Today’s instalment of “What the hell are parents thinking” is brought to you by the words ‘coffee’ and ‘children under ten’.
Owner of Flood Street Carousel Café in Leichhardt, father of two Caleb Maynard said his children, Olive, 7 and Curtis, 5 will often have a taste of his coffee.
“They have been licking the teaspoons and taking the milk of flat whites for a while now, and I see it happen in the café more and more, “he said
Well, my dad let me sip XXXX out of a medicine glass and wander the streets when I was 5 years old, but that doesn’t mean it was okay.
Maybe though, I’m just the least progressive parent in Australia. I mean, really, is allowing your kid to have a skinny latte any worse than allowing them to have the occasional chocolate bar or cola drink?
According to the Better Health website, here are the approximate caffeine levels per serve: espresso coffees such as espresso or latte – 90 to 200 mg
• drip or percolated coffee – 100 to 150 mg
• instant coffee – 60 to 100 mg
• cola drinks – 35 mg
• chocolate drinks – 30 to 60 mg
• decaffeinated coffee – around 3 mg
• tea – 30 to 100 mg, depending on the type and strength of the brew (both black and green tea contain caffeine)
• energy or sports drinks – such as Red Bull or ‘V’ – 80 to 90 mg
• dark chocolate bar – 40 to 50 mg per 55 g serve
• guarana – can contain up to 100 mg per 1 g of guarana
• caffeine tablets – such as No-Doz – 100 mg per tablet.
Excessive intake (and let’s make absolutely no mistake here people, caffeine is the most popular and widely used drug in the world) can result in the following:
• a rise in body temperature
• frequent urination and dehydration
• dizziness and headaches
•after the energy burst, an even greater feeling of fatigue
• rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
• restlessness and excitability
•anxiety and irritability trembling hands
For the love of God, why would any parent want their child to be more energetic than they already are or sleep less than they already do? Shouldn’t we be all reaching for something to calm them down?
It would appear that the people who know best about these things, you know, DOCTORS, also don’t agree that children under ten should drink coffee.
The Royal College of Physicians pediatric division president, Nicki Murdock is quoted as saying “Drinks containing caffeine – including tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks – are not suitable for children” I suspect she wanted to end that sentence with ‘Derr’.
So even though, in Australia we don’t have any specific guidelines as to when people can or should start drinking coffee, I think it’s fairly obvious. Parents need to recognise and remember that caffeine is a stimulant drug that acts on the brain and nervous system and like many other drugs, it is possible to become dependent on caffeine.
More to the point, parents need to stop trying to be “hip” and just use their common sense. Your child is not a social experiment; you are their advocate and their guardian and they rely on you to do what is best by them. So treat their little bodies as temples until they are old enough to make their own good or bad decisions.
What do you think? Is it okay for parents to allow their child a sneaky latte or is this just a ridiculous and potentially dangerous, hipster trend?