Best Food Sources of Magnesium

It’s no secret that the typical American diet isn’t exactly known for being the most healthy. As a parent, especially if you have kids with some behavioral issues, it’s up to you to be intentional when it comes to providing nutrient-rich foods for your kids. There are several types of essential nutrients that most Americans struggle to get enough of in their diet, but magnesium stands out as an especially important nutrient to focus on.

Magnesium is absolutely essential for the body, particularly when it comes to nerve function. The mineral produces ATP, which is essentially the energy currency that allows cells to transmit energy, reproduce, and survive. That being said, magnesium deficiency has some very noticeable consequences, including increased anxiety, mental fogginess, and low energy levels. Magnesium deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of cancer and other chronic health problems.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that about half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium in their diet. It’s very possible that your kids could benefit from moremagnesium for sleep and anxiety. Here are some of the best foods to focus on getting more magnesium.

Dark Chocolate

Why not start with dessert first for this list? This relatively low-sugar form of chocolate is surprisingly rich in magnesium, offering up to 16% recommended daily value (RDI) per serving. Dark chocolate also contains other nutrients, such as antioxidants, probiotic fiber, and iron. If you’re unsure if your kids have gotten enough magnesium for the day, you can just choose dark chocolate for their dessert! 


Legumes include beans such as black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans along with peas, lentils, and soybeans. Legumes are versatile foods that you can easily integrate into a wide variety of recipes, so stock up to have them on hand when you prepare meals. One cup of legumes is worth up to 30% RDI of magnesium. Plus, they’re a great source of protein, iron, and potassium.


Nuts are a great alternative to other unhealthy snack options, like potato chips. In addition to being good sources of fiber and antioxidants, nuts provide high concentrations of magnesium, up to 20% RDI for some types of nuts. 

Whole Grains

Grains like wheat, barley, and oats are all excellent sources of a wide range of nutrients, including fiber, B Vitamins, and antioxidants. In addition, a serving of whole grains provides about 15% RDI of magnesium. There are pretty much endless ways to include whole grains into your kids’ diet, so you should have no problem finding great recipes for all meals.


Choosing magnesium-rich foods for your kids is one of the bestnatural ways to deal with anxiety for your kids, so it’s well worth it to continually keep these foods stocked in your pantry.