Free Fruit For Kids Campaign

For a while now I have been sitting on my hands trying to hold back my frustration at some plain and obvious problems we see all too often in shops across Ireland…The amount of sweets and unhealthy food located at pay points.  If you walk in to any garage, stand at the counter and swivel 180 degrees, you will be surrounded by sweets, chocolates, crisps and don’t even get me started on what’s being served at the deli. It is no surprise the annual cost of obesity in Ireland is estimated at €1.3 Billion.

Why are the very food types that cause so much of our health problems so readily available, accessible and so IN YOUR FACE for our young kids (and adults)!!!!! Again no surprises that Ireland’s only dedicated childhood obesity treatment programme, at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, has had a 400% increase in children under five years of age.

Bringing Mini-Me into a shop is now a no-go zone….his cute sweet 4 year old manners gets transformed into an out of control floor kicking nutcase when he is refused a Chubba Chub or Kinder egg….or in moments of weakness when I give in to his unrelenting anarchy, the guilt I feel really hurts me. But this situation could so easily be avoided, we as a nation need help, we need change and we also need to take ownership of this frequently faced situation.

Thankfully in the hills of Tipperary a spark of hope has been lit, thanks to a number of forward thinking retailers I have had the pleasure of collaborating with. I first met with Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers in Clonmel after I was inspired by the success of the free fruit for kids campaign (#FreeFruitForKids) that started in New Zealand and has now spread to Europe, with Jamie Oliver showing his support.


Pat was only too delighted to agree to stock a fresh bowl of fruit at his counter and let children in-store have a munch on some tasty free fruit. 

Bellowed by Pats support and the support I have received on Twitter with my push to have as many local retailers provide free fruit for kids, I met with SuperValu in Clonmel & Carrick-On-Suir and I am delighted to say on Saturday 21st December 2015 with local TD Mattie Mcgrath rowing in to support we officially launched Free Fruit For Kids Campaign at Martin’s SuperValu Poppyfields Clonmel with owners Stuart & Debbie Martin and of course their little angel Debbie. We also launched in Murphy’s SuperValu Carrick-on-Suir with co-owner PJ Guinan and I am just trilled to have all of their support.

This my friends is the start of something amazing, it is the start of change, a change in how we market to children, how we set examples for them and how we empower them to make healthier food choices now and when they flourish into the next generation, leading our beautiful country in a much healthier and balanced future. I will leave you with one request…take this blog post and share it with your friends, your family and your local retailers. If they need any support getting started with #FreeFruitForKids campaign send them to the Chief Ok one more favour, can you please Retweet the Tweet below which has already helped raise so much awareness for this campaign. Thank you.