Kids and Caffeine: Do They Match?

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Child Drinking SodaYou might not let your kids have coffee, but it is likely that you let them drink soda and other drinks that have caffeine. Foods and beverages with caffeine are widely available, and it is always important to monitor labels if you are avoiding it, either for yourself or your kids.

Caffeine has similar effects to children and adults. Consumption at lower levels is fine, making people feel more energetic. Too much of it, on the other hand, can cause headaches, nervousness, increased heart rates, and upset stomachs.

Family medicine centers in Lehi note that younger kids, however, can experience these effects even when taking minimal amounts of caffeine. Here is why you should not serve caffeinated drinks to your children.

Empty Calories

The sad part about caffeinated beverages like soft drinks is that they contain empty calories. These calories do not provide any nutrients and children who consume too much of them cannot absorb minerals from other healthy food sources. This increases the risk for nutritional deficiencies.

Kids who started drink too much caffeine at an early age may not get calcium for their teeth and bones.

Sugar and Acid

Many caffeinated drinks have sugar that can contribute to cavities. They also have high acid content, contributing to enamel erosion and increased teeth sensitivity. Acid and sugar work together to fuel the bacteria in the mouth to harm the teeth.

It is also important to note that sugar does not just damage the teeth, but contribute to weight gain.

Caffeine does not hold a place in the kid’s diet, so it is best to eliminate or cut back on it. You can do this by serving them water or milk instead of soda. You can still let them have soda, but do this occasionally and make sure it has no caffeine. Read labels and ingredient list on food products to check for hidden caffeine.

If you regularly drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, do not let your kids catch on your habit. Kids and caffeine really do not mix well.