My Bio


Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, Jan and Prof. Michael Crawford at The Generating Healthy Brains Conference (UK).

My Bio

I am a former AMI (Association Montessori lnternationale) educator with decades of experience teaching and observing children.  My students became “three-feet tall” professors and taught me how fundamental nutrition is to concentration, behavior and inherent well-being.

As an educator, it was my good fortune to have a cozy little Casa Dei Bambini (children’s house), which ultimately became my nutritional laboratory. The children and I rolled up our sleeves and began preparing and serving food prior to class time. Combinations of food that positively impacted the children were watchfully documented.  

An entire classroom changed from sufficiently engaged with a few stragglers to every child positively grounded in a meaningful activity – just by adding another ¾ cup of walnuts to the steel-cut oatmeal. I learned that proteins feed the brain better when they are complete and no amino acid — or child — gets left behind.

Time to change careers

I studied nutrition and health under the tutelage of professor Michael Crawford, expert in brain chemistry and human nutrition (London Metropolitan University) and interned with Nim Barnes, founder of Foresight Preconceptual Care (Bognor Regis, England).  My credentials as a certified nutritionist with a sub-specialty in preconception nutrition were established over a 7-year period including several trips across the pond (UK) and intensive distance learning.  

Concurrently, I authored several books and published articles in scientific journals in the UK and served on advisory boards of The McGarrison Society, The Mother and Child Foundation (UK), The Montessori Education for Autism Foundation (UK), and e’Pap Nutritionals, ready-to-eat, nutrient replete cereal for food insecure populations (South Africa). 

I have conducted extensive investigation into the unique and collaborative roles of nutrients as they impact brain and human development – through adulthood. Taking all of this nutritional knowledge on the road has led to many open doors. Pediatricians, fertility/pregnancy specialists, mental health professionals, educational and special-ed communities, food manufacturers, and families worldwide refer and consult with me.

My scientific background is a point of departure in working with individuals of all ages and stages in life, helping them to find their ideal combination of foods for optimal physical and mental health. There is never a one-size-fits-all meal plan. 

Click here to learn more about my private practice at Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Shining my dedication and passion for nutritional education within the Montessori community, I developed a nutrition for development and learning curriculum which is now a requirement for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies Infant/Toddler Teacher-Training Course.

My deepest hope is that every public, charter, and private school on the south side, north side, or in the suburbs avail themselves to nutritional education with a focus on feeding the brain – and replace many processed nutrient-depleted school breakfasts and lunches with fresh, whole nutrient dense foods.


An Aside 

All of the current nutritional research points in the same conclusive direction; specific nutrients are required throughout the life-span to support mental health. Deficiencies may prevent conception, compromise the neurological development of the embryo and fetus, diminish a child’s ability to learn, and impair future mental health.

I dedicate the following publication to my research director, Professor Michael Crawford. His brilliant, tireless scientific investigation has pioneered today’s developmental nutritional paradigm – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as the evolutionary building block and staple of the human brain.

Nutr Health. 2007;19(1-2):85-102.

mom-dads-to-beThe Declaration of Nutrition, Health, and Intelligence for the Child-to-be

Jan Katzen, AMI, CFP, CN


The Declaration of Nutrition, Health, and Intelligence for the Child-to-be is an urgent cry from the unborn child for a life-span of nutrients for physical and mental wellness. It is a proclamation of paramount importance for everyone involved in child development: parents, health professionals, teachers, government agencies, all producers of food — and children, so they may learn how to feed themselves well.