Food, mood and behaviour

If a child eats regularly and has a varied diet, it can have a positive effect on mood, behaviour, learning and anything else the brain is responsible for. This is because the food we eat affects our “brain chemistry”.


Regular eating

Going too long without food can impair mood, attention and energy levels. Including 3 meals and two or three snacks a day, helps to keep the levels of sugar in our blood nice and steady.

This helps to give children the energy they need to be physically active, to concentrate, and to regulate their mood.


Eating a variety of foods

We need energy from starches, sugars and fats; proteins; vitamins, minerals, fibre, water and essential fatty acids. No single food can provide all of these. The more different kinds of food we eat, the more likely it is that our brain and the rest of our body will be getting all the nourishment it needs

For more information on the variety of foods we need, see the What to Eat page.

Some foods and nutrients are especially important for the brain. Click here to find out more: Brain Foods

And here for a video on food and mood, and how to understand and influence children’s food choices


More information?

We have three resources that you can look at if you want to know more:

And here for a video on food and mood, and how to understand and influence children’s food choices

And follow this link for more on how diet can affect health and wellbeing