Can 9 Year Olds Drink Coffee? Is There Any Problem?

The Best Answer:

Children that are 9 years of age can tolerate an average amount of caffeine of about 80 mg. However, you should be careful as caffeine is not only found in coffee but also in cacao, something children consume frequently. Generally speaking, the number of caffeine children can consume depends on their body type, height, and age.

Children want to be like adults and often emulate them. Drinking coffee is also a temptation, but is caffeine only for grown-ups? In a nutshell, it is certainly the “charm of the forbidden” that attracts the kids. 

Coffee is considered an adult drink and of course, children are naturally curious and want to be considered “big” and grown-up. It is particularly attractive to try what parents or older siblings consume on a daily basis.

Today, I will look at what happens if a 9-year-old consumes coffee and all the implications. I will also give you all the information about what age is the best for your child to start drinking coffee. Let’s get started!

Can 9 Year Olds Drink Coffee?

Can 9 Year Olds Drink Coffee?

Every now and then children want to try foods that are not healthy for them. This includes coffee, among other things. After all, mom and dad drink coffee every morning with breakfast or in the afternoon with cake. So it’s only understandable that the little ones get curious about this delicacy.

When children are allowed to drink coffee depends on the individual development process. In addition, everyone reacts differently to caffeine. In principle, it is advisable to explain to them what effect the drink can have on the body. Adults can tolerate around 300 to 500 mg caffeine per day much more than adolescents. 

Teenagers should only take around 50 to 125 mg per day. How much caffeine children can really consume depends on their body type, height, and age. An overdose can quickly lead to headaches, tiredness, sleep disorders, restlessness, and high blood pressure in children

Also keep in mind that products such as soft drinks, chocolate specialties, and energy drinks can also contain caffeine. You should be particularly careful with energy drinks. A possible guideline from when kids are allowed to enjoy a cup of coffee from time to time is fourteen years of age.

Why do children and young people start drinking coffee earlier?

“Normal” coffee tastes slightly bitter and is therefore of no interest to most children because they simply do not like it. Thanks to more or less new coffee creations that go beyond cappuccino and caffé latte, increasingly younger target groups are also discovering the drink for themselves. 

With lots of milk, cream, and sweet syrups with caramel, hazelnut, chocolate, or vanilla aromas, “coffee” is also interesting for young people and children. Numerous cafés and retailers have long recognized this and, in addition to the ready-made versions, also sell drinks that you can mix yourself. The sweet variants tempt you to drink “real” coffee sooner.

What parents don’t always consider

  • Cocoa also contains an alkaloid related to caffeine, the also mood-enhancing theobromine.
  • Hidden caffeine in medication
  • Caution is also particularly advisable with the soft drinks: industrially produced iced tea is based on black tea extract, for example. Black tea contains teein, i.e. caffeine, which – in addition to its high sugar content – makes it unsuitable as a thirst quencher for children.

Caffeine and Calories

Caffeine and Calories

Although the health benefits of coffee also have an effect on a young body, the disadvantages are all the more significant here. Coffee contains caffeine, and too much of it is not good for a child or an adult. While adults can cope with a fairly high amount of 300-500 mg daily, this value is significantly lower in adolescents and children. 

Depending on age and constitution, they can only tolerate 50-125 mg a day and since coffee is by far not the only source of caffeine, such values ​​are reached quite quickly. Tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and energy drinks contain less caffeine than coffee, but they also make a significant contribution to daily caffeine intake. 

If coffee is then also drunk, the maximum daily intake is slightly exceeded. Insomnia, restlessness, stomach problems, poor concentration, and headaches can be the consequences. In addition, sweet coffee specialties also make a significant contribution to the absorption of calories. Obesity and dental problems can also be consequences.

Which coffee drink is best to start with?

Young people at the age of 14 have a stronger sense of flavor than adults, so they usually prefer milky or sweet coffee drinks in the beginning. Examples include cappuccino or latte macchiato etc. 

Parents can also offer their children decaffeinated coffee, to begin with. This is particularly advisable for kids between the ages of eight and thirteen who really want to try a coffee. Once the little explorers come into contact with the bitter drink, they will probably have had enough of papa’s and mama’s favorite drink for the time being.

What are the consequences of coffee for children?

Same as with adults. In addition to the health benefits, the negative effects outweigh the negative effects in children. The symptoms are poor concentration, tiredness from insomnia, headache, restlessness, and stomach pain. In addition, caffeine inhibits brain development in children. 

During puberty, in particular, important synapses are built up and others are broken down, creating a more efficient and powerful network in the brain. This conversion takes place at night in the deep sleep phase. So insomnia isn’t the only problem that’s causing the caffeine.

Too much caffeine can have the same consequences for children as it does for adults: poor concentration, tiredness from sleep disorders, headaches, restlessness, and stomach pain. Coffee creations that only consist of a small part of coffee consist mainly of sugar and are therefore not health-friendly.

How much is too much?

There are still no binding guidelines for children’s coffee consumption. In Canada, preschoolers 6 years and under should not consume more than 45 milligrams of caffeine per day. 

Depending on how it is prepared, a cup of tea or coffee can contain around 30 milligrams, and a 0.33-liter can of cola even contains around 40 milligrams. The fact is: children should only consume caffeinated drinks and food in small amounts. 

If a child weighing 30 kilograms drinks one and a half liters of cola or eats three chocolate bars in a short period of time, they will get sick. The consequences are nervousness, sleep disorders, abdominal pain, or headaches. 

Our tip: You can order a babyccino in many cafés. This is frothed milk with a dash of syrup if necessary, some cocoa powder, or grated chocolate on top.

Frequently Asked Questions


Should a 9 year old drink coffee?

This is a difficult topic for pediatricians to decide on because caffeine affects the developing brain and body. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children of 9 years old should not consume caffeine.

The consequences of drinking coffee too early can lead to short-term and long-term consequences like headaches, poor concentration, tiredness from sleep disorders, stomach pain, and restlessness.

How much coffee can a 9 year old drink?

Children and teens are more affected by the caffeine content in drinks than adults. They have a faster metabolism and their bodies take longer to process excess caffeine that they consume. 

According to the World Health Organization, the amount of coffee that they can drink depends on their body type, height, and age.

The average person can metabolize 200 milligrams of caffeine daily and if they exceed this amount it can lead to headaches, tiredness, sleep disorders, and other health issues such as sensitivity to light and difficulty concentrating.

How much caffeine is safe for a 9 year old?

It depends on their body type, height, and age. An overdose can quickly lead to headaches, tiredness, sleep disorders, or even seizures.

An average 9-year-old should not consume more than 10 mg of caffeine per day. This is equivalent to half a cup of coffee. If the child has a sensitive nervous system, they may need to lower the amount of caffeine that they consume.

Children are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than adults because they have more blood flowing through their bodies and their nervous systems are still developing.

Last Thoughts

Current scientific knowledge shows that when children “catch” or consume small amounts of coffee (be it in the form of real coffee or caffeine in a different form) – everything is fine, as long as they have enough other liquids – especially – to consume right after. Of course, it is up to the parents to make the final decision to the best of their knowledge and belief.

If children really want to try coffee, you can let them try it. Especially if you drink coffee black, children will tend to like the drink less because of its bitter taste and will stay away. 

But if you let the children nibble on your sugar-sweet Starbucks creation with lots of milk, cream and syrup, the probability is high that the children will enjoy coffee earlier. Decaffeinated coffee is also not an alternative. Because it also contains a small percentage of caffeine. A really caffeine-free alternative is then barley coffee.

Generally speaking, the older the children get, the more caffeine they can tolerate. Young people aged 14 and over can drink small amounts of coffee from time to time, just not necessarily in the evening.

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