Sustainable diets are healthy diets

There has been a great shift in recent times in how we think about the sustainability of food choices – but it seems to mean different things to different people.

19/02/2020   by Catherine Conlon  

When you can't "eat your greens"

"Eat your greens" is a childhood mantra, and we have all heard the advice that we should be “eating the rainbow”. But many of us (children and adults alike!) don’t like fruit or vegetables.

safefood dietitian, Joana da Silva, has some strategies for getting fruit and veg into your diet.

22/01/2020   by Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva  

Are you doing Veganuary this month?

In my house, not only have we Veganuary but Vegetanuary, Flexitanuary and Traditionuary!

15/01/2020   by Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva  

Mad about spuds

The humble spud in all its glory is one of the most versatile foods there is. Aside from being a staple part of Irish diets for as long as we can remember, potatoes have an abundance of health benefits!

04/10/2019   by Deirdre Brennan  

Findings from the National Children’s Food Survey II (NCFS) 2017-18

The report details food and nutrient intakes, body weight, physical activity and eating behaviours in children aged 5-12 years in Ireland.

25/09/2019   by Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva  

How to read food labels on the fly

Marian O'Reilly, safefood's Chief Specialist in Nutrition has some practical advice on how to decipher food labels.

19/09/2019   by Marian O’Reilly  

Uni cooking 101

Top survival tips for first-time students, from Niall Grieve.

21/08/2019   by Niall Grieve  

How do you like your porridge?

Niall Grieve looks at the various ways people like to eat their porridge.

08/08/2019   by Niall Grieve  

Putting the Doh! into Doughnuts

We hit peak doughnut last week as hundreds of people actually queued, in the rain, or in their cars at the 24-hour drive-through, in Blanchardstown to wait their turn to buy these over-rated fancies at the newly opened Krispie Kreme.

15/10/2018   by Aileen McGloin  

Fast-food, everyday life and health: A qualitative study of chicken takeaways in East London

In a qualitative study carried out in East London the role of chicken takeaways in that community was explored with local residents. 

31/05/2018   by Marian O’Reilly  

Treat wise

As a 16 year old I find that it’s not my parents who give me treat foods anymore, I buy them for myself. However, we are only responsible for ourselves and this can empower us to make the healthier choice and reduce our fat, sugar and salt intake.

02/05/2018   by Keavy Duggan  

Meal Preparation

We all have busy lives and it can be difficult to come home after a long day and prepare a healthy meal from scratch. Having a few things prepared in advance means you can still enjoy a delicious healthy meal with little effort. Here are my tips to make cooking healthy meals less time consuming...

05/02/2018   by Anne Parle  

We all scream for ice cream

While I was doing my work placement at safefood I looked at the most popular brands of ice creams to check out the energy (in kilocalories) and sugar (in teaspoons) in each ice cream. So, deep breath, take a look at the table below and find out the facts on your favourite.

31/07/2017   by Alice Tarrant  

Save time and money with your freezer

Being a student on a budget, I have learned some tips and tricks to save money and still be able to eat well.

29/06/2017   by Niamh Dowling  

More evidence that fruits and vegetables are good for us

Fruit and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality.

02/03/2017   by Marian O’Reilly  

Sugar and salt content of breakfast cereals

A recent study published in Public Health Nutrition has evaluated the salt and sugar contents of breakfast cereals in the United Kingdom (UK).


09/02/2017   by Anne Parle  

Healthy Food for Life Resources

In December, the Department of Health launched Healthy Food for Life. Healthy Food for Life updated the Food Pyramid and healthy eating guidelines for the population. To support the updated guidelines a number of resources are available.

31/01/2017   by Anne Parle  

The joy of slow cookers

They’re inexpensive to buy, most of the major supermarkets stock them from time to time and they can cost as little as €20, they’re economical to run, and they’re perfect for cooking cheaper cuts of meat.

26/01/2017   by Corinna Hardgrave  

Changes to the food pyramid

Because what we typically eat has changed over time and new research has improved our knowledge, the Department of Health review our national healthy eating guidelines and these are then updated to take into account all of the above. They’ve just launched a new version and let’s see what’s changed.

05/12/2016   by Aileen McGloin  

Time to get warmed up for winter

These recipe videos only take 30 seconds to watch, and once your stew is simmering away you can relax in front of the fire!

26/10/2016   by Aileen McGloin  


Recipes, Winter

Healthy eating on a student budget

My housemates preferred takeaways and ready-made meals over cooking homemade meals and they used to wonder how so much of their money kept “disappearing”.

13/10/2016   by Niamh Dowling  


Recipes, Students

Weekday winner dinners

We’ve taken the most popular recipes on our website and filmed short videos on how to make them. Not surprisingly, most of those are recipes for quick and easy dinners.

08/09/2016   by Aileen McGloin  

Child-size portions: some of your questions answered

With one in four children now either overweight or obese, childhood is a great time to build healthy habits around food, including portion size.

25/08/2016   by Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva  

Child-size portions campaign

This week our childhood obesity campaign is back on air and the focus is on reducing portion sizes. Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva, our Chief Specialist in Nutrition, explains why...

16/08/2016   by Joana Caldeira Fernandes da Silva  

Fancy a BBQ but watching your weight?

A barbeque is a fantastic way to get friends and family together but the grazing-style of eating, the snacks and the traditional beer and burger, could play havoc with your intention to eat healthy.

21/07/2016   by Aileen McGloin  

Top tips - cooking with mince

There is much to love about mince. Not only is it extremely budget-friendly, it is also very versatile.  Although it’s easy to cook with mince, there are a few key points worth remembering, so we’ve compiled a Q&A which covers the questions we are asked most frequently. 

21/07/2016   by Aileen McGloin  


Meat, Recipes

The humble spud

The potato’s best selling point is probably the fact that it is incredibly versatile – it is a low key foil, like pasta and rice, to stronger flavours, so you’ll find it in a whole range of delicious dishes.

15/03/2016   by Corinna Hardgrave  

Take away some of the takeaway!

This week, we launched a report on Indian takeaway food as part of our Takeaway Series. You may have heard/read in the media some of the findings that show just how many calories are in some of your favourite Indian takeaway dishes. Let's have a look at some of the calories in different takeaways...

19/11/2015   by Julie Carroll  


An EU research project on the role of health-related claims and symbols in consumer behaviour.

25/03/2015   by Victoria O'Dwyer  

National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme results

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme results from Years 1 to 4 (combined) for Northern Ireland (2008/09-2011/12) have been published today.

12/02/2015   by Laura Keaver  

A different take on Christmas pudding

While the classic Christmas pudding is always a hit, I decided to do something different this year and give this upside down cranberry and pear cake a try.

09/12/2014   by Sara Eslami  

Food Skills: Definitions, influences and relationship with health

New research published by safefood offers insight into food skills on the island of Ireland.

04/09/2014   by Laura Keaver  

Children, allergies and Christmas treats

Christmas is often referred to as a magical time of year for children and I think we can all be a little more creative in our gifts to ensure food allergy or intolerance isn’t preventing our kids from enjoying that experience.

19/12/2013   by Maureen Paul  

I'm wishing for a happy, healthier Christmas

It is possible to have a healthy Christmas simply by making tiny changes to the way you’ve always done things. Hope Christmas is special for you and yours.

13/12/2013   by Dermot Moriarty  

Trick or Treat…with a food allergy or intolerance?

Kids really enjoy the fun aspect of Halloween and over the past few years trick or treating has crept into our culture. But how safe is this for your child if they have a serious food allergy or intolerance?

25/10/2013   by Maureen Paul  

Fruit and vegetables you say? Eat more, we say

Do you know what’s great about fruit and vegetables? It’s one of the few food groups of which we can eat lots of. Happy days.

11/10/2013   by Aileen McGloin  


Fruit, Vegetables

25% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable

With a healthier diet one in four deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke could be prevented each year, according to new evidence from the all–island Health Research Board Centre for Diet and Health.

13/08/2013   by Dr. Cliodhna Foley-Nolan  

Link between trans fats and cardiovascular disease

Dutch researchers have published a paper concluding that harmful effects of industrial trans fatty acids (TFAs) on heart health are beyond dispute and that limiting their intake will likely lower cardiovascular disease (CVD).

07/08/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day?

Among adults, skipping meals has been associated with excess body weight and high blood pressure, as well as insulin resistance.

23/07/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Food colours

At safefood, we regularly carry out consumer surveys across the island to better understand your opinions on different food safety and healthy eating issues. One consumer concern that comes up regularly is food additives and E numbers.

19/07/2013   by James McIntosh  

Men in the kitchen!

It was recently Men’s Health Week and so it got me thinking of the men in my life.

28/06/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Increasing red meat consumption over time is associated with an elevated subsequent risk of Type 2 d

Pan et al., studied long-term health data from three Harvard University cohorts that included over 26,300 men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study; more than 48,700 women in the Nurses’ Health Study; and slightly over 74,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II.

19/06/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Eating from around the globe

Travel and food go hand in hand on my holidays and I enjoy learning about culture through the local food.

07/06/2013   by Claire Erraught  

The importance of a family meal

Results from a recent study conducted by researchers in the University of Edinburgh suggest that meal habits and meal enjoyment have a significant effect on the dietary quality of the child.

31/05/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Do you underestimate the amount of calories in your food?

A recent US based cross-sectional study has found that people eating at fast food restaurants underestimate the calorie content of the meals, especially large meals.

27/05/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Food dates and food waste

One of the most common questions we get asked is the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates on foods. “Don’t they mean the same thing?” you ask. If you are confused you are not alone.

03/05/2013   by David McCleery  

Is food addiction related to the obesity epidemic?

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK have investigated if there is any evidence to support the claimed link between food addiction and obesity.

17/04/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Community Food Initiatives Programme 2013-15

Community Food Initiatives are projects that improve the availability, affordability and accessibility of healthy, safe food for low income groups at a local level.

12/04/2013   by Georgina Buffini  

Is a healthy diet an environmentally friendly one?

The increasing concern about future global food security and climate change has been the drive behind the renewed interest in the concept of a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet.

05/04/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Balancing out the EGGcess calories

Avoiding chocolate and all the Easter goodies is going to be challenging over the next week. So how do we avoid putting on extra weight?

28/03/2013   by Marian O’Reilly  

All the single ladies, all the single ladies…

Whether you are a student, or just like me are living on your own, you can learn to shop for and cook tasty, healthy and inexpensive meals.

22/03/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Six Nations-themed recipes

To paraphrase a quote by comedian Bob Hope, if you watch a sport it's fun, if you play a sport, it's recreation, if you work at a sport, it's golf.

15/03/2013   by Dermot Moriarty  


Recipes, Snacks, Sports, TV

Parental and familial influence are key to increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption

Results from recent research support the positive role of parents and the family setting in motivating children’s daily intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V).

20/02/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Refill and Refuel?

It’s hard to stick to a healthy diet on the road. Road trips, whether for business or pleasure, often include the kinds of food you would never dream of eating at home.

08/02/2013   by Emily Kelleher  

Feeding the world, food waste and obesity

Here is a big question - will food rationing be part of future solutions to the obesity crisis?

18/01/2013   by Aileen McGloin  

The family that eats together… eats healthily!

New research shows that eating meals as a family improves children's eating habits - even if it only happens once or twice a week.

20/12/2012   by Emily Kelleher  

Waste not, want not’ll follow a crow for that some day!

30/11/2012   by Aileen McGloin  

Food Poverty on the increase?

Rising food prices and shrinking incomes are driving up consumption of fatty foods, reducing the amount of fruit and vegetables we buy, particularly for people on the lowest incomes.

21/11/2012   by Emily Kelleher  

The relevance of health-related claims.

Nowadays more and more food labels have nutrition and health information that gives us useful knowledge about the food we buy.

01/11/2012   by Emily Kelleher  

From the edges of the Universe to kitchens everywhere

This week safefood will bring our ‘Germ Scene Investigation’ stand to the Ploughing Championships from the 25th – 27th September.

25/09/2012   by David McCleery  

Parents’ influence on their children’s food preferences

New research sheds light on how parents can positively influence the foods their young children like.

10/09/2012   by Barbara Whelan  

Beneficial effect of chocolate on stroke risk

Eating a standard chocolate bar every week could lower a man’s risk of having a stroke in later life by 17%.

31/08/2012   by Barbara Whelan  

Kids in the Kitchen

Oops… picture the mess… cracked eggs miss the bowl, flour on the floor, sticky fingers BUT plenty of laughing can be heard. It’s Kids in the Kitchen! 

22/08/2012   by Amanda McCloat  

My first day at school

Do you remember your first day at school? I won’t tell you what year it was, but there was a lot of polyester around and most lunches involved salami sandwiches and Blue Riband bars.

14/08/2012   by Aileen McGloin  

Late night takeaways: Do you want fries with that?

My better half was not too impressed when I informed him that his preference, a quarter pounder with cheese and bacon meal, also contributed to over half his GDA for calories, total and saturated fat and salt.

03/08/2012   by Emily Kelleher  



Eggcellent news!

Headlines in todays news have stated that 'todays’ eggs are better for us than those from the 1980s'. New research funded by the Department of Health (UK) has found that today’s eggs have 70% more vitamin D and double the amount of selenium than those from 30 years ago.

19/07/2012   by Barbara Whelan  

Determining optimal seafood consumption

New research from France has found that the ideal amount of fish to eat in a week for adults is 181-213g/week (equal to 2 portions) of oily fish and 26-72g/week (equal to one portion) of lean fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

16/07/2012   by Barbara Whelan  

New dietary guidelines in the Republic of Ireland

Last month the Dept. Health issued new dietary guidelines for the Republic of Ireland for adults and children over 5 years old. While the pyramid format remains the same, these new guidelines put a greater emphasis on portion sizes and reducing ‘treat foods’. Dr. Aileen McGloin has the low down.

06/07/2012   by Aileen McGloin  

Nutrition knowledge of food shoppers across Europe

Researchers from Denmark and the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) have looked at the socio-demographic and attitudinal determinants of nutrition knowledge of food shoppers from six European countries.

29/06/2012   by Barbara Whelan  

New nutrition labelling regulations

The European Commission has published a new regulation on nutrition labelling which applies to all EU countries.

21/05/2012   by Barbara Whelan  

At the end of the day, what can you do about night eating?

You heard it here first! Nutritionists are human too. Unlike certain TV nutritionists we don’t get up at five am to puree mung beans and like all you normal folks out there, we like things like chocolate and ice-cream...

27/09/2011   by Colman Kelly  

I'll be right over for leftovers!

Thanks to Aileen for her great blog post last week and lots of your comments in reply; we appreciate hearing from you and keep them coming. Like leftovers? To be honest, I've never really considered leftovers as the basis of a recipe, at least ...

22/09/2011   by Colman Kelly  

Food for Thought...need your ideas!

Here's some food for thought over the weekend. Sorry, I meant "Thought for Food". Thought For Food is a brand new initiative that hopes to generate new ideas to tackle the world’s food issues. 60 students from 12 of Europe’s leading universities...

15/08/2011   by Colman Kelly  



Testing children's meals..

There was a really interesting article by Ailin Quinlan in the Independent earlier this week on children's meals and just what's in them..

15/08/2011   by Colman Kelly  



Eating out with kids

There was a launch during the week of a scheme to help encourage children to eat a little healthier when eating out in a restaurant. It's called "Kids Size Me" and at its heart is a label on the menu to show that a restaurant offer a child-friendly p...

15/07/2011   by Colman Kelly  



Summer food...makes me feel fine

Since about 1.00-ish yesterday, my eldest son is one of those "boys of summer". Lucky thing. Months of sleeping late/playing outside 'til all hours/going places/doing sportscamps/watching cartoons/not getting dressed until lunchtime...

30/06/2011   by Colman Kelly  


Children, Summer

A small and sweet message for Easter

Everyone looking forward to Easter? How many Easter eggs have you got lined up so far?  I’m guessing there’s not a single person reading this that won’t have a bit of chocolate this weekend. The question is: how much? In the interests of science,...

21/04/2011   by Colman Kelly  

Food on Film..

Food on Film..

05/04/2011   by Colman Kelly  


Food, TV

Too many cooks... are never enough

A colleague told me on Wednesday about how she made homemade cookies with her 2 girls last weekend, which were a great success for lots of reasons; her kids loved get...

04/02/2011   by Colman Kelly  

Here's a question...

It's all about questions these days. And answers. And it's usually the answers that are most interesting. And funny. Take Dermot junior - I often tell others he wasn't born but hewn from bare rock in a quarry. He's like a force of nature these d...

28/01/2011   by Colman Kelly  



My jumbo breakfast role

I love breakfast. I know; how can a rushed bowl of cereal and slice of half-eaten toast be considered as enjoyable? Well for me anyway, maybe it's the anticipation of what's to come. How after a night's sleep, my tastebuds suddenly kick-into ge...

21/01/2011   by Colman Kelly  

Me Caveman; Me Eat

January seems to be the month for diets. Not actually the decision of going on a diet, but instead which diet to choose. And if you're currently following a diet plan, I wish you every success with it and hope it works for you! Diets have cle...

15/01/2011   by Colman Kelly  


Diet, Weight loss

Why I'm pudding in the effort this Christmas

So what does Christmas mean to you? For me, it’s about enjoying the company of family and friends, sending cards, giving gifts (and getting some in return if I’ve been good). And food, because food forms such a big part of our Christmas traditions...

09/12/2010   by Colman Kelly  

Are we there yet...?

Daddy, are we there yet...? When I heard that one coming from the back seat of the car this week, I knew that the kids knew that we were really on holidays. With the school mid-term break, we all decided to get away for a few days and enjoy the sun-...

28/10/2010   by Colman Kelly  


Children, Snacks

Why we need food heroes

Heroes. It's a word that gets used a lot when the dedication, actions, efforts and commitment of others get noticed. For me, I would subscribe to the old school definition of heroes. Those who do heroic deeds for the sake of others. Ordinary peopl...

14/10/2010   by Colman Kelly  

Social media and our food

I'm speaking at our social media conference tomorrow ("You are what you tw-eat") and it got me thinking about the impact of social media on our food choices. Whatever type of food or chef you like, the chances are there's at the very minimum, a webs...

14/09/2010   by Colman Kelly  

Back to School

Hello there, I’m not Dermot, I’m Aileen, a nutritionist working at safefood. My office is next door to Dermot’s so I guess I’m the closest thing we can offer while he's taking a break. Speaking of breaks, the school holidays are nearly over. My litt...

24/08/2010   by Colman Kelly  

Taking on the takeaways

When you think about what Italy has given the world in terms of art, culture, design, sport and food, fish and chips probably wouldn't be high up that list. Takeaways. I'd guess many people have their favourites. For me, it's Macari's near where I...

17/08/2010   by Colman Kelly