In their words: Michelle Chevally Hedge & Happy brains develop from good food - Happy + Well : Happy + Well

In their words: Michelle Chevally Hedge & Happy brains develop from good food

Written by on January 19, 2016 in Wellness, Young People with 0 Comments

images3-250x198If you are a parent concerned about the wellbeing of your child – their brain function, concentration, energy, emotions and physical health – then it makes sense to be concerned about their nourishment.

Did you know that …

  • 1 in 5 teenagers are likely to experience a diagnosable depressive episode.
  • 1 in 10 kids are diagnosed with ADHD making it very hard for them to concentrate.
  • 1 in 3 kids are subject to disrupted hormones and experience mood disorders and skin problems as a result.
  • 1 in 3 kids have food related allergies that cause a raft of physical and mental symptoms.
  • 1 in 4 kids are overweight and more likely to grow up into overweight adults.

Every kid wants to feel good and de-fuse those ‘self esteem bombs’ that rob them of their energy, brainpower and feel-good hormones.

The good news is that food – quality nourishment – can dramatically improve if not solve all of these problems. Here are my four key foundations for nourishment:

  1. Real food
  2. Some grains
  3. Fat eaters
  4. Veggie munchers

Real food

It’s really quite simple. Each week start ‘crowding in’ so much good, real food that your family doesn’t realise the packaged cereals, processed muesli bars, and high sugar lollies are missing. How can you tell food is real? A quick easy way is that such food, a banana for example, or a piece of fish, usually doesn’t have a label.

Some grains

One of the issues with grain is that it’s often highly processed and has low nutrient density. Wheat is a typical example. That’s why if you can’t get bread made from unprocessed grain, you’re better off sourcing your carbohydrates from vegetables, legumes and gluten-free grains like basmati or brown rice, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.

Fat eaters

Fat feeds our brain, balances hormones, keeps us warm and provides us with a feeling of fullness.

Enjoy ‘good fats’ such as olive oil, walnut oil, chia, linseeds, salmon, trout, olives, (other) seeds and nuts but enjoy the other fats too. Butter, nut butters, coconut oil, coconut milk, cheese, and a modest amount of saturated fat have all been found ‘not guilty’. If you are still a non-believer and need to see the evidence, google the following: “The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: where does the evidence stand in 2010?” in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Veggie munchers

Eat raw, dip in hummus, wrap in a tortilla. Stir fry, bake, steam, BBQ. It doesn’t really matter how you enjoy your veggies; just eat them. They are full of fibre, vitamins, nutrients, enzymes and nourishment.  Who needs buckets of pills when you are consuming foods that are high in anti oxidants and low in sugar?

Food is meant to be enjoyed. Bring back the love of food. Bring back the family meal. It doesn’t need to be extreme; it needs to be easy and tasty. And as I’ve described here, that definitely doesn’t exclude healthy food. Give your children a great head start in life by properly nourishing them, to help promote happy and healthy bodies and minds.


Michele Chevally Hedge is a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner and dynamic health advocate who enjoys writing and presenting from an evidence-based medicine perspective. She will be presenting a session at the Wellness@Work conference. Register for the conference here. This event is part of the Wellness Show co-located with the Digital Health Show and Happiness & Its Causes 2016.

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