3 ways of spotting magnesium deficiency in your kids by Goodhealth

3 ways of spotting magnesium deficiency in your kids

April 17, 2023

It’s estimated that up to 75% of the population could be lacking in magnesium. This deficiency not only affects adults but is becoming increasingly common in kiwi kids. Magnesium deficiency can be caused by several factors, but, in the case of our young ones, the main factor is usually a poor diet due to lack of nutritious food.

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  1. Scenario #1: They are grumpy or irritable
  2. Scenario #2: They are up late complaining about cramps
  3. Scenario #3: They are anxious about school and other things

Stress, intensive exercise, and regular consumption of refined sugar and carbohydrates are other common factors that deplete the body of magnesium. It’s important to remember that children are also affected by stress and worry, and they often have a diet that is too high in sugar and refined carbs. Magnesium deficiency can be spotted in children displaying a number of behaviours.

Scenario #1: They are grumpy or irritable

You’re taking the brunt of some less than polite tones and accompanying behaviour – and you’re sure it’s not just a sugar-induced tantrum. There’s something particularly concerning about this foul mood. Before banishing anyone to the naughty corner prematurely, perhaps it’s a good time to review the foods that provide magnesium in the diet, in order to determine whether or not a supplement is necessary.

Scenario #2: They are up late complaining about cramps

You awaken to a yelping ‘Muuuuum,’ closely followed by an ‘Ouuuuch’ at an ungodly hour of the night. Did you know that growing pains and cramp could be the result of low magnesium levels?

Scenario #3: They are anxious about school and other things

There’s something bothering your little ones. Whether it’s their times tables or a weekly project – something’s up. Excessive worry over school, friends, sports activities, and the like could actually be due to a magnesium deficiency. The recommended dietary intake of magnesium for children aged 4 to 8 is 130mg and older siblings aged 9 to 13 should have 240mg each day.
Other signs of deficiency in children include restlessness, teeth grinding and sensitivity to noise. Muscle tension and twitching, particularly in small muscles such as the eye lid, are also typical symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Sources of magnesium

Some of the highest dietary sources of magnesium are from nuts and seeds, particularly almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, and pumpkin seeds; however, the minerals in plant seeds – nuts, seeds, beans, and grains, are bound to compounds that prevent the seed from germinating too early. Unfortunately, those compounds also prevent the absorption of the minerals in our body. The Weston A. Price foundation has tips on how traditional people “detoxified” and prepared these foods. The content of magnesium in fresh produce is affected by the magnesium content of the soil it’s grown in and there are also other plant compounds in vegetables that restrict the absorption of magnesium. The most bioavailable sources of magnesium are animal foods, particularly milk, fish, shellfish, and poultry.

It’s important to monitor magnesium levels as chronic deficiency can influence conditions of the metabolism, heart, and bone health. If supplementation is required, for kids older than 12 years old we have Organic Magnesium Ultra is a high strength formula that is free of Magnesium-oxide. Organic Magnesium Ultra is fast acting and easily absorbed.

If the kids struggle to swallow tablets or are under 12 and don’t need a full 220mg tablet dose, we have Magnesium Easy-to-swallow smaller capsules at 150mg dose, and for the young ones we have Magnesium Kids, which is also a great tasting chewable tablet with flexible dosing depending on their age.


How does magnesium deficiency affect children’s behaviour?

Magnesium deficiency in children can lead to irritability, mood swings, and increased anxiety. These behavioural changes are often attributed to magnesium’s role in regulating neurotransmitters and stress response, highlighting the importance of maintaining adequate magnesium levels for a balanced mood in kids.

What are the factors that can lead to magnesium deficiency in children?

Several factors contribute to magnesium deficiency in children, including a poor diet lacking in nutrient-rich foods, excessive consumption of refined sugars and carbohydrates, high levels of stress, and intense physical activity. These elements can deplete magnesium levels, making it crucial to address these factors and ensure proper magnesium intake for children’s overall health.