After over a year of school closures, the perils of home schooling and the threat of Covid 19, it’s understandable that some children and adolescents are feeling anxious coming out of lockdown.

As parents we may be feeling anxious ourselves. Now the summer holidays are almost here it’s time to help our kids get their confidence back and have a little fun. If your children are suffering with low mood or stress, ensuring they have a healthy balanced diet is vital. Easier said than done when it comes to kids! It’s easy to let healthy habits slip during the holidays. Children and teens will naturally choose foods high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. You don’t have to ban these foods completely.

These foods are often cheaply available, tasty, quick to cook and prepare. However, a systematic review in 2016 looked at the results of 20 different studies linking dietary intake of children and adolescents and concluded that children who had a healthy diet had lower levels of depression and/or better mental health than those with poor diet choices. Therefore, keep them as an occasional treat. Keeping blood sugar levels balanced will help, include quality protein such as lean meat, fish, tofu or pulses with each meal, for example add nuts and seeds to porridge at breakfast. Healthy fats are important such as olive oil, oily fish and avocados, and don’t forget the five a day recommendation for fruit and vegetables. If you have the space, why not try growing your own?

Letting children get involved in cooking can help get them excited about healthy food, let them have a choice between healthy options and encourage them to get involved in the kitchen. Certain nutrients can help decrease anxiety, for example tea (especially green tea) contains the wonderful calming amino acid L-theanine, also great for frazzled parents. Magnesium is known to help aid relaxation, unfortunately it is often low in our diets.

Foods high in magnesium include avocados, salmon, nuts, tofu, seeds and spinach. If your child is a fussy eater a multi vitamin and mineral may be necessary. Younger kids will like the flavour of Kids Vital Vits while older kids may prefer our Advanced Multi which is suitable for the whole family. It’s important for kids to get outside during the holidays. Have days where you can be spontaneous, spend time in parks, on the beach or in gardens to let them run off some steam, spend time in nature and most importantly have fun. 

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