Working With the Nutritional Needs of Highly Sensitive Children

Note: This is a guest post written by Mary Tate

When it comes to highly sensitive children, it’s extremely important to remember their nutritional needs.  Like many children, food can trigger problems with health and behavior in highly sensitive children. Here are some things you can do to address the nutritional needs of highly sensitive children.

Removing Problem Foods

When working with a new client, the first thing I ask my parents to do is keep a food log for a week so I can go back and decipher what the child is taking in as many times that will provide me with a clue as to what their needs will be from a nutrition standpoint.  Highly sensitive children have a lot going on with their bodies so it’s a good idea to check in with their diet to see if something is going on there which might be triggering a response.

If I see a lot of dairy or gluten in their log, I suggest removing one or the other to see if there is any improvement in their symptoms.  Many times it’s as simple as removing a food.  It does take a while for a food to get itself totally out of someone’s system, so give it time.  On the other hand, I have seen great results by the 3rd or 4th day.

Introduce a Probiotic

Another step is to introduce a good probiotic specially formulated for children for gut health and for immune support.  Did you know that there are more neurotransmitters in the gut than in the brain?  Well, it’s true so make sure your child is getting a probiotic that is getting the good bugs into their gut.  The ones I like is doTerra’s PB Assist Jr. which tastes like a pixie stick.  Also Garden of Life Kids Probiotics is a good brand as well.

Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are another nutrient a typical American diet is lacking.  Omega 3 are essential, however, our bodies cannot make them.  They must be consumed through our diet.  There are a few ways to do that.  Wild Caught Salmon is one of the best ways to obtain Omega 3’s, however, a lot of children don’t eat fish, so there are some supplements I can recommend.  Barlean’s Omega Swirl comes in great flavors such as Mango Sorbet, Key Lime Pie, Pina Colada and more.  They are like a pudding and taste great !!! Another option is Nordic Naturals line of fish oil supplements.  Both can be purchased at your local health food store.

Include Magnesium Oil

Many times adding a little bit of magnesium to your child’s diet can help with calming and if your child struggles with chronic constipation, this can help that too.  The brand I suggest is Natural Calm.  It comes in a Multi-liquid or a powder which can be added to water and then taken.

Eliminate Fake Ingredients and Additives

Another tip is to remove all artificial food coloring and additives.  It can be a daunting task to check every food label, but it is imperative to calm our kids’ nervous system.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are extremely calming to the highly sensitive child as well.  Diffusers are a great way to affect everyone’s mood too.  I love Lavender, Cedarwood and many citrus oils.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from as you embark on this journey. As a mom to a highly sensitive child I know change is hard for these children, so do what you can and take it one step at a time.


About the Author:

Mary lives in Parker, CO with her husband and three children. Her passion for the special needs community began when her son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder in 1999 and then ADHD in 3rd grade. In order to serve her son, she became a Certified Health Coach and now specializes in walking alongside families of children with special needs in her business Tree of Life Health Coaching. She loves to serve in a local respite care program to allow parents to unplug, take a break and reconnect. It’s such a blessing to be able to serve these families.


  1. An awesomely intelligent article. Thanks for such detailed description on nutritional needs of sensitive children. I m going to share it with few of my friends who have become new parents lately.
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