I was recently contacted by SafeFood and asked to take part in START: a new five-year public health campaign to start families on the path to a healthier future, which launches this week!!

I immediately jumped at the chance, I think it’s a great initiative. What parent wouldn’t want their kids to be healthier and happier?

Here’s where I must disclose some stuff:

  • Firstly, this is a #sponsored post, I’ve been financially compensated to advise you about this campaign but all opinions are my own (like all my posts, if I can’t stand over it, I’m not writing it).
  • Secondly, I’m not the healthiest of humans. My wife (the Bear) often advises people she has 3 kids (a little boy, a ‘littler’ girl and big round old ‘man-child’ she, unfortunately, married some time ago). In fact, when I advised her I was doing this she said, “That sounds great, are they sure ‘you’re’ the right person to advise people?”, while lifting her eyebrow in that ‘you know what I mean Kebab man’ kinda way.

Well, do you know what? I am the ideal person to advise you all about it.

Why is that?

Well, this campaign isn’t about ‘perfect people’, ‘photoshopped families’ and ‘fakeness’. START is about normal parents celebrating their daily wins, however small, and recognising that sometimes being a parent is hard, sometimes being healthy is hard and in my case setting a good example for your kids is extra hard.

Unfortunately, in Ireland today, 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese, this campaign is about giving practical support and advice to people just like me so we can lead by example and teach our kids about health and make a positive change in all our lives, one small step at a time.

I’d consider myself a normal Irish guy, I’ve tried to be healthy in the past and sometimes it goes well for a time but I’ve been known to ‘fall off the health wagon’ for long periods (and will admit I am quite likely to spend an entire weekend in the house ‘at one with the couch’ watching cartoons with the kids and eating junk food).

I've had bursts of healthiness before, now there's support there to help I’ve had bursts of healthiness before, now there’s support there to help

Does that resonate with you?

I know, I know, lazing on the couch eating chocolate after chocolate is easy and feels good, (until the sugar crash that is) but what is it doing in the long term, both to your health and your child’s perception of how to live a healthy life? Monkey see monkey, after all.


So with this in mind, I’ve decided to make some healthy changes and #makeastart.

Over the next few weeks across Instagram, facebook and twitter, I’ll be letting you guys know how the Poppins family are getting on; what daily wins we’ve had, how changes made have affected our lives (both good and bad), what worked for us and what hasn’t. I’d love you to check how we are getting on and get involved yourself too.

There’s a load of help and support over at makeastart ; from a community of parents participating, to tips and tricks, expert advice and handy healthy recipes.

Why not pop over and make a start yourself?