Children can have anxiety for many reasons. Loud noises, separation anxiety, toilet training, worrying about being late or making friends at a new school to name a few.

Food can be a great healer for children who suffer from anxiety. As a parent we want our children to feel safe and secure and not feel worried or scared.

These are my top suggestions to keep in your home to help instil calmness in your child.

1. Bananas are high in tryptophan which a precursor to melatonin and potassium which helps normalise the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels, therefore bananas can help to calm your child especially at bedtime if your child has anxiety about going to sleep alone.

2. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Zinc is important for the brain and also children deficient in zinc may suffer from anxiety due to a condition called pyroluria. This condition is very common and can be diagnosed simply via urine test. Pumpkin seeds will aid in adding replacing low zinc stores in the body.

3. Walnuts and sardines are high in omega 3. The brain is made up of a high percentage of essential fatty acids and in feeding the brain cell membranes. It may also help our children to relax a little.

4. Polyphenols such as blueberries and broccoli are chemicals commonly found in some plant matter and functional foods. They have been shown to diminish the effects of stress and anxiety on the growth of new brain cells in older children and even adults.

5. Magnesium plays an important role in biochemical reactions all over the body. It is known as the great re-laxer. Brown rice, watermelon and organic oats provide a great amount of magnesium per serve.