3 Things Every Parent Needs To Know About The Gut-Brain Connection

mood learning & behaviour parenting video

This short excerpt is from a longer webinar we held for parents in the fall of 2022 about the gut-brain connection. Request the full recording of the webinar below.

Our understanding of how messages flow between gut and brain is evolving. Keep that in mind.

But we do know that there are bi-directional pathways that connect the gut and the brain. This means that what goes on in the gut influences how we think and feel, and that our thoughts and feelings influence our gut ecosystem.


This means that Hippocrates was only partly right. 


All disease probably does NOT start in the gut. In fact, the gut and brain work together to orchestrate the flow of messages through the body via other systems, like the immune and circulatory systems.

When the dominant messages circulating are calm, safety, and security we get strong, resilient, flexible kids; when the dominant messages are stress, threat, and fear we get emotional outbursts, withdrawal, anger, and inattention. 

Chew on that for a bit. It simplifies things, doesn't it?


The Question I Want On Every Parent's Mind


The question becomes, how can we identify where messages of threat and stress are coming from and shift  them into messages of calm and safety?

That's where the gut-brain connection comes in.

When you understand how to support gut health you have a way to support positive gut-brain messaging.

When you understand how to support the nervous system you have another way to support positive gut-brain messaging


Helping Kids From The Inside Out


Around here we like to say that we are "learning to parent our kids from the inside-out".

That means that to create the best possible environment for our kids to blossom, we not only need to consider their external environment but also their internal environment. 

Understanding the gut-brain connection is a key piece of this.

Understanding the gut-brain connection offers you an important leverage point to support your kids' mental and physical resilience. 


In the full webinar we talk about:

  • The impact of the gut microbiome on the brain (thoughts, feelings, stress)
  • The impact of the brain (thoughts, feelings, stress) on the gut
  • Why the gut is sometimes called "the second brain"
  • Clues that your child's 'second brain' may need some support
  • How messages flow from gut to brain and brain to gut
  • Popular tests to assess the gut ecosystem and when they can be helpful
  • Practical ways you can support positive gut-brain messaging in your child
  • The impact of food on the gut ecosystem
  • Kid-friendly foods for the gut (and brain!) 


About Jess Sherman, FDN-P, M.Ed, R.H.N

Jess is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition¬ģ Practitioner, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a trauma-sensitive Family Health Educator specializing in brain health & resilience for kids.¬†She is also a teacher, with a Master's degree in education. Her¬†Calm & Clear Kids¬†introductory course,¬†her Amino Acids (with kids!) Quickstart program, and her signature¬†Roadmap to Resilient Kids,¬†¬†along with her book¬†Raising Resilience,¬†have¬†helped families¬†in at least 44 countries¬†improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, and mood disorders and reduce¬†their reliance on medication.¬†She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work¬†with families, and she¬†continues to¬†bring an understanding of the Nourishment Needs and Biological Stress to the mainstream conversation about children‚Äôs mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses, workshops and as a contributor to print and online magazines.¬†

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The content on this website and in the guides and courses offered here is meant to provide information so that parents can make informed decisions and discuss these issue with their health care teams. It is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or individualized care.