Positive Childhood – Food & Nutrition

Food & Nutrition

April 2012

Our research before Christmas showed that

  • 30% of parents don't think they have enough information to make good food choices
  • 58% of parents think that food & drink manufacturers don't provide them with enough information to make good food choices for their children
  • 93% of parents believe food & drink manufacturers market and advertise their products to children
  • 66% of parents are not happy with the children's meals available to them when they eat out

It's a tricky minefield to navigate as a parent, keeping your child happy and healthy but feeding the whole family nutritious but good value meals on a budget.  Children's meals when eating out need to be healthy but a treat at the same time too.  As one parent wrote to us "Would love to see small portions of meat/ fish with veg and mash or rice! Do not understand why pasta is always spaghetti or tagliatelle. Not suitable for a 2 year old! Would love to see little bowls of chopped up fruit for dessert, am ok if this comes with a scoop of ice cream!"


Eat Smart Week 2nd – 8th April 2012

According to Dr. Muireann Cullen, Dietitian and Manager of the Nutrition & Health Foundation:

Ireland has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world at 10% of children aged 5-12. This is no surprise when three out of four 9 year old children don’t get the recommended level of physical activity.  What happens in today’s family kitchens can have a significant impact on the nutritional wellbeing of tomorrow’s generation.  Through our annual Eat Smart Week, we aim to show families that simple steps like lowering the levels of salt used in cooking, replacing full fat ingredients with lower fat options and reducing sugar can all have an impact on the family’s waistline.  Obesity costs €1.6 billion per year and will escalate if this national health issue is not addressed.  An obese person dies on average nine years earlier than a person of normal weight.  Yes, these facts are alarming and we need to address our lifestyle choices – eating smart is a good start.” 


Family Weekly Recipe e-book

As part of the launch of Eat Smart Week 2012 and our Positive Childhood campaign, we asked Mykidstime Parents to submit their favourite easy family recipes.  7 recipes were shortlisted and nutrition information added and these are now available to download as a Weekly Family Recipe e-book

Miriam O'Callaghan who launched the e-book on behalf of NHF and shared her favourite recipe Chargrilled Escalope of Chicken, Roast Carrots, Orange & Raisin Salad.


Advertising of Food & Drink to Children

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has launched a consultation for its Draft BAI General and Children’s Commercial Communications Code.  The consultation is about the approach to be taken to the regulation of commercial communications for products and services that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS).  Public submissions can be made until 31st May 2012, more information can be found here.

The new Draft Children’s Commercial Code proposes that children’s commercial communications for HFSS food and drink shall not:

1) be permitted in children’s programmes as defined by the code;

2) include celebrities or sports stars;

3) include programme characters;

4) include licensed characters e.g. characters and personalities from cinema releases;

5) contain health or nutrition claims; or

6) include promotional offers.

Take our short survey on advertising of food & drink to kids


Interesting Articles

Skipping Breakfast Puts Kids on Wrong Track

Top Tips for Healthy Lunchboxes

Would you put a 7-year-old on a diet?

Let's not cow-tow to "sacred" cheese Industry


Useful Links

Nutrition & Health Foundation Ireland has an Interactive Food Pyramid

Food Labels Explained

Irish Restaurant Association – Kid Size Me Initiative


Tagged under

Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls


  1. Anonymous says:

    Texture plays a crucial role in the enjoyment of eating foods. Contrasts in textures, such as something crunchy in an otherwise smooth dish, may increase the appeal of eating it. Common examples include adding granola to yogurt, adding croutons to a salad or soup, and toasting bread to enhance its crunchiness for a smooth topping. Thanks a lot.
    Houston fun restaurant

    1. I agree. Color and shapes too can be really good for encouraging healthy eating. My daughter is incredibly fussy, but we’ve had success doing fun and interesting things like using cookie cutters to serve food in neat shapes. It’s also a great way to involve her in the preparation process which I’m sure has also helped in getting her to eat more and better foods.