Skip to content

What's on your child's plate? Food portion sizes and the proportion of different food groups eaten b

Project Reference: 01-2016

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: April 2017

Project Duration: 12 months


The study will adopt a mixed-methods approach. Quantitative analysis of existing datasets will be used to quantify portion sizes served to children in ROI and NI. A rapid review will be conducted to inform the qualitative study to assess parental perceptions of child portion sizes. Parental perceptions of portion size may not easily be discerned using conventional quantitative methods, therefore novel and creative approaches will be used, including the use of vignettes and digital photography to understand parental perceptions of child portion sizes. 

A key challenge for childhood obesity is the social inequality in prevalence. To this end this project will sample parents from different socio-economic backgrounds, including lower income groups, to inform strategies to address appropriate size child portions and to provide insight into the proportion of foods from the different food groups currently served for children’s meals. Fathers will also be included in the sampling strategy as a lack of evidence exists in relation to fathers and child portion size.

Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Janas Harrington, University College Cork 


Dr Colette Kelly, NUI Galway 

Prof Jane Woosidem Queen's Unversity Belfast 

Dr Eibhlis O'Connor, University of Limerick 


Safefood logo

The site content is redirecting to the NI version.