Kombucha for Children: Is It Innocent?

It pays to be specifically cautious for those who’re concerned about supplying your boy or lady kombucha.

That’s as a result of truth this fermented, fizzy beverage — ordinarily designed with black and inexperienced teas — might properly comprise additional sugar and little quantities of alcoholic drinks (1, 2, 3).

Kombucha is believed to have originated in China however has obtained attractiveness within the West because of its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and blood-sugar-lowering qualities (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

So, whereas it could be a wholesome devour, that doesn’t imply it’s normally supreme for youngsters. In truth, some types of kombucha, this type of as hand-crafted varieties, ought to be prevented for babies, though others — the pasteurized, retail store-purchased sort — are fantastically protected.

This submit explores kombucha’s sugar and alcoholic drinks contents to disclose no matter whether or not it’s secure for younger ones.

Kombucha is constructed by fermenting sweetened black or eco-friendly tea for 7–10 occasions with a particular mixture of microbes known as a symbiotic custom of bacterium and yeast (SCOBY) (3, 5, 6).

By means of the fermentation method, the SCOBY feeds on the additional sugars and by pure means generates some alcoholic drinks.

Meals stuff enterprise benchmarks contain that retail outlet-purchased kombucha preserve considerably lower than .5% and 1.1% alcoholic drinks by amount (ABV) in america and Canada, respectively, to be labeled as a nonalcoholic beverage (7).

This tiny amount of alcoholic drinks isn’t any numerous than what is often uncovered in meals like yeast bread, so retail store-bought kombucha ought to actually be secure for younger kids round age 4 (5, 8).

Alternatively, a Canadian study revealed that some keep-bought kombucha model names analyzed over the regulatory limit, even in extra of three% ABV (9).

This may occasionally probably occur in unpasteurized model names — people not uncovered to warmth to denature the SCOBY following fermentation — given that the reside yeasts proceed to ferment even when bottled (8).

Equally, home-brewed kombucha, which has unregulated levels of alcoholic drinks, might embody as important as 3.6% ABV (9).

These better ABVs are akin to some mild beers, the consumption of which is discouraged for any particular person under the age of 21 because of the potential for intoxication and thoughts harm (10, 11).

Due to this fact, keep away from providing your boy or lady home made or unpasteurized keep-bought kombucha.

Solely pasteurized retail store-purchased items, with their negligible ranges of alcohol, are innocent for younger kids. Undergo the label rigorously to look at for pasteurization standing.


Alcohol is a natural byproduct of manufacturing kombucha. As alcoholic drinks info differs, keep away from supplying your younger kids handmade or unpasteurized kombucha.

To get began the fermentation process with the SCOBY, sugar is extra to the tea. The micro organism and yeast feed on the included sugars to create alcohol and acids (6, 7, 9, 12, 13).

Therefore, the final word beverage is acidic and tart, and it could properly not be satisfying to taste. To enhance palatability, some merchandise and options are sweetened with juices and extra sugars instantly after fermentation (12, 14).

Right here’s the sugar breakdown for 3.5 ounces (100 mL) of quite a few kombucha options (14, 15, 16, 17):

As you may see, sweetened variations might pack as much as 46 cases much more sugar than unsweetened variations and 11 moments extra sugar than most sweetened sodas.

Even now, not all fruit-flavored kombuchas are giant in additional sugar. For event, California grape and tropical punch flavors from Wellbeing-Ade comprise simply 1.3 and three.4 grams of sugar, respectively, per 3.5 ounces (100 mL) (18, 19).

The U.S. Part of Agriculture means that, beginning off at age 2, included sugar ingestion have to be confined to lower than 10% of day by day energy (20).

That’s the equal of 30–40 grams (7.5–10 teaspoons) of sugar for evenly energetic little ones 2–8 years outdated who devour 1,200–1,600 energy for each working day. Retain in mind that calorie necessities vary by age and train stage (21).

Primarily based on the mannequin, simply 3.5 ounces (100 mL) of sweetened kombucha might maybe arrive at round 400% of your youngster’s day by day additional sugar limit, though unsweetened or decrease sugar kombucha supplies simply 10%.

Be assured to undergo the nutrient label and choose a kombucha decrease in sugar on your child.


Sweetened kombucha is loaded with extra sugars, though unsweetened or low sugar varieties are considerably likelier to be in simply children’ proposed sugar intakes.

The fizziness of kombucha and its quite a few fruit flavors might properly make it pleasing to younger kids.

Investigation reveals that women and men produce a want for sweets from early childhood. This normally implies that children are additional most certainly to be drawn to candy drinks and should properly reject unsweetened kombuchas, which can have bitter or earthy flavors (13).

For event, my 4-12 months-outdated son enjoys 2 ounces (60 mL) of very low sugar, pasteurized, ardour fruit kombucha quickly after meals on state of affairs, however he dislikes varieties with a sturdy tart taste.

Little ones would possibly affiliate kombucha’s fizziness with soda. Notably, as extended as you’re positive to pick out minimal sugar varieties, kombucha has significantly much less sugar than soda and would possibly function a more healthy swap on your children.

For each 3.5 ounces (100 mL), grape-flavored kombucha has simply 1.3 grams of sugar, when grape soda packs 14 grams (18, 22).


Younger ones might affiliate the fizziness of kombucha with soda, however they might need sweetened or fruit-flavored variations greater than unsweetened kombucha, which is likely to be tart or earthy to the type.

Store-purchased, pasteurized kombucha is innocent to present to babies ages 4 and older. Even so, steer very away from handmade kombucha and unpasteurized variations, as these might have larger alcoholic drinks materials (5).

Additionally, it’s supreme to decide on gadgets with significantly much less included sugar to scale back your youngster’s hazard of cavities, childhood chubby or weight issues, and coronary heart sickness or diabetes afterwards in lifetime, all of that are associated with additional extra sugar consumption (23, 24).

Prohibit your child to 2–4 ounces (60–120 mL) of kombucha — even of lowered sugar varieties — to maintain inside the day by day suggested sugar consumption. Be optimistic to limit different assets of included sugar, a lot too.


Restrict kids ages 4 and extra mature to 2–4 ounces (60–120 mL) of keep-purchased, pasteurized kombucha that’s decrease in additional sugar.

Kombucha is a fermented, sweetened beverage constructed with black or inexperienced tea.

Retailer-acquired, pasteurized kombucha has lots lower than .5% ABV, although residence-brewed or unpasteurized varieties would possibly embody as lots as 3.6% ABV — akin to some beers.

Plus, sweetened kombucha might properly exceed 400% of your youngster’s day by day included sugar limit, whereas unsweetened or decrease sugar varieties present simply 10% or significantly much less.

As this sort of, try and restrict kids to 2–4 ounces (60–120 mL) of retailer-acquired, pasteurized kombucha that’s small in additional sugar, and solely give this drink to children ages 4 and extra mature.

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