Aside from the fact that you really don’t want a hyper child bouncing off your walls, only to crash into a grumpy and cranky child a few hours later, there are a few reasons why you should limit the amount of caffeine your child consumes. Luckily, there aren’t a lot of sources of caffeine that your child will encounter on a daily basis, outside of soda. The other caffeine containing foods to limit in your children and teens are sports and energy drinks, and coffee as your children get older.
Caffeine depletes calcium stores
Caffeine is a diuretic. This means that it increases the production of urine in the body. The more urine your body creates, the greater calcium loss the body will experience. Caffeine has actually been shown to pull calcium from the bones as it passes through the body. 6 mg of calcium are lost for 100 mg of caffeine that is consumed.
Caffeinated drinks are often acidic
Tooth enamel is the strongest material in the human body. Even though it’s the strongest part of the body, if it’s constantly being bathed in acidic drinks, the enamel will begin to wear down. Loss of enamel means your child’s teeth will be prone to staining and much more susceptible to cavities. Children’s teeth are also much more sensitive than an adults, with naturally less enamel than we have on our teeth. It takes several years for the enamel on their new teeth to form after they lose their baby teeth. So it’s important to take special care to protect their teeth, especially during those formative years as the enamel on their new teeth strengthen.
Resist early exposure
We’re not saying you should never let your child have a sip of soda for the entirety of their life, or that you’re not allowed to let them have anything containing sugar. That’s simply an unrealistic expectation. However, the earlier that soda and sugar habits begin, the harder it is for your child to resist them as they get older. When they have constant exposure to sugary, caffeinated drinks at a young age, it’s much more possible that it will be a habit that will be hard for them to kick as they enter adulthood. The best thing you can do for your child’s teeth is to avoid having caffeinated drinks in the house. Water and low-sugar, non-caffeinated drinks are the best options for you and your family!