When your blood sugar dips, you're more likely to be anxious. -Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

87: Helping Your Child Manage Anxiety with Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Funny story – we filmed this interview before anyone knew what “quarantine” was or why the coronavirus was going to take over our lives…but boy, is it more relevant than ever!!

We know that (even before all this) anxiety was becoming a big issue for kids of many ages. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge is an expert on kids’ mental health and wise voice for parents, and I’m so honored that she found the time for us! With truly 50% of kids experiencing anxiety, all parents need this one.

You’ll learn:

  • Why we have so much more anxiety these days (even before shelter-in-place orders!)
  • What factors are making kids less resilient, both physically and mentally
  • The difference between stress and anxiety (and how parents can know if their child struggles with anxiety)
  • Why “people pleasing” can lead to anxiety
  • A practical to-do list for parents to help kids deal with anxiety gracefully
  • Yes, foods CAN affect mood – we talk about best foods to eat and avoid + Dr. Ro’s fav supplements for kids
  • Something to implement right away to break the worry cycle

PLUS, Dr. Roseann is such an Italian-American New Yorker and I could just listen to her talk and tell stories all day! You’re going to love this one. 🙂

Can’t see the video? Click to watch “Helping Kids Manage Anxiety” on YouTube.

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

Managing Your Kid’s Anxiety Video Time Stamps

  • 0:50: Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge provides integrative mental health support and holistic therapies to help stressed-out kids and parents.
  • 1:39: Dr. Roseann tells us some more about her story and how her career has developed.
  • 4:31: A little boy named Alec came into Dr. Roseann’s practice and changed the way she helps her patients ever since.
  • 5:46: 99.7% of people who are on psychiatric medications experience adverse reactions. The top three are irritability, anorexia, and sleep issues.
  • 6:47: These side effects can create a downward spiral causing more symptoms. Generally, an ADD medication is only effective for 3 years.

Food quality and nutrients are so important for brain health. -Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

  • 8:07: Dr. Roseann shares the ending of Alec’s story which led her to bio-feedback.
  • 8:55: Parents are seeking out more options and answers for their kids with mental health issues even though the system hasn’t changed much.

Did you know 2 million American kids are depressed or anxious?

It’s in your power to build your child’s defenses to prevent depression. Get the free download:


Are Rates of Anxiety Going Up?

  • 9:43: Anxiety is getting worse for kids today. We go through some stats and talk about why the increase is happening.

Why do we see so much more anxiety in our world? People have accepted a high-stress lifestyle. -Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

  • 12:11: Dr. Roseann shares some academic causes of stress for kids. Over the last 10 years, she’s seen academic pressures rise. Work that was once considered the appropriate level for a 3rd grader is now expected of a 1st grader.
  • 13:30: We have been increasing the demands put on kids and rather than teaching them to cope, evaluating diet or lessening their stressors we’re putting them on meds for anxiety at frighteningly young ages.

The link between diet, physical issues and anxiety is very strong. -Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

  • 14:35: People say we’re just diagnosing mental health issues better these days, but there are multiple causes that could account for a true increase in anxiety and other mental issues in our kids.

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How to Help Your Child Manage Anxiety

  • 15:03: How can a parent know if their child is experiencing anxiety or stress? Children will often express anxiety differently than adults. Listen in here for a long list of symptoms of anxiety in kids.
  •  17:04: Many anxious kids hold it together at school and then express their anxiety at home.

what does anxiety look like in kids?

  • 17:18: If you are worried about your child, start with some easier tweaks to diet or schedule to see if that’s what they need.

The best thing you can do for your kid is to give them tools they can use for the rest of their life. -Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

  • 18:51: I share a routine that has helped my daughter manage her anxiety about school and what’s coming up.

To-do List for Parents to Help Kids Deal with Anxiety

  • 20:18: We talk about specific ways to help your kids deal with stress.
    • Communicate about problem/solution with child
    • Role play anxious situations
    • Meditation
    • Biofeedback
    • Deep breath practice – this is the quickest way to calm your nervous system!
    • Let teachers know
    • Create an exit plan in a stressful situation
    • Counting backward from 10 (breaks the worry cycle)
    • Talk back to your worries
  • 25:45: It’s important to teach your kids these tools so they can do them when you aren’t there and build on those skills throughout their life.
  • 26:34: Decreasing inflammatory foods can be very helpful for reducing anxiety. Paleo or a Mediterranean style diet are two examples. Grains, sugar, and dairy are the top most common inflammatory foods to look out for. Inflammation leads to increased anxiety and depression.
  • 27:17: Most people who are anxious and depressed don’t get enough healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, etc) or consistent protein. Make sure you have protein every 3 hours.
  • 28:17: There are some really easy supplements you can do to help anxiety. Magnesium is Dr. Roseann’s number one favorite supplement for anxiety. Read her guest post here on Kitchen Stewardship for more on magnesium.
  • 29:53: You can get magnesium in many forms: powders, tablets, chewables, bath salts, sprays, and lotions.
  • 31:46: We leave you with one practical step to take today.

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Resources to Help Kids Manage Anxiety

As an affiliate of some of the companies shared above, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Dr Roseann Capanna-HodgeDr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge has become a well-known media voice for kids’ mental health, but it wasn’t always that way. She started out her career as a traditionally trained as a psychologist and professional counselor until one particular patient changed the trajectory of her practice forever. Her centers in Connecticut now provide integrative mental health support and holistic therapies to bring kids from stressed out messes to happy and focused, and she’s the co-author of “Brain Under Attack,” a resource guide about PANS/PANDAS. She’s an expert in getting to the bottom of some of the toughest pediatric mental health cases out there and has brought hope to thousands of parents over the last 25 years.

Strategies to help your child manage anxiety

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

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2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.

3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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