safefood encourages parents and children to take the safefood kid’s food challenge

New initiative helps make healthy eating fun for all the family

19 February, 2007. Earlier today, safefood launched the safefood Kid’s Food Challenge, a fun and interactive reward chart to support parents to help improve their children’s diets by adopting healthy eating habits and encouraging a range of rewards other than treat foods¹. The development of the safefood Kid’s Food Challenge is another step taken by safefood to address the potential health problems caused by poor diets.

The safefood Kid’s Food Challenge is a colourful reward chart, booklet and sticker set for parents to help create fun around healthy eating by offering stickers as an alternative method of reward instead of relying on treat foods which can be high in sugar and fat, especially saturated fat. The booklet also provides parents with information, ideas and practical tools to encourage children to eat healthier food. The reward system works by providing children with a sticker for their chart at the end of each meal, if they managed to eat healthily or tried something new on their plate, for example. At the end of each day, a child receives another sticker if they managed to eat smaller amounts of treat foods that day. The stickers and chart can also be adapted by parents to meet their own needs and those of their family.   

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director of Human Health and Nutrition, with safefood said “The safefood Kid’s Food Challenge offers a practical way for parents to engage with their children on the subject of healthy eating, by providing an alternative reward system that children will enjoy. Too many treat foods are being consumed by many children and these nutritionally poor foods are displacing nutritionally rich foods. Children deserve to be rewarded and we are advising and supporting parents to take the healthier option and that treat foods should form one occasional element of that reward system. A range of alternative and healthier rewards also include visits to the park and playground, a small toy or a book.”

David Coleman, child psychologist said “The safefood Kid’s Food Challenge provides positive reinforcement, which is really beneficial for children, who love to feel noticed and look for acknowledgement for doing well. The benefit of using the sticker chart is that it is very visual and is a tangible way of letting both the child and adult know that the child is making positive steps with regard to healthy eating”.

Further information on the safefood Kid’s Food Challenge is available by visiting or calling the safefood helpline on 1850 40 45 67


For further information please contact

Andrew Hyland or Niamh Burdett  
Tel: 01 6690030       
Andrew (087 9088 322)
Niamh (086 608 6764)

Fiona Gilligan
Tel: 01 4480600

¹Treat foods include chocolate, crisps, sweets, cakes, biscuits and pastries