Parents could be hindering their children’s chances at exam success by encouraging bad eating habits and poor nutritional health, new research reveals.

Brain Boost Food Bundle

Brain Boost Food Bundle

1 in 4 parents admit to giving their children sugar-filled foods such as ice cream (26%), chocolate (24%), sweets (17%) and fizzy drinks (15%) to help them power through revision sessions.

1 in 10 (11%) give their children a take-away at least once a week during exam season, while just 3% offer healthy fruit and vegetables as a revision session snack.

Over half (62%) of students consume more junk food when they’re revising than at any other time of the year, with chocolate (28%), crisps (27%) and takeaways (14%) most often scoffed in stressful situations.

The poll of 1,500 British adults and 500 students, was commissioned by online ethical grocer, Farmdrop, to mark the launch of its new ‘Brainy Bundle’, a collection of foods designed to optimise cerebral power, curated by leading nutritionist Libby Limon.

When quizzed about their feelings during exam season, stress (61%), anxiety (48%) and fatigue (32%) topped the list of emotions experienced by students, which can often be exacerbated by an unhealthy diet according to Libby.

Over a third (34%) of students feel that junk food helps to calm their nerves before a big exam, with a quarter (24%) fuelling up on processed foods to keep themselves full and more than 1 in 10 (14%) believing junk food makes them work faster in exams.

However, just 6% believe junk food actually improves the quality of their work, while a fifth (21%) feel junk food slows them down, and 24% admit to feeling lethargic and tired after consuming high-sugar foods.

More than a fifth (22%) of students report drinking energy drinks while revising, with many relying on stimulants on a weekly (35%) or even daily (12%) basis to keep themselves awake. 5% even admit to relying on ‘brain-boosting’ supplements and caffeine tablets to bolster long hours of work and late-night studying.

Despite relying on junk food to see their children through exams, a third (32%) of parents think supermarkets should be banned from selling junk food to children under the age of 16.

Introducing the brainy-bundle from Farmdrop

In partnership with leading nutritionist Libby Limon, who believes in creating optimal health through a diet and lifestyle that fits around your life, Farmdrop has launched two new ‘Brainy Bundles’, a collection of essential foods designed to optimise cerebral power.

Libby Limon said, “As a nation, we’re increasingly relying on high-sugar, high caffeine and junk food diets to keep us awake and functioning well, but these foods can actually have an adverse effect on cognitive ability. Eating a balanced diet and encouraging good habits such as regular breaks and exercising to clear the mind can have a huge impact and ensure the brain is performing optimally.

“To be able to concentrate over a long period of time, your brain needs a constant supply of energy which comes from the food you eat. Eating refined sugar and carbs spikes your blood sugar levels – giving you a burst of energy, before the ‘come down’, which will leave you feeling tired and lethargic – not ideal when you have a full day of exams ahead.” Libby continued.

Ben Pugh, CEO of Farmdrop, comments: “It’s shocking how much we rely on unhealthy foods to support our work and studies, and our partnership with Libby has proven that these types of products can actually be hampering our ability to succeed in these areas. By pulling together a curated offering of brain-boosting foods, we hope to give parents and students the nutrients they need to encourage success in both work and exams.”

Containing a variety of products, the Farmdrop Brainy Bundles include the best food to boost cognitive performance and naturally combat fatigue.


The vegan brain boost food bundle contains:

-2 Squirrel Sisters Coconut Cashew Bars

-Hampstead Green Tea

-Pip and Nut Almond Butter

-Montezuma’s Organic Dark Chocolate Giant Buttons

-Sunflower seeds

The box arrived promptly and although I am not a student- I still work at a desk all day- so one could say I am emulating what I used to do when I was typing up lab reports and writing essays during my Psychology degree.

As most desk based workers will know, it is tempting to snack on all manner of things while sitting at your station- so it’s always good to have something to hand that will stop you from getting that all too familiar afternoon slump.

I decided to trial the box for a week as there was sufficient in it to spread out over a few days.

I started off each day with some Pip and Nut Almond Butter on wholemeal toast which I found saw me through until 1 sometimes 2 o’clock without feeling hungry once. This meant I could get on with my work without the distraction of a rumbly tummy. Plus, it made a refreshing change to peanut butter as it is finer and easier to spread.

I drink a lot during the day so having a regular cup of tea was ideal for me as it meant I had to get up and leave my desk for a few minutes to boil the kettle and make myself a drink. That little break gave me time to move around and feel refreshed before returning to my computer. I found this time invaluable- so many experts tell you to take regular, small breaks at work which I don’t generally do- but this forced me to interrupt my screen time, which can only be a good thing.

The Squirrel Sisters Coconut Cashew Bars and Sunflower Seeds were ideal if I did get peckish in the afternoon. Seeds are so filling that it’s difficult to eat too many so you naturally stop after a few mouthfuls and the bars are separated into 2 small fingers so you can pace yourself with those too.

I found I didn’t experience that usual rush of energy followed by the dreaded fatigue that you get from other snacks that we all know aren’t good for us. I was able to get through to 5pm without clock watching.

I found that the Montezuma’s Chocolate Buttons were my saviour on a night after my evening meal when I was carving something sweet. I can’t eat too much dark chocolate at once, so a few buttons were sufficient to curb my desire for chocolate. They weren’t too bitter either which is sometimes an issue with dark chocolate.

After trialling the brain boost bundle for a week- I can safely say I felt a marked improvement in my concentration levels throughout the day. The time seemed to go by faster because I had sufficient and sustained energy for those 8 hours. I was able to get more done and felt a greater sense of satisfaction at the end of the working week as a result.

The contents of the box have all been carefully thought out and all are designed to help and keep a steady flow of energy throughout the day meaning you can get on with whatever you need to- whether you are a student or an office worker.

The biggest selling point is that it has been left up to the experts to put together, so you know what you are consuming has a purpose rather than trying to figure it out for yourself. Chances are you would choose the wrong item to fuel your body if you didn’t have the guidance of a nutritionist which is the unique selling point of this box. A great idea and I only wish they’d been around when I was a student because take aways and chocolate were certainly not helpful for long periods of study.

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