During a recent appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Kristen Bell revealed that her daughters sometimes drink non-alcoholic beer—and even order it at restaurants on occasion.

Bell shares daughters Lincoln, 10, and Delta, 8, with her husband, Dax Shepard. Shepard is a recovering addict, a fact which Bell says explains why her daughters have a taste for the booze-free beer.

“My kids have ordered non-alcoholic beers at restaurants before, which sounds insane if you don’t know,” she begins.

She says her youngest daughter’s interest began when she was just a baby.

“My husband and I, when we walked the babies at night in our neighborhood when my daughter was really little, he is a recovering addict but he likes non-alcoholic beer,” Bell explained. “So, he’d pop one open, he’d have her on his chest and we’d walk and like look at the sunset. So, as a baby, she was like pawing at it and sometimes she would like, suck on the rim of it.”

To Bell, the fact that Delta likes nonalcoholic beer makes sense because “it feels to her like something special, something daddy.”

“We’ve been at restaurants where she’s said, ‘Do you have any non-alcoholic beer?’ and I’m like … maybe we just keep that for home time,” Bell added. “But then I’m also sort of like, you can judge me if you want, I’m not doing anything wrong. Like that’s your problem.”

Back in 2020 (you know, The Year That Broke Us All), Bell shared a story about Lincoln and Delta sipping on some O’Doul’s during their Zoom school sessions. (O’Doul’s is a non-alcoholic beer that contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.)

“I’m like, ‘What must these other parents and teacher think of me?’” Bell said on the “Say Yes! with Carla Hall” podcast at the time. “And then I remind myself, ‘You don’t care, Kristen. They can pretend like you’re doing something wrong.”

She went on to describe nonalcoholic beer as “essentially a bubbly juice.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it,” Bell says. “We also talk to them very much about (Dax’s) sobriety and the importance of it, and why Daddy can’t drink.”

Is it safe to give kids non-alcoholic beer?

Early exposure and intake of alcohol in childhood or adolescence is considered a risk factor for alcohol dependence in adults, research shows. And while there is relatively little research on the childhood antecedent predictors of early-onset alcohol use overall, exposure to alcohol during their formative years does have an impact on them.

A 2018 study shows that kids who experienced non-alcoholic beverage intake—those with less than 0.00% alcohol, like non-alcoholic beer—are still a risk factor for adolescent drinking. The findings indicate that non-alcoholic beverage intake is still related to early-onset drinking.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) does not recommend that children consume nonalcoholic liquor.

“One of the potential risks is that kids who drink these beverages may become accustomed to the bitterness of hops, or the flavors associated with wine, and they then may be more likely to try alcoholic beverages at an earlier age,” Laura Kwako, who is chief of its Treatment, Health Services and Recovery branch, tells TODAY.com

There’s also the difference in adult bodies versus a child’s body. The effect of a non-alcoholic beer like O’Douls, which contains 0.05% alcohol, is clearly going to be different for each of them.

“Nonalcoholic beer can contain up to 0.5% alcohol legally and some probably contain more,” Kwako says. “So for an 8-year-old, a nonalcoholic beer would be equal to about one-third of a standard beer for adults. Enough to potentially produce a small rewarding buzz that establishes positive expectancies.”

Bell and Shepard don’t bat an eye at remaining open and honest with their kids about everything—including their dad’s recovery. They regularly share their own vulnerabilities with the public, and are huge proponents of making sure their kids feel comfortable asking them anything.

However, if you want to include your kids in a celebration where Mom and Dad have a cocktail—maybe some sparkling cider or a Shirley Temple (or something else that doesn’t contain any alcohol whatsoever, even low levels) would be a yummy substitution for the real thing.

A version of this article was published in July 2023. It has been updated.