Unfortunately, many do, including younger children who drink sweet tea and caffeinated soda.
Kids can also get caffeine from certain medications, coffee ice cream, chocolate, and many foods with added caffeine.
Keep in mind that water and milk are the healthiest drinks for your child, in addition to limited amounts of 100% fruit juice. However, if you are going to give your child soda, at least consider choosing caffeine-free drinks, such as A&W Root Beer, Sprite, 7-Up and Seagram's Ginger Ale.
Most importantly though, remember that children and teens don't need any caffeine in their diet.
Caffeine SymptomsIn addition to causing sleep problems, symptoms and side effects of drinking coffee can include:
- tachycardia (increased heart rate)
- hypertension (increased blood pressure)
- acid reflux
Teens and CaffeineMany teens, in addition to drinking regular caffeinated sodas, are now also drinking coffee, soda with extra caffeine, caffeinated waters, juices, and some are even chewing caffeinated gum.
But an even bigger hazard may be the 'super' caffeinated energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar, which have about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but much more caffeine than a regular soda.
There are also many foods that have added caffeine, including:
- potato chips - Cobra Kettle Chips
- marshmallows - JavaMallows
- ice cream
- jelly beans - Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans
- energy mints -
- sunflower seeds - Sumseeds Energized Sunflower Seeds
- beef jerky - Alien Energy Jerky
- maple syrup
- chocolate wafers - Cracker Jack'D Power Bites
The FDA is finally taking a new look at added caffeine in foods. This follows the launch of a new caffeinated gum, Wrigley Alert Energy Gum, which adds to the long list of products which have added caffeine and which, according to the Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, go "beyond anything FDA envisioned when it made the determination regarding caffeine in cola."
American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP Clinical Report. Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate? Pediatrics Vol. 127 No. 6 June 1, 2011 pp. 1182 -1189.
FDA. FDA Consumer Update. FDA to Investigate Added Caffeine. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm350570.htm Accessed May 2013.