How it works

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


School element  -  16-day intervention

  • Daily fruit and vegetable deliveries for 16 days for Junior pupils
  • Daily fruit and vegetable deliveries for 5 days for 2nd - 6th class pupils
  • 4 Small Eco Friendly Rewards
  • Letters from the Food Dude role models
  • Video episodes featuring the Food Dude role models
  • Lunchbox at the end of the Phase

Home element  -  Post intervention

  • Parents encourage children to bring fruit and vegetables to school in Food Dudes lunchbox
  • Teachers record daily progress on classroom wallcharts
  • Children receive certificates on reaching/completing phased milestones/goals

Maintenance phase: in school and at home

In the years following Phase 1 and 2, schools participate in Food Dudes Weeks.

What happens during Food Dudes Week?

  • 5 days of fresh fruit and veg deliveries to all pupils.
  • Accompanying educational materials, activity booklets to support eating fruit and vegetables as part of the school lunchbox and at home
  • Short informative videos available online to encourage  and support healthy eating habits.

This phase maintains long-term programme engagement post-intervention and continued increase in consumption throughout entire school year.

This supports children to develop healthy eating habits for life.


The updated Food Dudes programme includes revised programme elements such as:

  • Fully compostable packaging for fresh produce
  • Food Dudes Weeks (in year 2-4 of the cycle) 
  • New video content
  • Increased seasonal Irish produce
  • Messages from Irish celebrity role models
  • Visual fun & games for you to play along in our own classrooms
  • New eco-friendly rewards
  • Bilingual print materials and video



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 video 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.