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Toddler Nutrition: Is Caffeine the New Milk?

Toddler Nutrition: Is Caffeine the New Milk?

WTF? Am I allowed to say that here? I mean, seriously. I just read an article that says 15% of Boston area toddlers drink as much as 4 ounces of coffee a day. Did I already say WTF? I don’t think I’ve ever read anything more insane.

How is this even happening? People are serving a demi-tasse with a side of goldfish crackers? Or maybe this is the biscotti baby set. How does coffee become a part of infant/toddler nutrition? I’m no health freak (heck, I just gave my son a marshmallow as a bribe for eating half his turkey sandwich). But coffee? I don’t even let my 8-year-old drink caffeinated soda. Do these people not realize that a sleeping baby/toddler is nature’s gift to parents everywhere? Or am I just an old unhip fuddy-duddy? Ok, yes. I admit just using the word fuddy-duddy proves I am one, but I digress.

Toddler boys laughing at daycare

But coffee? I still can’t wrap my head around it. And the study that revealed this was NOT talking about the coffee a baby may get in breast milk. When researchers looking at weight change and BMI in the first two years of life stumbled on a surprisingly large number of parents listing coffee among the liquids their children were drinking, they decided to insert a specific question into their survey: “Does your child drink coffee? If yes, how many ounces per day?” And yes, I understand that drinking coffee at a young age may have cultural influences – but 15% in the Boston area – JUST in kids 2 and under?

Seriously? Am I out of it? When is the right time to let your kids drink coffee? I would have said when they pull their first all-nighter in college – but what do I know? I still use the word fuddy-duddy.



  1. Jen March 11, 2015 at 9:13 am

    This is surprising to me too, but I’d be interested to learn more about the “cultural practices” that the press release mentions. Is this common in Hispanic communities (also mentioned) or other communities?

  2. Kelly March 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    While I don’t agree that toddlers should have caffeine, I would hope that parents be just as outraged and WTF about the nastiness that is in many foods kids are fed everyday, GMOs, food dyes, HFCS, etc…

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