Does your child struggle with anxiety? Looking for a natural solution? Anxiety is often related to a mineral deficiency, particularly magnesium. Using magnesium lotion and/or magnesium supplements for kids can help relieve anxiety and calm the nervous system. No medications. No doctors. Just simple nutritent boosting.
When I was little I hated traveling. I mean hated.
Leaving home gave me so much anxiety because I had an overactive bladder. I knew that as soon as I got in the car I would have to use the bathroom. I would spend entire car rides staring out the window watching for the next rest area sign.
It became a vicoius cycle. The car made the anxiety worse. The anxiety made the bladder issue worse (which I later discovered was actually a bowel issue). And it continued into adulthood.
By the time I got married my travel anxiety was so bad that I feared going anywhere. A two-hour drive across the state to see my family was a huge undertaking for me. I hated it. My husband had to reassure me every time we went somewhere that we could stop at any time.
But it didn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t have been that way.
There was a key nutrient missing that could have changed my life.
What is Magnesium?
In my mind, magnesium is a miracle (as I’ll explain later). But technically speaking, magnesium is a very important mineral that is involved in over 300 enyzmatic reactions in the body.
Magnesium is known as a natural tranquilizer, as it helps with relaxing muscles, including both skeletal muscles and smooth muscles (like blood vessels and the digestive tract). This is why sufficient magnesium intake helps with slow digestion. It helps the muscles of the digestive tract contract properly.
Magnesium plays a role in energy levels as well. Because it aids in passing nutrients back and forth across cell membranes, magnesium helps in the release of energy. This may also lead to aiding with nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and muscle cramps.
Although important, magnesium does not stand alone. It must be in balance with calcium, sodium, and potassium for optimal health.
Symptoms of Low Magnesium in Kids
The symptoms of low magnesium levels in kids are many. They can include:
- irritability (tendency towards blood sugar dysregulation and acting “hangry”)
- insomnia (anybody have kids that struggle with sleep?)
- muscle twitching and cramping (restless legs and growing pains)
- decreased learning ability and lack of focus (ADD, ADHD)
- poor memory
- rapid heartbeat
Today I’m going to focus on a big one – anxiety.
Why Do Children Suffer From Anxiety?
Children should not have to deal with daily anxiety. But in our current world it’s more common than not.
And while we can’t control all of our circumstances, we can control how we respond to stressors and how we care for our bodies. Which means parents have an essential role to help their children work through anxiety and stay healthy.
When minerals are in balance, children are more resiliant and can handle tough situations without becoming overly anxious.
Often the root cause of anxiety is not a tough situation, but rather a mineral imbalance, namely low magnesium.
What to Give a Child for Anxiety
The most common treatment for anxiety is medication. However, this is not an ideal solution, especially for kids.
Anti-anxiety medications act as a band-aid. They alter how you feel. But they don’t actually address the problem. So unless you continue to take the medication, the anxiety will return. Not to mention they have unpleasant side-effects.
Instead, a simple solution for anxiety in kids is to increase magnesium levels.
Other complementary therapies include essential oils, flower essences, herbs, and homeopathy. But these should only be used to support the process, not as the solution. Getting the body in balance is the key to reducing anxiety.
Foods With Magnesium for Kids
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner that specializes in helping children feel their best, I always take a food-first approach to proper nutrition. I try to avoid supplements for kids when possible. Which means children need a diet rich in magnesium on a daily basis.
Foods high in magnesium include:
- leafy greens
- dark chocolate
These are all delicious foods, and should be incorporated into your diet often. But even when eating some of these daily it can be hard for kids to have sufficient magnesium levels. Magnesium is used up very quickly since the body uses it for so many functions. It is also depleted by stress, anxiety, and sugar intake. So it’s hard to have sufficient levels from food alone.
How to Increase Magnesium Levels in Kids
Thankfully, when it comes to magnesium, the best way to increase levels is through the skin! Which means no supplements or potential digestive upset. And no pills for kids!
There are a few options for topical magnesium, but magnesium lotion is the most effective and easiest way to increase magnesium levels in kids.
You can make your own lotion with a few simple ingredients (we like THIS two-ingredient magnesium lotion recipe and THIS DIY magnesium lotion recipe).
Or if you’re like most parents, and you just don’t have the time or energy, you can buy pre-made magnesium lotion.
There is only one brand I use on my kids – The Magnesium Lotion Shop.
This is a small, family-run company that uses high-quality, safe ingredients (only four total!). And the end product is amazing! It goes on easily and doesn’t itch. My kids use it almost daily!
You can grab a jar…or two or three…HERE. Trust me, you’ll want to stock up!
Does Magnesium Reduce Anxiety in Kids?
As I mentioned earlier, I consider magnesium to be a miracle because of the impact it has had on my own health. My travel anxiety and digestive issues came to a head in my 20’s when I was diganosed with a rectal prolapse and had major colon surgery to correct it. Something that usually only happens in elderly people. I now know it was due to anxiety from digestive issues, which in turn put pressure on my bladder. The overactive bladder then made the anxiety worse, which made the digestive issues worse. It was a cycle I could not escape.
After over 30 years of struggling with anxiety and a fear of traveling, I figured out that I had very low magnesium. Not only was it a partial cause of my anxiety, it was also causing an imbalance with other minerals (for years I didn’t tolerate any high potassium foods) and my sluggish digestion.
After regularly using both magnesium lotion and a magnesium supplement, I now have much less anxiety. In fact, the last two times I’ve traveled I was actually MORE relaxed than at home. Not once my entire life has this happened! I was so relaxed that my digestion was almost perfect while we were away, and I had more fun than I’ve had in a long time. If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband. I’m sure he was amazed to not hear me complain about a stomach ache one single time!
The only thing that I wish I could change is figuring it out sooner. I wish that as a child I could have used magnesium to reduce my anxiety, aid my digestion, and help me enjoy life the way kids should.
I now use magnesium regularly with my own kids when they are dealing with anxiety. I also use it for growing pains, bed wetting, and insomnia. It has truly become a miracle for our whole family!
Additional Magnesium Sources for Kids
If you feel like lotion alone is not sufficient, you can add a magnesium supplement to your child’s diet. We use THIS powder mixed into water. My kids love it and ask for it almost every evening. If we miss a night my oldest can tell as she struggles to fall asleep.
I’ve been using magnesium lotion at bedtime for the past couple months. It’s really helped the twins’ quality of sleep, but not so much their anxiety levels.
Glad to hear it helps with sleep! The Jigsaw Magsoothe I linked to really helps with the anxiety too for my kids. It’s so calming. And it tastes great 🙂
I haven’t pinpointed the trigger, but I see there’s a problem. Definitely gets stressed when something doesn’t come naturally or isn’t good at something right away.
That can just be a personality thing. But definitely could also be a mineral imbalance. You might also want to look into the Eating Styles as they talk about working with your child’s nature. https://justtakeabite.com/eating-styles-membership/
I hope this helps and I would like to try it. Both of my kids have trouble sleeping and act like they are nervous. My son has growing pains almost every day and complains.
That definitely sounds like a magnesium deficiency! I hope you find the lotion helpful.
Magnesium has worked wonders for my son’s growing pains. He used to cry about his knees hurting every time we were in the car. That has almost subsided since we started using magnesium cream. We are almost out so this is the perfect time for a giveaway!
That’s so awesome, Trisha! I love how to hear how helpful magnesium is.
I struggle with anxiety, as well as my daughter. I had bought a magnesium spray…but it bothered my skin (burning), so I quit using it. I’m interested in this lotion. Maybe it would help us. My daughter is almost 20 and currently a sophomore in college… which is in my house, in her room.
I never end up using magnesium oil because it’s too itchy. But the lotion is so nice! I keep it in the bathroom so I remember to put it on every morning after I shower. Make it part of your daily routine and see if you notice a differnce.
My daughter is 12 and has so much anxiety around getting things started…schoolwork, chores, brushing her hair. She escapes by grabbing a book and heading outside to read. She is on medication for anxiety and OCD, which have completely changed her and our lives, but I dream of figuring out how to help her w/o drugs. If something as easy as applying a lotion could possibly help her, I’m all in. 🙂
I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling, Kelly! I also have a 12 yo daughter that sometimes struggles with mornings and turns to books to escape. And I have struggled with anxiety and OCD myself for most of my life. So I totally understand how hard it is. Magnesium lotion would be a great first step!! You may want to also try a magnesium supplement (the powder I linked to). Or if you’re interested in digging deeper I could work with your daughter using Nutritional Therapy. You can learn more about it here: https://justtakeabite.com/nutritional-therapy/
I would love to give this as a gift to my sister who struggles with anxiety. I take a magnesium supplement orally and find it really helps with my quality of sleep and bowel movements.
I hope she finds it helpful!
Right now my kid’s biggest anxiety trigger is thinking I’m leaving him (when I’m just running errands, etc) even when I’m leaving him with Dad. Also his dad’s office seems to be a big trigger.
I’m sorry to hear that, Morgan! It’s so hard when kids are scared. I hope you find magnesium helpful.
Thanks for this post. I wonder if this could be a key in my son’s anxiety and speech issues.
You’re welcome! Magnesium really does impact so much.
I have used magnesium spray on my children to help them relax and sleep. I didn’t realize it could help with anxiety. I have a son beginning college and he is very anxious about that what that will hold. I would love to try the cream with him.
Yes! What a great thing for college students.
One of my kids has asthma, and naturally when he starts to cough and get short of breath he gets anxious.
That is definitely anxiety-inducing! Magnesium could help calm him some for sure. Sometimes just that little bit is all it takes to be able to handle a situation.
We’ve used the magnesium at night to help my two youngest relax and fall to sleep quicker. I need to make this part of our daily routine as school is starting next week. The biggest anxiety-inducing situations in our house revolve around mealtimes (for my middle child as she’s very limited on what she will eat) and when we have a big writing assignment for school 🙂
Anxiety and food can definitely go together! If you ever want to dig deper into this I’m here! 🙂 https://justtakeabite.com/nutritional-therapy/
Not being able to see their friends.
That is such a big one right now!
My kiddo isn’t great with changes in his routine, so next month will be a stressful time for him, starting Kindergarten with COVID scheduling. This lotion sounds like a great aid to try!
Definitely worth a try! I hope he handles the transition ok.
It’s like my son has almost all of those things going on. Definitely going to try some lotion!
I hope it helps your son!
Biggest trigger: SCHOOL!
I think that is a big one for so many kids this year!
Trigger seems to be fear of future/unknown – he wants to know exactly what will happen & when (which, with CoVid, has been extremely hard to predict!!)
That is a tough one! I’m a planner and like to know what to expect. Uncertainty is never easy.