We started the Food Dudes Programme in our school today. On the menu today was peppers and bananas. We were all very excited to learn about the Food Dudes.
Who are the Food Dudes?
The Food Dudes are four young super-heroes: Charlie, Tom, Raz and Rocco. By eating their favourite fruit or vegetables, the Food Dudes gain special powers which enable them to save the world and the Life Force from a gang of baddies: The Junk Punks. General Junk and his side-kicks, Miss Demeanour, and Master Disaster are trying to drain the energy of the world by depriving it of nutritious fruit and veg. With their special powers, given to them by carrots, tomatoes, raspberries and broccoli, the Food Dudes feed the Life Force and foil the Junk Punks.
Phase 1 is an intensive intervention which lasts 16 days. During this time, children from Junior Infants to second are given fruit and vegetables daily while they are read a letter and/or watch a specially designed DVD of the Food Dudes.. Each day the children are rewarded with stickers or small rewards and get a tick on the classroom wall chart for successfully eating the fruit and veg
Tips for parents
1 Sandwiches are a popular choice for packed lunches and can be easily filled with a variety of salads. Or a mixed salad could be put in the veg tub, to be eaten with the usual sandwiches.
2 Use fruit and veg in different forms, whether cooked or raw.
3. Some vegetables taste good grated (e.g., carrots) and some (e.g., carrots, celery, peppers) can be cut into sticks, and perhaps eaten with a dip.
4. Have a variety of fruit and veg in a pot and create a ‘salad’. You might like to try a fruit salad of banana, orange, pineapple slices with a sprinkling of raisins and a veg salad of lettuce, sweetcorn, grated carrot, peas or tomato.
5. Stir-fries can include fruit and/or vegetables. Save some from the previous evening meal and put in one of the lunchbox tubs.
6. Mix cheese (cubes or grated) with a portion of fruit and/or any of the above vegetable items.
7. Pack fruit juice in your child’s lunchbox instead of cordial or fizzy drinks. Make sure it’s 100% pure juice with no added sugar. Smoothies (made mostly of fruit) are also a healthy fruit drink.