Healthy Food for you and your family

We all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults. But unfortunately, more and more of our children are carrying extra weight - which is increasing their risk of health conditions like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even cancer later in their life.

Making small changes to your children's diet and activity could make big differences to their future health. If you are concerned about your child's health, their eating habits, or their weight, we have some useful resources for you on this site, and useful links to other websites like

We also have lists of HSE funded programmes and other partner organisation's programmes which aim to help children and families, through commuity projects and courses, or school-based activities. You can see examples of these programmes here.

101 Square Meals

The food we eat is very important for our health and wellbeing. Using selected recipes and shopping for ingredients in season or on offer will help you have a varied and healthy diet on a budget. 101+ Square Meals is a useful, simple recipe book that helps you plan healthier meals and get best value for your money. The book also contains shopping tips, food safety messages, menu planning advice, and even some treats and snacks for special occasions. The recipes are easy to follow and will be useful to improve health and wellness for you and your family. Download the 101 Square Meals E-book here.


Your Child's Health and Weight

As part of the safefood public education campaign on childhood obesity, the HSE and safefood have produced a really useful and easy to follow guide for parents. If you're worried about your child's health or weight and would like some advice, tips and strategies to help you know how to help - this is the guide for you.


Talking to your child about weight

Body weight is a topic you as a parent may prefer not to talk about with your children. Sometimes this may be the right course of action and focusing on good diet and exercise are good ways to keeping your child healthy. But if your child brings the topic of weight up, it is important to deal with it sensibly. This guide provides you with some ideas and language to address weight issues in positive and caring ways.

If your child is under 5
At five or less children are too young to talk about body weight. But for this age group, it's never too young to introduce healthy lifestyle habits like active play and eating a good breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the tips below might help, just click the arrows to open.

If your child is over 5
If your child is older than five and doesn't actually bring up the topic of body weight, you should not sit them down for a 'big talk' about it. But if they do bring it up you should welcome the conversation.


A wealth of Information and Help!

The HSE has a lot of other helpful information and publications available on this site, or on our website. Here is a full list of all our resrouces, and links to each so that you can get started right away. If a publication is on, you can click on a pdf, or for many publication, you can also choose a range of publications that can be posted to your home.


Healthy Eating

Available from

  1. Eat Smart Move More – A5 booklet providing advice & info, healthy eating & physical activity for primary school children.
  2. Eat Smart Move More Reward Chart – to record progress on healthy eating & physical activity goals.
  3. Food for Young Children (1-5yrs)
  4. New Healthy Eating Guidelines
  5. 101 Square Meals
  6. A2 Children’s Food Pyramid Poster (also available in Irish)
  7. Food Pyramid Stickers
  8. Little Steps to Eating Well
  9. Little Steps Wall Chart
  10. Healthy Eating for Pregnancy
  11. Starting to Spoon Feed your baby (3-6mths)
  12. Food for Young Children (1- 5yrs)
  13. Breastfeeding your baby -A5 booklet giving guidance on all aspects of breastfeeding
  14. Feeding your Baby – advice for new mothers on infant feeding

Available from Safefood

  1. Safefood Healthy Lunchboxes    
  2. When Sally met Sammy (book for preschoolers)
  3. Sammy and Sally Grow Together
  4. How they measure up: A Simple Guide to Food Labelling


Physical Activity

available from

Located under “for your info” tab

  1. GIA Factsheet for Parents and Guardians
  2. GIA Factsheet for Childcare Providers
  3. Get Kids on the Go booklet
  4. Little Steps Leaflet
  5. Stretching for Children
  6. Get Active 4 week step challenge for Children and Young People
  7. Step challenge card (kids step challenge card)


  1. Discover Cycling
  2. Cycle Safety RSA
  3. Discover Trail Walking
  4. Get Kids on the Go information booklet for parents, guardians and teachers


  1. Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) developed by the IHF & National Youth Council of Ireland is a resource to equip youth workers with the skills necessary to create a healthy eating, active living environment in their organisation by providing health info on health education, healthy eating, active living, policy guidelines and key contact info.
  2. Walk or Step Challenge Card is a 4 week challenge to get young people physically active to help reach the recommended 60mins of P.A. needed daily. The challenge can be done individually or in teams.


Available via The Get your school walking resources are also available in Irish

  1. Active 8 Activity Journal
  2. Be Active ASAP Leaflet
  3. Playground Markings Booklet
  4. Primary PR Curriculum Glance Cards
  5. Get your School Walking
  6. Get Your School Walking Record
  7. Get Your School Walking Certificate
  8. Get Your School Walking Questionnaire
  9. Get Your School Walking Evaluation
  10. Get Your School Walking Parent Questionnaire
  11. Get Your School Walking Evaluation Letter
  12. Children’s Food Pyramid Poster – A2 & A4 size posters
  13. Children’s Food Pyramid Stickers
  14. Healthy Tot Interactive Poster : Healthy Eating for Preschools


Other Resources for Schools

  • Tastebuds an interactive CD for 8-10 year olds covering 8 sessions helping teachers deliver the food and nutrition component of the SPHE curriculum.Classroom slides, extension activities, teacher notes & homework suggestions are included.
  • Bizzy Breaks – a series of 10min activities for the classroom to get pupils moving on the spot. Resource pack @ €10 includes a large classroom poster, teacher’s notes and a music CD.
  • Bizzy Breaks for Rainy Days – a series of 5-10 min physical activity  breaks for the classroom adapted to the various levels (4) Junior & Senior, 1st & 2nd Class, 3rd & 4th class and 5th & 6th class. €10 per booklet
  • Action for life (primary) Vol. 1 & 2 – practical & easy to use educational resource package to assist teachers in planning & teaching part of the PE curriculum. It can also be integrated with SPHE.  Vol 2 focuses on gymnastics & dance. €40 per set; €10 per booklet
  • Let’s get active award pocket planner
  • Let’s Get Physical poster for all primary school ages
  • Get Kids on the Go information booklet for parents, guardians and teachers
  • IHF & JCPESS Action for Life Junior Cycle is aligned with the PE syllabus & seeks to develop an understanding of the role of health related activity in the promotion of wellbeing& of the scientific principles that underpin health related activity.
  • Toolkit for School Travel outlines actions to promote more sustainable travel for the school trip through increased walking, cycling, public transport and car-sharing. The first intended audience are teachers, parents and other responsible members of a school community, who can then share & discuss the ideas with both primary & secondary pupils. and