1) Caffeine affects kids differently. Caffeine in large doses can cause irritability, anxiety, rapid heart rate and elevated blood pressure. It also impairs the body’s ability to absorb calcium, an especially important function in growing kids and teens. Because of caffeine’s ability to help one feel focused and work more efficiently, teens with a heavy academic responsibility may turn to coffee and soda on purpose to improve concentration at school and while studying. This can backfire, especially if consumed closer to bedtime, leading to poor sleep.
2) Guidelines for consumption. The Food and Drug Administration has not set guidelines for caffeine consumption. The Canadian government recommends the following daily limits for children and adolescents:
Age 4-6: 45 mg, about one can of soda
Age 7-9: 62 mg
Age 10-12: 85 mg.
For an idea of how much caffeine is in some common foods and beverages, please see the below chart:
Make an appointing with our Dietitian, Andrea Berez, for you and your child.
Andrea Berez, MS, RD, CSP
Kara Unal JD, RYT