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Kids & Coffee

You may think of coffee as being an adult-only drink, but lots of kids may start drinking it or want to try it at an early age. The question is, is coffee good for kids? How old should you be if you want to try or start drinking coffee?

A Cup Of History

For a long time, people thought coffee wasn’t healthy – at least for those who drink a lot of it. Some say coffee can make you nervous and anxious, and many regular drinkers would agree.

In medieval times coffee was considered a drug, and early coffee shops were pretty much illegal across Europe.

Today, with other coffee shops sprouting up at pretty much every city corner, things have changed quite a bit. But would anyone have expected scientists and researchers to find out coffee may actually be good for your health? And what about kids? Should they be drinking coffee (for health reasons), too?

Coffee CupCoffee Cup
 

The Science of Coffee

A recent study by Harvard researchers suggested that those who drank something like six cups of coffee a day had a much reduced risk of developing diabetes compared to those who consumed no coffee each day.

Coffee may also reduce the risk for Parkinson’s disease, liver cirrhosis, colon cancer, gallstones, and Alzheimer’s disease (for long-term coffee drinkers). But, at the same time, it may INCREASE the risk of heart disease.

Coffee is such a complex brew of chemicals, many of which are created and brought out in the process of roasting and brewing coffee, that research on the health benefits and risks really need a lot more work before any proven results will be found.

Is Coffee Good for Kids?

According to one researcher – Dr. Tomas DePaulis – many parents who keep their kids as far away from coffee as possible could be wrong. He says coffee isn’t that bad for kids and, like in adults, it can help improve concentration and may help children do a little better on tests for this reason.

In an interesting finding from Brazil, kids who drink coffee with milk are less likely to have depression than other children.

Coffee BeansCoffee Beans
 

Caffeine: The Bad & The Ugly

Unfortunately, there are negative effects of drinking coffee, most of which are associated with drinking large amounts of it. For some people, especially kids, even 1 cup of coffee could have negative effects.

First of all, it’s all-important to remember that coffee contains a lot of caffeine. And, as a kid, there’s a good chance you’re already consuming other products that have caffeine in them, like soft drinks and chocolate. If you add coffee to the mix, you could be consuming way too caffeine on a daily basis.

The National Institute of Health says even though caffeine is safe to consume in moderation, it may have a negative effect on your overall health and nutrition. Caffeinated drinks may be replacing better-for-you foods like milk, and you may not be eating the right amount of food per day because caffeine affects your appetite.

In fact, the National Institute of Health says caffeine can be completely restricted in a child’s diet since there is no nutritional requirement for it.

Caffeine can also increase or be bad for heart problems or nervous disorders, and can produce symptoms like jitters, irritability and hyperactivity. Because it’s considered addictive, caffeine can cause restlessness for those who are hooked and miss their daily dose. There may also be some short-term side effects to consuming caffeine, like heartburn, headaches, stomach problems and high blood pressure.

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How Much Coffee Do You Drink?

  • 1-2 cups a day.
  • 3-4 cups a day.
  • More than five cups a day.
  • None - I hate the bitter taste of coffee.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

rainbowpoptart
Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply about 15 hours
jake495
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply about 16 hours
ThePaleWalker636
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply about 16 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 1 day
drowning
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 1 day