In order to generate healthy brains, the earlier in life that children develop a healthy lifestyle the better. At home and at school, with a good diet and physical activity, children need to experience and to understand the value of healthy metabolism. Continuous education is needed in lifecycle health, with awareness that the most vulnerable phase relates to reproduction. This is the way that most people can become parents of healthy children.

Nutrient deficits, toxins, or uro-genital disease, often unnoticed, affect quality of sperm or ovum, and subsequent development. Early errors can have the most pronounced effect. Gene-switches are being set early in life. Any early flaw can be magnified by growth. Moreover children's habits become set and young couples are too busy to learn and adapt. Many are liable to unintended pregnancy.

Adoption of a healthy lifestyle at a young age is the most reliable route to producing healthy babies. The mother's state throughout pregnancy, emotions/hormones included, naturally continues to powerfully affect her child's development, therefore future physical and mental health, behaviour and ability. There has recently been a serious increase in babies conceived by schoolchildren, as well as a shift by working women towards childbearing in their late thirties or more. A return towards childbearing in the twenties and early thirties can reduce risks for the child.

The mother needs to build her appropriate body-stores--vitamins and minerals, proteins, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and other essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)--to ensure optimal development of her child. Replenishment of reserves is important for maternal health and before bearing another child. A restorative time of three years is desirable.

Governments and school teachers need to guide and encourage parents in this health education and practice, and to use their authority to achieve it in schools. Empowerment with knowledge is the one way to fend off the growing pandemic of mental ill health and related disorders, and to make the most of a nation's genetic potential. There could be no better investment financially, let alone in enhancing people's lives.