As a mum of a one with another two on the way I often get asked whether I give my son Boo Chi kombucha? The answer is yes, however in moderation.
Children can drink kombucha, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Firstly, kombucha is a fermented beverage and it contains a small amount of alcohol, typically under 0.5% ABV (alcohol by volume however it's always best to check) Boo Chi kombucha actually sits at >0.3% ABV. This is because the yeast in the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) metabolises the sugar in the tea to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. The amount of alcohol in store-bought kombucha is usually negligible for adults, but it's something to consider for children.
Secondly, kombucha is quite acidic and can be high in sugar (again always make sure you check the label) which could potentially contribute to dental problems in children if consumed frequently or in large amounts. It is recommended to encourage children to rinse their mouth with water after drinking kombucha to help neutralise the acidity.
Furthermore, because children have developing immune and digestive systems, introducing large amounts of probiotics (like those found in kombucha) might cause upset tummies. As such, if you are thinking of introducing kombucha to your child's diet, it's recommended to start with small amounts to see how their body reacts. I give my son, Jack about 30ml (using a syringe to measure) every other day and will often break for a month at a time.
Lastly, as with any food or beverage, it's crucial to ensure that kombucha is properly prepared and stored to avoid contamination, as harmful bacteria could cause food poisoning.
In general, it's always a good idea to consult with a pediatrician or a dietitian before introducing new types of foods or beverages to your child's diet, particularly ones that contain live bacteria like kombucha.