Sunday, 18 March 2012

Food Dudes in Ireland Healthy Eating Programme for Kids

The Food Dudes Healthy Eating Programme is an award winning programme developed by the Food & Activity Research Unit Bangor University, Wales to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables both in school at home. It is based on positive role models (the Food Dudes characters), repeated tasting and rewards.

There are two main phases to the programme: Phase 1 is an intensive intervention which lasts 16 days. During this time, fruit and vegetables are delivered to the school, one portion of each per child. They are read a letter and/or watch a specially designed video of the Food Dudes (super-hero characters). Each day the children are rewarded with small prizes for successfully eating the fruit and veg. This phase is primarily school based.

Phase 2 extends the home element of the programme by encouraging children to bring their own fruit and veg to school every day in special Food Dudes containers. Classroom wall charts are used to record progress, and the children receive further rewards upon reaching goals. This phase maintains fruit and veg consumption in the longer term.

clear How effective is the Food Dudes Programme?   46% of parents reported that children were eating one more portion of fruit, 37% reported that children were eating two more portions of fruit while 8% said that children were now eating three or more portions of fruit after Phase 1 of the programme. The majority of parents (94%) reported that children ate more portions of fruit and vegetables at home. For more information, please see the Evaluation of the Programme on the Schools page of this website.
  My child is allergic to a particular fruit and veg can s/he still participate?
Yes, in this case it is necessary to inform the teacher and to provide from home an alternative fruit/veg for that day. Your child will still be eligible to receive a reward for that day if s/he eats both the fruit and veg.   Can I purchase the rewards and implement the Food Dudes Programme at home myself?   No, this is primarily a school based programme and the rewards are not available for purchase.