Back to School Anxiety & How Nutrition can Help Kids
WINNIPEG – Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns for children, affecting upwards of 20% of children and adolescents. And while back to school can be a time of excitement for kids to see their friends, meet their teachers, and get new school supplies, it is not for every child. For some kids, this is a really stressful time.
Some of the general symptoms of anxiety that are present in kids include:
- excessive fear and worrying about family, school, friends, or activities
- worrying about things before they happen
- low confidence and self-esteem
- physical symptoms such as stomach ache, headache, muscle aches, or tension
- feelings of fatigue and restlessness
- changes in appetite
- issues concentrating
- feeling irritable and an inability to relax
- trouble sleeping and having nightmares
- fear of making mistakes or being embarrassed
*Source – Healthline.com
Proper nutrition specifically for childhood anxiety has been found to help alleviate some of the symptoms and lessen the degree of anxiety in kids. Excessive fast food and sugar intake have been linked to increased anxiety. The ups and downs of blood sugar can cause panic attacks, sleep issues and anxiety symptoms.
Parents should focus on foods high in Zinc, Iron, B6, and especially probiotic foods. There is a strong link between the brain and the digestive system, constantly sending signals back and forth when a child’s stomach or intestinal track is in distress. This distress in the digestive system can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress or depression.
As a Certified Integrative Nutritionist, Andrea Katz from Best You Nutrition can make recommendations for foods that might help with anxiety and the associated symptoms children may be experiencing, or support them in not developing symptoms to start.
For more information or to arrange an interview with Katz about how food can affect back to school stress and anxiety, and what parents can do to help, please contact Andrea at 204.770.2203 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org