5 Foods that Can Sabotage School Performance

Reading, kid, book.

Want your kids to excel at school this year? Make sure they get plenty of sleep, they exercise daily and they eat a whole-foods based diet (a high fruit and veggie intake is directly linked to higher academic performance).  While what they do eat is obviously important, what they DON’T eat also plays a crucial role in their ability to focus, retain information and excel at school. Cut these 5 No-Nos out of your kid’s diet and watch their grades soar!


It takes up to 12 hours for caffeine to lose its stimulating effect, so even if your children have one caffeinated beverage at noon, it can compromise their ability to sleep that night. Sleep deprivation caused by caffeine can make your children moody, irritable, sleepy and unable to concentrate the next day and the cumulative effects of regular caffeine consumption may contribute to a noticeable decline in academic performance.


While studies have shown conflicting results, the FDA has received countless toxic symptom reports including hyperactivity and memory problems. With speculation of an association between aspartame and a range of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s and Attention Deficit Disorder, we think it’s better to be safe than sorry – and avoid feeding your children products that contain aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.

Refined Sugars

Found in candy, baked goods, packaged sweets such as cookies, granola bars, pop, juice and even breakfast cereal—refined sugar intake is associated with learning disabilities and lower overall school performance. Plus consuming refined sugars causes blood sugar levels to rise (which can cause excitability plus an inability to focus) and when those blood sugar levels drop a few hours later, it can leave your kids feeling fatigued and unable to concentrate.

Food Colouring

Artificial food colourings are not only carcinogenic in high doses, they are also associated with increased hyperactivity in children, learning disabilities and exaggerated behavior disorders, plus symptoms such as fidgetiness, irritability and sleep problems. Unfortunately these colorings are omnipresent and are found not only in candy, snacks, beverages and breakfast cereals, but also in certain vitamin supplements and some fresh oranges are even dipped in them!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Found in many Asian and African dishes and in some packaged soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant foods. Feeding your kids MSG enhanced foods may interfere with their school performance by giving them headaches or heart palpitations and causing them to feel jittery, weak, tired or overly-excited.

Infographic (view on Pinterest)