Espressos Infants

Wow.  I thought Melbourne was renowned for it’s coffee.  But apparently Boston is the place to let your kid ingest caffeine.

A surprise in a study in the US found that 15% of parents were giving their kids caffeine.  The original article from Boston Medical Centre showed that 2.5% of kids under the age of one, and 15% of those under two were being given, on average an ounce a day (30ml), but in some cases up to 100ml per day.

There has not been a lot of research on this.  Indeed, we use caffeine in premature infants if they have difficulties with breathing.  But as a thirst-quencher?

The American Academy of Paediatrics notes increased levels of depression, type 1 diabetes, sleep disturbances, substance abuse and obesity.  One of the few studies on toddlers specifically revealed 2-year-olds who drank coffee or tea between meals or at bedtime had “triple the odds of being obese in kindergarten.”

So, given that Melbourne has been voted as having the best coffee in the world – I’m interested in the local experience.

Have you given your toddler coffee?

If so, would you give them a whole cup a day?



  • Jo says:

    When my older children were about 2-3 years, I did on rare occasions give them a VERY weak, very milky tea, but never coffee. They only drink water, milk and occasionally milo now at age 6 and 4 years and have never had soft drink, fruit juice or cordial. I see many children having soft drinks regularly at a young age and think that is probably a lot worse than the very odd and very weak tea I occasionally gave my kids… I try not to feel too guilty about it because as parents (especially me!), I think we feel guilty enough about lots of things!

  • Absolutely, Jo! This was in no way meant to be a guilt trip for those being sensible. Your situation sounds totally different to what has been reported – try to cut yourself a break! 🙂

    Interestingly, caffeine naturally occurs in cocoa, and therefore Milo contains caffeine. It works out to about 7% of the caffeine found in a cup of instant coffee – but if parents find their kids have trouble sleeping after heaping Milo into their milk at night time – this may be why!

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