We systematically reviewed 12 epidemiological studies to determine whether an association exists between diet quality and patterns and mental health in children and adolescents; 9 explored the relationship using diet as the exposure, and 3 used mental health as the exposure. We found evidence of a significant, cross-sectional relationship between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer mental health in children and adolescents. We observed a consistent trend for the relationship between good-quality diet and better mental health and some evidence for the reverse. When including only the 7 studies deemed to be of high methodological quality, all but 1 of these trends remained. Findings highlight the potential importance of the relationship between dietary patterns or quality and mental health early in the life span.