There are three phases to the Food Dudes Healthy Eating Programme, designed to encourage children to eat fruit and vegetables. The programme is based on the three Rs: repeated tastings, rewards and role models
In the two years following Phase 1 and 2, tasting days accompanied by educational materials such as a passport to healthy eating and short informative video clips encourage a listening whilst eating approach to learning. This phase maintains long-term programme engagement post-intervention and continued increase in consumption throughout entire school year. This allows children to develop healthy eating habits for life!
The updated Food Dudes programme sees revised programme elements such as:
The new programme will also see the introduction of a maintenance phase (3) in Year 2 and 3, where children will be offered:
With special schools making up less than 5% of Irish Primary schools, serving pupils with the greatest level and complexity of special educational needs, important considerations are now being given to these schools. Based on teacher feedback, customised rewards are now being offered to special schools for pupils with learning difficulties. Teachers are now being encouraged to adjust their teachings instead of following the prescribed programme of learning for their individual classes. Rather than traditional tasting/consumption, there is now more emphasis on sensory learning in the classroom and at home, with tasting (licking), touching, holding and smelling the produce all encouraged. Smoothies, juices, soups and pureed food tastings are now also encouraged as ‘appropriate’ tastings, with music, dance and song to accompany the DVD episodes and letters. Utilising new teaching techniques means that the Food Dudes programme can achieve similar, if not greater, results in special schools.
We welcome feedback from teachers/parents on further development of this specific programme of learning at any time.
* The new Food Dudes media is entirely funded by Bangor University and created in partnership with RJDM, a UK media company commissioned by Bangor University Lead Researchers Professor Fergus Lowe and Pauline Horne. The script was written in collaboration with Sean Carson and the Food Dudes song lyrics were written by Pauline and Steffan Horne.