You’re a parent, right? You probably already know that caffeine is a nutritional desert. In terms of nourishment, there’s nothing there. We’ve all heard of sugary foods being empty calories, but caffeine doesn’t even have the calories.
Kids being kids, however, might be curious about that ritual you go through after the evening meal or over breakfast and ask if they can have some. You drink decaf, but you’re still not sure. Is decaf ok for kids?
The answer is: the tiny amounts of caffeine left in decaf is safe enough, but you should be aware, perhaps, of the other sources of caffeine kids have access to. Not cola drinks and the obvious culprits, you’re not an amateur. We’re talking about some hidden sources of caffeine here.
Highlighting hidden and not immediately obvious sources of caffeine will help you understand how their potential effects can derail your good intentions. Having said that, healthy habits start early. There is no need to worry about decaf tea or coffee when it comes to your kids.
A cup of decaf coffee or tea only has a small amount of caffeine, about the same as a chocolate milk drink. Decaf pales in comparison to coffee and tea. A cup of regular filter coffee might have 50 times the caffeine of decaf, while black tea can easily be 25 times more caffeinated than its decaf alternative. Regular or diet cola is about 35 times more caffeine than a cup of decaf and even a choc bar will give you 10 times as much caffeine as a decaffeinated coffee.
So, relax. Pour yourself a fresh cup of whatever you are all drinking. Be assured if your children do go kaboom at bedtime, you may be surprised that it was the cup of hot chocolate or choc bar they secretly rewarded themselves with on their way home from school that is the more likely culprit.