Healthy children: This Facebook group is about to become your secret weapon, parents 3 months ago

Healthy children: This Facebook group is about to become your secret weapon, parents

We all want what is best for our children – but sometimes, getting from wanting to doing can feel a little bit overwhelming.

For instance, when you are dealing with a picky eater, it is one thing knowing that he should be getting a minimum of five fruit and vegetables a day, and a whole other issue to actually try and make this happen.

And we all know by now that avoiding sugary and processed, high fat foods are all important when it comes to staying healthy, and you might have made a decision to try and eat healthier as a family – but where do you start with getting the kids onboard?

And what about treats? They are everywhere these days, and so hard to avoid when you have got little people constantly begging you for food and declaring they are starving – even if you fine well know they had lunch just minutes ago. What can you give them to snack on that is actually healthy?

We are all in the same boat here – which is why you need to know about safefood 's new Make a Start Healthy Living Facebook group – an absolute hero of a resource for parents when it comes to making healthy choices for your children and for your family.

There are plenty of video content from safefood's expert too, answering all your questions on how to really make a healthy start:

"Are you finding it hard to come up with substitutes for treats? Are you confused about portion sizes for kids? We've lined up our experts Dr Marian O'Reilly and Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva to answer your questions on healthy snack options and portion sizes for kids. Put them in the comments or send us a message."

"Is it better to go for sugar free/ low fat/ full fat yoghurts but a smaller portion," asks one mum. "If the yoghurt is sugar free it contains lots of artificial sweeteners. Low fat, it is higher in sugar or full fat, higher in fat but lower in sugar. It's so confusing!!"

The safefood experts then got back to her with:

"If you want a low fat and lower in sugar option then pick a diet yoghurt. They are likely to have sweeteners but their safety is regularly assessed by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Diet yoghurts are not a suitable choice for children under 5, low fat is the better option for this age group."

In the comments section, parents are asking for all sorts of tips, but also willingly dishing out their own advice and what worked for their family when it came down to cutting back on treats or making some healthy swaps.

"I skip the treat section in the shop and avoid having them in the cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind," writes one mum on a thread about how to deal with the temptation of sweets.

Others ask how to deal with the issue of grandparents or other family members giving their children treats when they are trying not to at home.

There are also plenty of ideas for the safefood experts on pretty much every aspect of turning things around health-wise, and links to plenty of recipes and ideas on healthy snacks and wholesome meals.

Want to join the safefood Make a Start Facebook group? Just click this link to request to join.


The START campaign is a five-year public health awareness campaign from safefood, the HSE and Healthy Ireland. The campaign is encouraging families to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle for their children by supporting them with one daily win and to persist with the changes, no matter how difficult they become. To find out more about the START campaign and ways to make a healthy, positive start visit