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Stop Afternoon Melt-Downs!!

January 25, 2015

Fit.  Tantrum.  Melt-down.  Dysregulated.

Picky eater.


Do any of these words describe your kiddo?  4pm hits and kids are hitting to proverbial roof.  Or maybe the not-so-proverbial roof in the case of a reallllllly dysregulated kid.

Maintaining regulation in a child with a trauma history is a complex process.  An art, really.  And….lots of luck.  This tip won’t fix all your dysregulation woes, but it may just help.


So many kiddos I work with are chomping on carbs…carbs…and more carbs.  And fighting with a dysregulated kid about food will likely just lead to more dysregulation.

Two quick little tricks to hide protein in yummy, sweet treats.

Protein Black Bean Brownies.  No, really.  Black beans.  In brownies.  There are lots of recipes on the internet for black bean brownies, but I love this healthy-ingredient option from trauma momma Shelly over a Yearn for Surrender.

No Bake High Energy Bites.  These. Are. So. Amazing.  You can experiment with the recipe.  There is so much sweetness in this recipe that you can easily sub cacao nibs for chocolate chips.  Use 100% nut butter with no sugar added.

Trauma kids power through glucose in their brain realllllly fast because it takes a LOT of energy to be in chronic fight/flight/freeze.  They burn up glucose (sugar) and then their blood sugar plummets, which spikes cortisol, which triggers more fight/flight/freeze.  Etcetera.  Trauma kids are more susceptible to HANGER but frankly, there are lots of kids (and adults) who could use a little extra protein to keep their blood sugar stable- which may ward off a case of the crankies and grumpies.

You’re Welcome 🙂





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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jenislove permalink
    January 25, 2015 9:49 am

    We do high protein in the afternoon and he still has meltdowns and defiant opposition,I guess that’s his personality

    • January 28, 2015 5:15 pm

      Sounds like you are well on your way to trying to figure out what is leading to increased dysregulation in the afternoons! Sometimes its a blood sugar issue that protein can help- sometimes it’s something else! Keep on keepin’ on, mama!!

  2. January 28, 2015 4:10 pm

    Glad to see you posting again! I was getting concerned. I went to your presentation in Grand Rapids this summer and it was just THE BEST, clearest, parenting trauma class I’ve taken (and I’ve taken a lot). I’m not sure it all made sense because I had so much background already, or whether you are just good, but I’m thinking it is the latter. 🙂 I actually used the “draw the experience” tactic with a child and it was truly helpful! Thank you!

    • January 28, 2015 5:14 pm

      Hi Annie! Thanks so much for those kind words- that means so much! It was a blast to do that workshop and I hope to do another one this summer- probably about the same time of year. I’m sorry the blog has been so quiet! Sometimes my brain gets in a place where I just cannot write creatively. I hope to get back at blogging regularly!

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