The hectic pace of modern life doesn’t only affect us grownups in causing fears and anxieties, but it can take its toll on the wellbeing of our little ones. Although we cannot shield them from all the negative aspects of life, we can do our best to help them tackle those situations with a positive mindset and a healthy lifestyle.
And of course, the foundation of every child’s healthy life is their diet! So why not dip into the wonderful powers of our dinner table and help kids reduce their stress with the help of healthy, yet delicious munchies?
Even the pickiest eaters cannot resist a delicious smoothie, especially if it has a few of the essential, healthy ingredients that your kids will love. For example, antioxidant-rich fruits such as oranges, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries could be an acquired taste as well as fermented foods, but mix them with a few dark chocolate cubes and some milk, and voila! Your kids have a delicious, stress-reducing snack.
My kids love taking part in making our traditional family evening smoothie in our trusty KitchenAid food processor by blending a handful of berries with a cup of milk, a few almonds, apples, walnuts and some cinnamon. Not only is this wonder-drink super tasty, but kids also relate it to storytelling sessions which help them unwind from a busy day at school.
Dark leafy greens
Mixed in with your omelet, steamed or cooked separately, dark leafy veggies such as spinach, kale and broccoli are perfect ingredients to help your kids relax and tackle their most stressful events, such as tests or exams. They are full of nutritious goodies such as vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate, which is one of the key ingredients that helps their brain produce the feel-good dopamine and serotonin.
Dark leafy greens are a true powerhouse of micronutrients and healthy fiber, and they offer many ways of healthy preparation. Normally, kids will avoid eating garlic, but you can sneak them into your cooked spinach, and they will love the rich taste!
A cup of chamomile tea
Another evening favorite for all of us, warm chamomile tea is a godsend when the kids are having trouble falling asleep, or when they feel worried or anxious during the day. Despite its mild taste, your little ones might prefer to mix in a spoonful of honey, such as Wedderspoon raw Manuka honey, to add a touch of healthy sweetness.
Studies have shown that certain chemical compounds in this tea have a soothing effect on those who are suffering from an anxiety disorder, so even science backs up this traditional herbal medicine as an efficient anxiety-reducer.
Boost your kids’ mood with a plate of healthy snacks, a glass full of rich nutrients and home-cooked meals and you’ll help them reduce their stress one tasty bite at a time!