Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links which means I earn from qualifying purchases. I recommend these products either because I use them or because companies that make them are trustworthy and useful.

Rates of anxiety and other mental health conditions in kids have been on the rise over the last decade, and it’s no surprise that the pandemic has only made them worse. In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared the mental health crisis in kids a national emergency. 

Although factors like genetics, trauma, and stress can all increase the risk for anxiety, diet may be one, we as a nation should take a closer look at. 

As we continue this season focused on “food as medicine,” I sat down with Jess Cording, a registered dietitian, health coach, writer, and author of The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety.

Cording and I talked about why rates of anxiety are on the rise in kids, what research shows about gut health and the role that food and diet play, and if diet alone can prevent and treat anxiety. We also talked about foods to avoid, the best nutrients and superfoods to focus on, and if fermented foods, probiotics, and spices can help. Finally, Cording offered up easy ways for both and kids and parents to better cope with anxiety. 


3:30 Let’s talk about your story!

9:45 Kids have a lot to be anxious about today. When a parent is concerned, what’s the first step?

12:45 What does research tell us about the role that diet plays in causing, increasing symptoms of, and reducing anxiety?

15:03 What does research tell us about the role of gut health and anxiety?

16:48 How can ultra-processed foods affect kids’ gut health and mental health?

20:14 Can diet alone prevent or treat anxiety in kids?

23:43 Can dehydration lead to symptoms of anxiety?

24:22  What are the best nutrients to focus on to help ease symptoms?

29:26 Should kids take a probiotic or are fermented foods best?

30:34 How do we get fish in our kids’ diets?

32:59 Can spices like turmeric help with anxiety?

35:54 Why is it important to have meals with fiber, protein, and healthy fats especially if your kid has anxiety?

36:39 What are some healthy snack ideas?  

38:20 What are your favorite tips for parents dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety? 

42:56 Tell us about your second book.


Julie mentions she has interviewed Jess Cording for stories for EverydayHealth including, “12 Potential Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar.”

Julie talks about her interview on Jess Cording’s podcast, “Drama-Free Healthy Living with Jess Cording.”

Julie mentions research that shows kids are eating mostly ultra-processed foods.

Jess mentions the Headspace app for kids.

Julie and Jess talk about this study, which found 71% of U.S. children consume caffeine on a given day.

Julie mentions she uses turmeric to make Golden Milk.

Grab a copy of Jess Cording’s book, “The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety.

Learn more about Jess Cording on her website. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

Subscribe and listen to Jess Cording’s podcast “Drama Free Healthy Living with Jess Cording.” 


Kids Cook Real Food eCourse review

Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, created by a mom of 4 and a former elementary school teacher, is designed to build connection, confidence, and creativity in the kitchen. The course includes 30 basic cooking skills, 45 videos including several bonuses, printable supply and grocery shopping lists, and kid-friendly recipes. The course is designed for all kids ages 2 to teen and has three different skill levels. More than 18,000 families have taken the course and The Wall Street Journal named it the #1 cooking class for kids. Sign up now for the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse and get a free lesson for being a “Food Issues” listener. 


Thrive Market

Thrive Market 

Thrive Market is an online membership-based market that has the highest quality, organic, non-GMO, healthy, and sustainable products. From groceries, clean beauty, safe supplements, and non-toxic home products to ethical meat, sustainable seafood, clean wine, and more, Thrive Market is where members save an average of $32 on every order! Through Thrive Gives, every paid membership sponsors a free one for a low-income family. Join Thrive Market today and get 25% off your first order and a free gift. 


Unlike other blenders, the Vitamix blends everything up into a super-smooth consistency, much like a juicer would, except you get all the nutritious fiber that regular juicers leave behind. Yet Vitamix is for so much more than smoothies.  Every Vitamix has an entire range of textures to choose from so you can use it to make dips and spreads, nut and seed butters, hummus and guacamole, muffins, pizza dough, plant-based milk, and frozen treats. Vitamix has been around for 70 years and all of their blenders are powerful, durable, and built to last, and come with a full warranty. Get free shipping off any Vitamix purchase over $50.

Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.