by Ariane Resnick, C.N.C.
Proper nutrition is the first pillar to helping your child shine brighter, and you probably already understand the importance of an organic diet. But you may not know that foods can contribute to relieving anxiety in children. If you are unsure about what you can feed your child to maximize the benefits of Brillia, we have a selection of foods that have been shown useful for relieving anxiety, along with helpful recipes so you can begin incorporating them into your child's diet without delay. Read on to see what recipes for anxiety will best suit your kid!
We recommend getting your child involved with food prep whenever possible, as it can be a fun activity that helps with focus and teaches life skills as well as the importance of cooking with healthy ingredients. Learn more about how to involve your child in cooking here.
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1. Dark Chocolate
Let's start with the one most kids already know and love: chocolate. Chocolate has been proved to reduce stress thanks to its feel-good chemical components. The caveat? Since sugar can contribute to gut issues and make anxiety worse, you'll want to choose a darker option that’s lower in sugar. The easiest way to ensure you know exactly what goes into chocolate candies is to make them yourself. For your other chocolate uses, swap out sugar-sweetened chips for ones sweetened with stevia or another natural non-caloric sweetener.
It's the fatty acids in salmon that make it useful for anxiety, but that's not all salmon offers — it can also help regulate emotions. Since kids don't always like fish, this isn't as easy a sell as chocolate; but fear not, there are ways it can be made delicious! Try this recipe for baked salmon nuggets to help disguise any fishy flavor. If your child enjoys smoked salmon, that's another great way to get more of it into their daily routine.
Getting enough sleep is another Brillia pillar to childhood wellness, and probiotics are useful for improving sleep. Additionally, because serotonin is mostly produced in the gut, and probiotics keep gut bacteria in positive balance, yogurt can reduce anxiety that way, too. It's important to choose a yogurt without added sugar; check out this recipe for frozen yogurt bark, which turns plain Greek yogurt into a chilled treat.
4. Flavored Water
Proper hydration is key to a calm emotional state, but it doesn't taste nearly as interesting as sugary sodas or fruit juice. Ramp up water’s yum factor by flavoring it with fruit infusion, which will lend color and taste without adding much sugar. Putting the fruit on a stick makes it even more fun, as shown here.
These little powerhouses of nutrition can be used in recipes for anxiety in multiple ways: they're versatile to cook with, and they help reduce anxiety through their zinc content, amino acids, and tryptophan. Add visual appeal to eggs with a “toad in the hole” recipe such as this one. If your child enjoys eggs hard-boiled, those keep well in the fridge for a quick morning snack.
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6. Brazil Nuts
Getting adequate selenium, an important nutrient, has been proven to help mitigate anxiety and improve mood. Brazil nuts are so high in selenium, you can achieve your RDA in a single nut! They're crunchy and have a mild flavor.
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References: 1. https://discoverbrillia.com/pages/five-pillars-nutrition 2. https://discoverbrillia.com/blogs/stories/turning-nutrition-into-activities-for-kids 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350893/ 4. https://acleanbake.com/homemade-sugar-free-dark-chocolate/ 5. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/12/5405 6. https://www.laurafuentes.com/healthy-baked-salmon-nuggets/ 7. https://discoverbrillia.com/pages/five-pillars-sleep-and-rest 8. https://www.foodlion.com/fresh-ideas/family-friendly-freezer-treats/ 9. https://raisingwhasians.com/infused-water-recipes-kids/ 10. https://www.delish.com/cooking/g4159/egg-recipes-for-kids/?slide=5 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372 12. https://www.leangreendad.com/2018/02/13/simple-dates-stuffed-with-brazil-nuts-snack/