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Energy Drinks - Do You Let Your Kid Caffeinate?
Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
A new article published in the online journal Pediatrics, sounded the alarm about kids and caffeine!

Children are ending up with some serious health issues - including overdoses! It appears those black and neon cans of energy drinks are popular with teens, tweens AND little ones under 6.

Read the article here:

Personally, my kids get close to zero caffeine. A childless friend took my 6 year old to lunch and she slurped down a huge iced tea. I had to practically scrape her off the ceiling to get her to bed.

I'd love to hear how parents in this community feel about giving caffeine to kids. How old are your kids and how much caffeine, if any, do they consume? And do YOU have a caffeine addiction?


p.s. Anyone out there "mature" enough to remember that soda called Jolt? All of the sugar and twice the caffeine! All my teachers in high school drank it!
mom2quads responded:
Ok, ok, got name is 'mom2quads' and I have a severe caffeine addiction. I once did a 12-week workout and eating plan where there was no soda/tea/coffee allowed. It was the longest 12-weeks of my life.

I hate to admit this, but my children notice I cannot go one day without my can of Dr. Pepper or Coca-Cola. I have finally limited myself to one 12 ounce can per day, but I know how very unhealthy that is. The worst part is that my kids think they should get to have one can of soda per day because mommy does. This is very tough for me because I do not want them to become "caffeine addicts" like me. I recently started having my "one soda per day" while I am at work and drinking only water or milk when home with my children. Trying to set a healthier example. But on the weekends, they see my soda.

My husband and I reluctantly allow our children to have one 12 ounce can every 2 - 3 days. ((He rarely drinks soda himself. He has so much more self control than I do.)) I get so mad at myself because I started this with them. I know I need to just call it quits myself and stop allowing them to have it as well. Easier said than done though. Dr. Pepper runs through my veins....

And yes, I remember Jolt! was a lot more caffeine than Mountain Dew is today!
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to mom2quads's response:
Do you have QUADS? If so, go enjoy your soda - no judgment here - ha, ha!

Did you try caffeine-free after your 12 weeks? I love coffee and wonder if I could kick the caffeine addiction then switch to decaf or green tea or some other healthier alternative.

Would love to hear you (and other parents) chime in on how to make or break a family habit. I'm trying to get my family (mostly the husband) more active. I wonder if a chart with a "family reward" would help? What do you think?

Dr. Pepper always my fave....Haylen

Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:
I am a former soda-addict so I can so relate!

I decided that I absolutely had to cut the soda habit because I don't care for diet drinks, and the calories in regular soda we causing me to put on unwanted weight.

I worked to develop a taste for unsweet tea, and I have 1 glass per day w/ lunch. I also have 2 cups of coffee per day, so I cannot say I have kicked the caffeine habit.

In order for me to not indulge in soda, we simply cannot have it in the house. I have not purchased soda for the house on a regular basis in years.

I do allow the kids to have soda on special occasions though. When we celebrate a birthday or holiday, and once a month we have pizza/movie night and I will get a 2 liter of soda then.

My older kids make their own decisions when they are out w/ friends or at sleep overs or whatnot. I try not to make it a big deal. I figure if it isn't a staple in our home, it is ok for them to see that it is in some homes, and that every family makes their own individual choices about food, nutrition and eating.

On a side note, when I was a child we had soda in the house at all times, and I had free access to it. Did not even have to ask...And I can remember getting older and feeling frustrated that noone in my family ever told me about caffeine and its affects, because I used to have a terrible time sleeping, lying awake for hours, and none of the adults in my life ever mentioned that the BOTTLE (remember glass bottles of soda?!) of regular Coca-Cola I consumed right before bed was the reason I could not sleep.
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Foreverinyoureyes2's response:
Foreverinyoureyes - Your side note hit home for me (and I'm sure many other parents)! My parents never discussed food, nutrition, benefits of exercise with me.

CONGRATS on breaking the soda habit. I agree that "special occasions" can be a reason to have soda or other treats.

I just received a link to this article in one of my WebMD newsletters . Of course it spoke to me as I struggle with my coffee consumption: Coffee and Your Health . What do you think?

mom2quads replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Yep, I really have quads. They are turning 8 next week...*sniffle sniffle*!

No, I didn't try caffeine-free after the 12 weeks, although now I wish I would have. If I ever break this habit, I plan on switching to decaf coffee. I am not a tea drinker, so I don't have to worry there.

My plan to break the habit for myself, and lead by example for my children is this:
- allow them to continue to dwindle our current supply down, working them toward a rate of only one can per child per week (I will exercise self-control and drink only water and milk at home)
- slowly continue to wean myself off soda while at work. Very tough!!!!
- Maybe buy the Crystal Light individual drink mix packets for my bottle of water? ((Had water at a friends house that she kept in a pitcher in fridge with sliced cucumbers in it. Very refreshing!!!))
- Talk to my children about the effects of regular caffeine consumption and overindulgence. Will make it clear that once in a while it is ok to enjoy one, but not daily or even every-other-day. Maybe once a week treat, like on a Saturday. And when we dine out, which is very rare.

I like the idea of a family reward chart! I may steal your idea!!

Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to mom2quads's response:
Happy birthday to your quads!!!!! Did you have a party? How do you manage the guest list?!?

Have you started any of your caffeine reduction activities yet? I'm thinking of switching to tea in the morning...just thinking...

mom2quads replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you for the birthday wishes! They had way too much fun...and got too many noisy toys/games. HA! We had a great party! My son wanted a WipeOut cake and my girls wanted puppy/kitty/princess cake. So I spent a whole day before the party just making cakes. They turned out really cute! Our guest list mostly consists of family and a couple close friends. Usually around 35 or 40 people come. And this year the weather was amazing so we had all the activities outside...yay!

Yes, we have started the caffeine reduction, and it is very difficult. I have created little soda addicts!!!! I'm thinking about purchasing caffeine-free soda's for the days when they are allowed to have pop. I think root beer, sprite, crush, and fanta are all caffeine-free and there are enough flavors they shouldn't get bored with it. I have been very good and drinking only water and milk at home, even on the weekends. Unfortunately, while we were on Spring Break I did have a few pops. Oooops....
eliguns841984 responded:
No soda for my son-EVER. But, with that being said...he's only 2 1/2. When he is a bit older, I will probably allow it from time to time, but I will typically probably try to stick to the caffeine free stuff. Life happens and older kids are going to eventually have some caffeine, but it should certainly, in my opinion, be limited.
jhilton1 replied to eliguns841984's response:
Our kids dont drink anything besides water at home. they get occasional soy milk, and orange juice. Once in a great while (every month- 2 months) they can get a sprite if we go out to eat, but thats it, only the clear pop. And only as a treat
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to jhilton1's response:
For those parents struggling with caffeine, check out this informative slide show:

Myths & Facts About Caffeine

I got 8 wrong, 8 right - 50%! A failing score!

How did you do?

mom2quads replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
10 of 17....59%. Not too good.

On a side note...
I have cracked down more on my critters at home on caffeine consumption. They are noticing that I am drinking a lot of water and milk, and no soda at home in evenings (with the exception of this past weekend and spring break as noted in my previous post). Baby steps....I am getting there!

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