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Campaign focus: Healthy weight for children
Timing: A five year campaign launching in November 2017
Organisations: Healthy Ireland, ​safefood, HSE, Department of Health, the Public Health Agency and partners
Channels: Outdoor, digital, social​​
Dates: November 2017 onwards
Campaign web site: and


Maintaining a healthy weight in children is a major health challenge on the island of Ireland. As one of the actions of the Healthy Weight for Ireland 2016 – 2025 strategy, the Department of Health, Healthy Ireland, Health Service Executive and safefood have been engaged in developing a new 5 year public awareness campaign to address this.

The Start campaign was developed using a co-creation approach, which involved working with parents in particular, and key stakeholders to ensure the campaign was relevant, realistic and could achieve results.

A recurring theme was evident through discussions with parents that life is busy and they have a lot going on.

The Start campaign aims to support parents and make them feel proud of their efforts. It’s not about being perfect, but starting to make small changes and getting that daily win. The campaign will adopt a parenting approach that encourages role modelling and consistency. We will be offering families a number of key messages and practical, achievable tips to initiate healthier family lifestyle changes.

Campaign vision

The campaign will aspire to be a society-wide movement that will inspire and support parents to start building and persisting with healthy lifestyle habits.

Campaign mission

The campaign seeks to help families take that first step and then to continue ongoing steps towards a healthier lifestyle for their children. We will encourage them to start with one daily win, and encourage them to persist no matter how often life intervenes to derail them.

Target audience

Supporting parents and carers of children aged between 6 months and 12 years of age.

Campaign aim

To inspire, empower and support parents to start building and persist with healthy lifestyle habits in the family to prevent childhood obesity.

Campaign language and tone

Our tone will reflect the real lives of parents and families we want to reach. This means capturing the fails, the wins, the humour and the daily routine.

Campaign messages

  • Minimise intake of foods high in fat, salt and sugar
  • Establish water and milk as routine drinks
  • Advocate appropriate child-sized portion sizes
  • Increase healthier food choices – more fruit, vegetables and salad
  • Increase physical activity levels
  • Limit screen-time
  • Increase sleep-time

Communication channels

The first phase of the campaign advertising will feature on TV, radio, video on demand, outdoor and digital platforms. The campaign will be supported by media relations and social media.

For more information on the campaign or to find out how you can get involved contact


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