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Jakarta Post

Parents in West Sulawesi give toddler five glasses of coffee every day

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 18, 2019   /   09:46 am
Parents in West Sulawesi give toddler five glasses of coffee every day An illustration photo of a toddler Using tablet to watch videos while snacking. (Shutterstock/MaryCaroline)

At first glance, Khadijah Haura looks just like any other toddler her age. At 2 years old, she is capable of walking on her own and actively plays to a point that her parents could not find the time to sleep.

What sets her apart from many other kids, however, is that she has been consuming coffee instead of milk since she was 6 months old.

Khadijah's parents, Sarifuddin and Anita -- residents of Tonro Lima village in Polewali Mandar, West Sulawesi, had no other choice but feed their daughter with five glasses, equal to 1.5 liters, of kopi tubruk, or brewed coffee.

Anita and her husband, who worked as copra peelers, said they could not afford to buy milk given that their daily income of Rp 20,000 (US$1.40) could barely cover their expenses.

"We can't do anything else. Our income is not enough to buy milk. We're forced to feed her coffee every day. She can't even sleep if she doesn't drink coffee; she'd cry asking for it before sleep," Anita told reporters at her house on Saturday, as reported by kompas.com.

Both Anita and Sarifuddin said they solely relied on peeling copra for a living, besides helping lift rice from the fields during harvest season, through which they could earn some more money.

On their lucky days, Anita and her husband could earn up to Rp 40,000 per day from peeling copra, but that was only if there were coconuts to be processed into copra. Otherwise, they would have to rest at home until there were enough coconuts to be processed.

Anita couldn't help but express her concerns over her daughter's health, adding that she had never received milk or nutrition assistance from the local health agency.

Polewali Mandar Health Agency's community health development head Mandaria Saleh said the agency had run a health check up on the toddler and found no abnormality in her growth and development.

She noted, however, that the caffeine and sugar intake could harm the toddler in the long run.

"We've asked the parents and the family of Khadijah not to continue with the coffee consumption. The health agency has distributed milk and complementary food assistance such as biscuits so that Khadijah could drink milk again and grow healthily like others her age," Mandaria said.