how diet affects their mood
Added sugar in processed & packaged foods messes with their blood sugar, causing spikes and crashes. Sugar also impacts gut health and the immune system. Keeping gut health balanced is very important to good mental health as 90% of the body’s serotonin is made in the gut. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, appetite, and sleep - low serotonin levels can cause anxiety, depression and panic attacks. If your child’s nutrition is poor, or if they don’t absorb enough protein, vitamins, and minerals to build the neurotransmitters due to poor gut health, a neurotransmitter imbalance can develop.
One of the minerals missing in many diets is magnesium. Carbonated beverages, caffeine and sugar all deplete magnesium in the body, which can worsen anxiety since magnesium has a calming effect and helps keep stress hormones in check. Magnesium is also great for relaxing muscles.
8 steps to help your kid with anxiety naturally
1 to 3 years: 12 to 14 hours
3 to 5 years: 11 to 13 hours
5 to 12 years: 10 to 11 hours
12 to 18 years: 8.5 to 9.5 hours
If they’re not getting enough sleep, then it’s time to prioritize because the long-term effects on your child’s health are probably not worth it. Cut back on the extra-curricular activities, enforce a strict bedtime, establish an electronics curfew (remove the devices from their room after bedtime), and when necessary - let the homework be late (yes, I said it).
If you have any questions or would like more information concerning kids & gut health, visit my website or
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*Excitotoxins excite the brain and serve no other purpose than to make you think the food tastes better than it does so that you buy and eat more.
Some of the other names for MSG in food labeling:
Anything with “Glutamate” in the name
Anything with “hydrolyzed” in the name
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Isolate
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Cathy McCann is a functional nutritionist, coach, writer, speaker, and mom, who is passionate about guiding women through the journey of healing and rediscovering themselves in mid-life.