I heard from a friend that there's a new trend happening. People are bringing their kids to Starbucks and buying them a so-called "baby-cino", i.e. decaf coffee with lots of cream and sugar.

Is this really an occurrence? Is there any evidence about the effects of coffee (even decaf) on children?

Are there possibly any health risks one should look into before giving coffee to a child?

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    Don’t no where your living but in the uk a baby-chino is just frothy milk and contains absolutely no coffee decaf or otherwise Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 7:18

2 Answers 2


You may find similar discussion mostly on the tag. The most relevant question was previously closed on Coffee SE site as it was opinion-based.

Let me add my opinion here: my 2.5 years old niece drinks regular (not decaf) Turkish coffee together with us during her daily routine. Caffeine's effects are similar in adults or in children. And they are more or less the same. However, children have smaller and more sensitive bodies. So, we let her drink really small amounts. She becomes happy to be a part of the family. I can say, everybody in our family grown up like that for generations, none of us experienced caffeine-related problems. (Still, we are not MDs and we are a very limited sample set. This is a coffee board, not a medical opinion body.)

The other related questions may arise, but relevant to adults:

As children are more sensitive, every little effect must be considered seriously. Still, I believe, if observed carefully, it should be safe to drink a bit coffee for a child.

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    Occasionally, i will take my kids to a coffee roaster and buy some beans for myself, a drink, a couple muffins, and part of a decaf cup for them to share. Mostly, they just want to "feel cool" like Dad and drink their coffee. I will not, have not, given it to any of my kids under 5 though. I also don't add sugar, but will add some cream if they want. Usually, they will only have a sip or two, and then put it down. At home, we will give them decaf tea on occasion and those health risks would be the same as decaf coffee. I would not make this a habit or give them that much either. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 17:05
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    @KeithE.Truesdell Your comment looks quite rational to me. I mean, any functioning adult knows that children are more vulnerable, so protects children. I believe, most important point is to spend quality time with children and closely observe them.
    – MTSan
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 18:08

Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free, as almost all decaffeinated coffee contains some measure of caffeine.

Bruce Goldberger, a professor and director of UF’s William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine says:

“If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee."

“This could be a concern for people who are advised to cut their caffeine intake, such as those with kidney disease or anxiety disorders.”

Despite amount of coffeine is decaffeinated is low, moderate levels can increase agitation, anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure in some susceptible individuals and in some people could still develop a physical dependence.

Read more: UF experts: Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free.

Read also: What's the minimum recommended age for drinking a coffee?

Health Canada Recommended Maximum Caffeine Intake Levels for Children and Women of Childbearing Age


4 - 6 years 45 mg/day

7 - 9 years 62.5 mg/day

10 - 12 years 85 mg/day

Women who are planning to become pregnant, pregnant women and breast feeding mothers: 300 mg/day

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