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TNC 033: Caffeine and Kids: Cracking the Code

Kids are getting more exposure and consuming more caffeine than ever before. Learn about caffeine and kids: the food sources, the side effects, the recommended caffeine intakes at all ages, and how to monitor your child's caffeine intake.

Caffeine and Kids: A Dangerous Mix

Is caffeine the new drug for kids? Get too much and yes, just like a drug, a child can overdose and experience negative side effects, even death.

Today kids are getting more of it at younger and younger ages. Caffeine can have dangerous effects on children and teens. We’ll dive into caffeine and kids: the food sources, the side effects, the recommended caffeine intakes for kids of all ages, and how to monitor your child’s caffeine intake.

The caffeine habit is starting too early. Even toddlers are drinking coffee! Click To Tweet

What You Will Learn about Caffeine and Kids

  • The rates of consumption by kids
  • The surprising group of kids who eat or drink it
  • The effects of caffeine on the body, including the cardiovascular system
  • Caffeine toxicity and its outcomes
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for children
  • The difference in adult versus kids’ tolerance 
  • Typical levels of caffeine in various food products
  • Surprising new food products touting caffeine
  • The most dangerous sources
  • Regulation of energy drinks by governing bodies
  • What you can do to control or moderate your child’s intake based on age
Approach caffeine like any other dangerous drug: build awareness, educate, offer guidance, & set limits. Click To Tweet

What I Discuss in this Episode

  • Why I think caffeine is a drug
  • The untimely death of a South Carolina teen who consumed too much  
  • Why kids start consuming it
  • How kids are getting innocent tastes and early exposure to coffee and coffee drinks
  • The different symptoms and how these can vary from person to person
  • Practical strategies for implementing the AAP recommendations
  • How recommendations compare to the popular beverages and foods kids eat
  • How some of the most dangerous products are marketed to children, especially athletes
  • Practical suggestions for keeping children safe
  • Why adults should be having open conversations about caffeine and educating children and teens 

Links I Mention in the Show

Join Food Parenting PRO anytime! — The course for nutrition professionals who want to learn more about feeding research and practical strategies to incorporate in their practice.

The Nourished Child Project — The online learning experience for parents who want to ensure they are raising a healthy child using a food system, feeding strategy and the healthy habits that last a lifetime.

Join my newsletter to be the first to hear about the release of my new course for young athletes, Eat Like a Champion.

The Buzz on Caffeine in Kids — Check out the table of foods and their caffeine content.

Caffeine: A Growing Problem for Kids 

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