Food Dudes Program – (Stated in School on Thursday 29th September).
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 DVD of the Food Dudes (super-hero characters). Each day the children are rewarded with stickers or 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 certificates upon reaching goals. This phase maintains fruit and veg consumption in the longer term.
As the programme has been proven to be most effective with younger classes all the key elements of the original Food Dudes programme will be made available for all pupils in Junior Infants to Second class. This includes 16 days of prepared bulk produce fruit and vegetables, 12 stickers and 4 rewards per child and the Food Dudes DVDs. The senior classes in the school will be provided with fruit and vegetables for four tasting days, and will receive four Food Dudes rewards. All children will receive certificates in Phase 2 for continued fruit and vegetable consumption