PERMA model and Healthy Snack Recipes

Wellbeing and Positive Education

Earlier this year Maria Shearn and myself attended a professional development that presented an alternative model of wellbeing to the PERMA model developed by Martin Seligman and his colleagues at Pennsylvania University.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions that promote people’s wellbeing.  They are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. These activities are simple things individuals can do in their everyday lives.

These ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ were developed by the ‘New Economics Foundation,’ a leading think tank in Britain, and like the PERMA model are based on evidence-based research about mental wellbeing.

It could be argued that the PERMA model: positive feelings, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment, cover all these areas, except one. There is nothing in the PERMA model that speaks of healthy living; being physically active, eating healthily, or maintaining good sleep patterns.

I don’t think anyone would argue that these three areas positively contribute to our wellbeing. Think of how you feel after a bad couple of nights, a few days of junk food, or after hours of sitting on the couch veg’ing out (there are times this last activity definitely has its place, preferably in pyjamas!!)

If we just add an H to the PERMA model we get PERMAH. Doesn’t change how we say it, but adds a whole new dimension to how we can keep our children and ourselves strong and happy.

In the interest of healthy living, this week I have included two great recipes you can make quickly and easily as a healthy treat for the school lunchbox. Make a batch for the week, but I bet they don’t last that long!!!


Hippy Halva


I cup of raw hulled sesame seeds (I just use the everyday variety)

½ cup of pitted dates


Finely dried coconut for coating


Process the sesame seeds into sesame butter in your food processor. It will take several minutes and you may have to stop a few times, but be patient! It will eventually turn into a thick butter. Add the dates (and salt to taste if using) and process until it is a thick dark smooth mixture. Press into a small loaf tin and refrigerate a few hours until set. Cut into squares, roll in coconut and they’re ready to eat.


Chocolate Mousse- (included especially for Sharina)


400ml can of coconut cream

½ cup of raw cacao powder (any cocoa powder works)

¼ cup of rice malt syrup (may have to fiddle with this until it’s to your taste)

¼ cup of chia seeds


Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together until well combined and smooth. Pour into four to six serving glasses (oh please, I just whack it all into a bowl)

Chill in the fridge for at least three hours or until firm.