At What Age Should Kids Drink Tea and Coffee?

There are many conflicting pieces of advice out there about the health implications of drinking tea and coffee. While these caffeinated beverages seem to be good for heart and brain health, drinking too much can cause digestive issues and anxiety. This is why many parents feel unsure about the age they’re happy for their kids to start drinking tea and coffee. If this is an issue you and your family are dealing with, check out this advice.

Why Does Your Kid Want It?

Consider why your child is asking to drink tea or coffee—are they hoping to imitate their parents and older siblings, or are they genuinely struggling with fatigue and lack of energy? If they are young and simply want a taste, giving them a sip of tea can be a way to placate this curiosity. If they are older and struggling with tiredness, it may be worth getting their health checked for issues such as anemia before you start doling out the caffeine.

Start Them on Decaffeinated

Why not offer them a cup of decaffeinated tea or coffee first? While caffeine isn’t necessarily a problem, it can disturb hungry children’s sleep and give them even more energy, which probably isn’t what you want on a Tuesday night! Decaffeinated versions of these drinks taste very similar but will have less of an impact on your kids.

Make it a Weekend Ritual

If your child is still clamoring for real coffee or tea, why not suggest it as a morning weekend treat? If it’s drunk in the morning, there’s less chance that the tea or coffee will keep them awake at night, and keeping it to once or twice a week means there’s less chance they will get addicted to the caffeine.