Monday, March 4, 2013

Food Dudes!

Scoil Niocláis, along with a number of other schools in the Douglas area, has been invited to take part in the “Food Dudes” Programme. Food Dudes is a programme developed by the University of Wales, Bangor, to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables both in school and at home. It is based on positive role models (the Food Dudes characters), repeated tasting of fruit and veg and rewards. In large-scale studies in schools in England and Wales and pilot studies in schools in Ireland, the Programme has been shown to be effective and results long lasting. Ultimately, it is designed to enable children to enjoy eating healthy diets, and to create a healthy eating culture within schools.
There are two main phases to the Programme:
Phase 1 (which began on Tuesday the 26th of February): is an intensive intervention which lasts 16 days. During this time, children are given fruit and vegetables while they are read a letter and/or watch a specially designed video of the Food Dudes. These super-heroes save the life force from a gang of baddies whose objective is to take away the energy of the world by depriving it of nutritious fruit and veg. Each day the children are rewarded with small prizes for successfully eating the fruit and veg. This phase is primarily school based, although children keep a diary of fruit and veg they have eaten at home.
Phase 2 extends the home element of the Food Dudes Programme by encouraging the children to bring their own fruit and veg to school everyday in special Food Dudes containers. Classroom wall charts are used to record progress, and children receive Food Dudes certificates and further rewards upon reaching goals. This phase maintains fruit and veg consumption in the longer term.
How you can help your children at home?:
As well as eating fruit and vegetables at school, it is important that children eat them at home too. Parents can help by encouraging children to eat and enjoy a healthy amount of fruit and vegetables, and set an example by eating them too. For more information on the programme along with some helpful tips for parents please visit