START to Help Families on the Path to a Healthier Future

Dear Colleague,

As you know the HSE, safefood and Healthy Ireland are working together on the START public awareness campaign to encourage families to adopt healthier lifestyles.

START is for parents and guardians of children aged from 6 months to 12 years of age and aims to support in making lifestyle changes as a family that can make a big difference to their children’s health and wellbeing both now and into the future.  It does this by providing clear messages and practical, achievable tips for a healthier family lifestyle, as well as encouraging parental role modelling and consistency.

The campaign recognises that creating new habits can seem difficult and daunting and asks them to make small changes at a time and get one daily win.  We also know that parents have a good understanding of what they should and shouldn’t be doing in terms of their child’s health, but the reality of everyday life gets in the way of achieving it.  We want to help and support parents by encouraging them to get one daily win and providing resources to work on that.

We are asking for your help with this by coming on the campaign journey with us to advocate for, and support the START campaign.

What can you do to advocate and support START?

  • Show your support by promoting and using the new family resource booklet ‘START your child on a healthy lifestyle’, ‘5-day menu planner’ and ‘Lunchbox’ leaflets and by displaying the matching posters.  These resources are free to order on the publications section of  ie .
  • Share this email with your teams and other colleagues.
  • Encourage the families you work with to visit the START website (, which has meal planners, easy to follow healthy recipes, parenting tips and video clips.


For those of you who have children aged between 6 months and 12 years you can also use these resources yourselves at home – visit


You can also follow us on social media using the hashtag #makeastart

Watch out for the next phase of advertising this September in cinemas, on TV, radio, outdoor and online.


If you would like to receive more updates from us, or wish to get involved in promoting the campaign locally, contact us at


Many thanks in advance for your support.


Yours Sincerely,

Sarah O’Brien


National Lead, HSE Healthy Eating and Active Living Programme