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Research shows that kids are more anxious today than they were just a few years ago (1). This can be tough for parents to hear because none of us want our kids to feel stressed or anxious. The reality is that sometimes stressful things happen, despite our best efforts, and the best we can do is to support our kids through stressful times.

This article discusses potential signs of stress in kids, lifestyle approaches to managing stress and increasing resilience, nutrients that are depleted by stress, and herbal supports. It also provides a recipe for a yummy stress support drink that kids love!

Stress In Kids

Some kinds of stress are normal during childhood and are an important part of growing up and learning how to do hard things! However, persistent stress or anxiety can be especially hard on children.

An anxious young girl squeezes her stuffed animal.Chronic stress in children refers to stress that lasts longer than a few weeks, and it can stem from numerous sources such as academic pressures, bullying, overscheduling, family dynamics, lack of sleep, lack of connection with parents, and even a diet that lacks nutrients.

Children have not yet fully developed coping mechanisms to manage stress, and this makes them particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects. This article focuses on “normal to moderate” stress in children. If your child is dealing with severe trauma or other significant chronic stressors, I recommend reaching out to a qualified professional for one on one support.

Signs & Symptoms

Recognizing symptoms of stress in children can be challenging, as they might not always articulate their feelings clearly.

However, some common indicators include (2):

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Increased irritability or mood swings
  • Withdrawal from activities they once enjoyed
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Complaints of physical ailments without a clear cause (e.g., stomachaches, headaches)

Alleviating Stress With A Healthy Lifestyle Approach

A lifestyle approach involving plenty of outside time and physical activity, quality sleep, healthy meals, meaningful connections, and the reduction of stressors is foundational for managing chronic stress in children, and it is my belief that every stress-management plan for kids should include a focus on lifestyle factors as the foundation of the plan. 

To learn more about how you can help your child during times of heightened stress, please read these in-depth articles: Stress Relief For Kids & Six Strategies To Support A Child Struggling With Anxiety

Replenishing Nutrients Depleted By Stress

In addition to the lifestyle approach to alleviate stress described above, a comprehensive approach to dealing with stress in kids may also include replenishing certain nutrients and utilizing herbs and nervines (herbs that support the nervous system).

Long term stress can deplete certain nutrients in the body (3), which may contribute to kiddos feeling worn out or acting grumpy.

Key nutrients that are often depleted during times of heightened stress include minerals like magnesium and potassium — both important for the nervous system, vitamin C — important for adrenal function, and electrolytes — needed for energy production and the transmission of nerve impulses. 

Focusing on replenishing these nutrients can help mitigate the effects of stress in children while continuing to pursue a lifestyle approach to stress management. Adults can also benefit from a similar approach to stress management.

If you are looking to learn more about stress management for grown-ups, read: Adrenal Fatigue 101—Plus My Favorite Adrenal Cocktail Recipe

Herbal Support

For generations — during times of stress — people have turned to herbs and nervines for their ability to support the nervous system. Herbs can be utilized in teas, tinctures, and glycerites or as essential oils.

Chamomile is perhaps most widely known and it is often used for its gentle calming properties (4), making it a go-to for easing anxiety and promoting restful sleep. Valerian root is supportive of sleep quality and calming tension (5). Hops strobiles supports the maintenance of a generally relaxed state and aids in nighttime soothing (6). Lobelia is a favorite for encouraging a state of calm and clarity (7).

Each of these herbs are included in Dr. Green Life’s Peace & Calm™ glycerite for kids and were chosen for their gentle, calming properties. When utilizing herbal remedies for kids, it is important to familiarize yourself with dosage amounts and, when in doubt, to consult an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner. 

To learn about herbal support for stressed adults, read: Herbalism For Adults: My Top 6 Supportive Formulas For Busy Parents

Two kids drink coconut water from small glasses. Dr. Green Mom’s Stress Support Drink For Kids




  1. Pour the coconut water into a large cup or shaker bottle.
  2. Add a scoop of Mighty Magnesium™, a dropperful of Immune Liquid Vitamin C, and drops of Peace & Calm™.
  3. Add in a splash of your favorite organic juice
  4. Stir well or shake if using a shaker bottle.
  5. Pour into a colorful cup or use a favorite straw to make this drink feel extra special.
  6. For extra stress support, drink this outside with your kiddo, screen free, while you take some time to connect and laugh together.

Like This Recipe? Try…


As parents, it is important to be aware of any signs of increased stress or anxiety in our children. When it comes to supporting our children during times of heightened stress, the implementation of lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity, quality sleep, and meaningful connection, is a great place to start.

Replenishing nutrients that can become depleted during times of prolonged stress is another important consideration. Nutrients like magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and electrolytes play an important role in managing stress and supporting overall well-being.

Incorporating herbal support can be beneficial as well. One way to help your kid consume these nutrients is by preparing my kid-approved Stress Support Drink. I recommend incorporating this drink into a new family ritual where conscious connection is the focus.


  1. Osorio, A. (2022, March 24). Research Update: Children’s Anxiety and Depression on the Rise. Center for Children and Families.
  2. LaCore, T. (2022, June 2). Stressed out kids? Signs and strategies. Mayo Clinic Health System.
  3. Lopresti A. L. (2020). The Effects of Psychological and Environmental Stress on Micronutrient Concentrations in the Body: A Review of the Evidence. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 11(1), 103–112.
  4. Mao, J. J., Li, Q. S., Soeller, I., Rockwell, K., Xie, S. X., & Amsterdam, J. D. (2014). Long-Term Chamomile Therapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Study Protocol for a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled Trial. Journal of clinical trials, 4(5), 188.
  5. Tammadon, M. R., Nobahar, M., Hydarinia-Naieni, Z., Ebrahimian, A., Ghorbani, R., & Vafaei, A. A. (2021). The Effects of Valerian on Sleep Quality, Depression, and State Anxiety in Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized, Double-blind, Crossover Clinical Trial. Oman medical journal, 36(2), e255.
  6. Kyrou, I., Christou, A., Panagiotakos, D., Stefanaki, C., Skenderi, K., Katsana, K., & Tsigos, C. (2017). Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. Hormones (Athens, Greece), 16(2), 171–180.
  7. Zheng, Q., Wang, Y., & Zhang, S. (2021). Beyond Alkaloids: Novel Bioactive Natural Products From Lobelia Species. Frontiers in pharmacology, 12, 638210.
Dr. Green Mom

Dr. Mayer is a naturopathic medical doctor and an expert in nutrition and wellness as it relates to pediatrics and families. Her passion for prevention of disease as cure fueled her desire to immerse herself into specializing in adult onset chronic conditions as well as childhood chronic illness.

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