic to it.
Decaf Coffee Can Impact a Child’s Growth and Development
Decaf coffee is not the most suitable option if you take your child’s natural development and growth seriously. Caffeine consumption by children and adolescents lowers bone density.
In addition, caffeine interferes with absorbing essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and minerals. If the child is not receiving enough vitamins during childhood, it will result in problems in adulthood.
What Are The 10 Alternatives To Decaf Coffee For Children?
If your kid likes to drink beverages like coffee, you must make them try healthier alternatives. These alternatives will help your kid get off drinking coffee and eat or drink something more nutritious.
Here are some of the most nutritious alternatives to coffee:
- Milk (Plain or flavored)
- Fresh Juices
- Water (Plain or flavored)
- Fruit Smoothies
- Herbal Teas
- Frozen Fruits
How Much Caffeine Is Safe For a Child To Consume?
There is no definitive amount of caffeine that you can consider safe for your child. The amount of caffeine you think is safe for your child to consume depends on their health, sensitivity to caffeine, and the type of coffee they drink.
However, try to keep children under 12 from drinking caffeine and get them to try healthier alternatives.
On the other hand, children between the age of 12 to 18 should drink at most 100ml or less per day.
You can follow these caffeine limits according to your child’s age:
- Ages 4 to 6: 45 milligrams
- Ages 7 to 9: 62.5 milligrams
- Ages 10 to 12:85 milligrams
- Ages 18 and above: Over 100 milligrams
What Are The Signs That a Child Has Had Too Much Caffeine?
If you allow your child to drink coffee, it’s your choice. However, you must be vigilant if your child consumes too much caffeine.
Here are the signs that indicate overconsumption of caffeine:
How Can I Make Decaf Coffee For My Kid?
If you want to prepare decaf coffee for your kid, it’s easy and quick. You can use decaf coffee grounds or coffee pods. However, if you don’t want to spend extra bucks on decaf coffee, you can turn your regular coffee into decaf coffee.
In this method, I will teach to remove caffeine from regular coffee using the Swiss water method, which is quick and convenient.
What You Will Need:
- Coffee Grounds or Coffee Pods (Regular or Decaf)
- Coffee Mugs
- A Coffee Brewer
- Prepare a cup of coffee using your coffee brewer. You can use a coffee machine or a French press; it depends on what you have at home.
- Once you have prepared a cup of coffee, pour it into a large mug.
- Boil on a cup of plain water.
- Add the boiled cup of water to the coffee.
- Let the water and coffee mixture sit for at least 3 minutes.
- There you have it; your decaf coffee is ready!
Giving your children decaf coffee is not harmful, but you must remember the drawbacks. Excess of everything is terrible, so you must be extra careful regarding your kid’s health.
Excess decaf coffee will make your child dependent on it and create health problems in the long run, so it is safer not to let them drink coffee. Instead, make your children yummy treats like smoothies, flavored milk, and delicious soups at home.
On the other hand, if your kid is already addicted to drinking caffeine, make sure you check out for any adverse effects to avoid any serious complications.
Does decaf coffee have caffeine?
A cup of Decaf coffee has only 2 mg of caffeine. The decaffeination process removes 97% of the caffeine from decaf coffee.
Can coffee stunt a child’s growth?
There is no proven evidence that coffee stunts a child’s growth.
Can I give my 8-year-old decaf coffee?
No! Avoid giving children under 12 any decaf drinks.
Can coffee make kids hyper?
Yes! Too much caffeine intake can make a kid hyperactive.
What coffee is safe for kids?
The kid shouldn’t be drinking any caffeinated drinks. However, children 12 and above can occasionally take a sip or two of coffee.
What Are The Signs That My Child Is Allergic To Decaf Coffee?
Some signs that your child is allergic to decaf coffee include shortness of breath, nausea, cough and diarrhea.