Kombucha For Kids: Probiotic Powerhouse or Danger in Disguise?

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Kombucha for kids can be beneficial if proper precautions are taken. Young children can enjoy drinking kombucha as long as it is pasteurized. They should avoid homebrewed kombucha since it is not tested for alcohol or sugar content. 

Is Store-Bought Kombucha Safe For Children?

Store-bought kombucha is safe for most children since it is monitored for alcoholic content.

Many store brands offer pasteurized kombucha varieties, which is the best choice for children. Pasteurized kombucha has been exposed to heat that deactivates the SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) particles, so they can’t continue fermenting the tea. If the fermentation stops, the kombucha can’t produce any more alcohol. Pasteurization also helps remove any harmful bacteria that may be in the kombucha.

Check the nutrition label and ingredient list to ensure it is low in sugar. Kids are naturally drawn to sweet drinks, but constantly indulging in sweet treats can lead to diabetes and other health concerns.

Children’s immune systems are typically robust enough to drink kombucha safely when they are four years old. They can drink between two and four ounces of kombucha per day.

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Is Homemade Kombucha Safe For Children?

Homemade kombucha may not be a safe option for children since it isn’t regulated. It may be too high in alcohol and acid. Too much acid can harm the stomach or cause heartburn in children.

What Are the Health Benefits of Kombucha For Kids?

Kombucha offers a range of health benefits for kids. Fermented foods like kombucha are good for gut health and are a source of vitamins and minerals. Remember to limit children to no more than 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of kombucha daily.


  • Helps develop a child’s digestive system.
  • Supports their growing immune system. Kombucha provides probiotics and good bacteria that help kids fight off germs and stay healthy.
  • May improve eyesight. Kombucha contains antioxidants that support their developing eyes.
  • Makes sure their cells are strong. Kombucha provides organic acids that help cells as they form.
  • Supports brain development. Kombucha tea contains L-theanine, which helps support focus and a healthy brain.

How Much Alcohol Is in Kombucha?

Federal standards mandate that store-bought kombucha contains 0.5% ABV or less. This small amount of alcohol is not a problem for kids. Foods like bananas and yeast bread also contain tiny amounts of alcohol. These trace amounts of alcohol do not harm children and are a natural element of certain foods.

Kombucha’s alcohol is a natural by-product of the fermentation process. As the SCOBY ferments the brewed sweet tea, it turns the sugars into alcohol and acids—generally, the longer kombucha ferments, the more alcohol and acids form.

The amount of alcohol in homebrewed kombucha varies widely. Homemade kombucha can easily have a much higher alcohol content than store-bought kombucha, up to 3%. Most homebrewers don’t test for alcoholic content, so they don’t know exactly how much alcohol their brew contains. If children drink alcohol, they can experience side effects like brain damage.

How Much Sugar Is in Kombucha?

The exact sugar content of kombucha varies from bottle to bottle and flavor to flavor.

Kombucha always begins the first fermentation with sweet tea and a SCOBY. During fermentation, the SCOBY converts the sweet tea into fermented tea. The SCOBY consumes most of the sugar, so after the first fermentation, the sugar content of kombucha is low.

First-fermented kombucha, however, can be pretty tart and strong. During the second fermentation, many brewers add fruit juice, fresh fruit, or sweeteners to make the final product more enjoyable. While this helps sweeten the strong fermented tea, the beverage can have a lot of added sugar.

Look at how a few popular brands compare:

BeverageGrams of sugar per 4 ounces
Kosmic Kombucha unflavored3.5
GT’s unflavored kombucha3.8
Kevita Master Brew Pineapple Peach (pasteurized)5.5
GT’s Mystic Mango5.5
Health-ade canned kombucha pink lady apple6.5

In comparison, 1/2 cup of regular Coke contains about 11.5 grams of sugar.

As you can see, some sweetened varieties are higher in sugar, while others are low-sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting young children to no more than 25 grams of sugar per day.

Do Kids Like the Taste of Kombucha?

Some kids may enjoy the fizziness and taste of sweetened kombucha. Many brands offer pasteurized kombucha with added fruit to make it sweet. Flavors like grape, mango, or tropical fruit often taste sweeter than strong flavors like ginger or cranberry.

Since kombucha is naturally fizzy, you may be able to swap out soft drinks for this healthier alternative. Kombucha contains far less sugar and calories than sodas. Kombucha also contains beneficial vitamins and minerals that help support your child’s health.

If the pungent taste is overwhelming for your child, add a bit of water to dilute the acids and make the fermented tea more palatable. Or, mix it with fruit juice for a more pleasant taste.

Sarah Pearce

Sarah first tried kombucha in 2015 and she was hooked. Her favorite flavor is ginger, but cranberry comes in a close second. She made her own for many years and loved experimenting with fruit flavors.

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