03 Apr Food Dudes – Lunchbox Tips
Little steps now will make a big difference to their future!
That’s why at St. Augustine’s we are supporting students to develop healthy eating habits. For several years we have taken part in the Food Dudes Programme and due to its continued success, we took part in the programme again this year.
The Food Dudes programme, aimed to change children’s eating habits for life, has been effective from 2010 to 2019.
Developed by the Food and Activity Research Unit at Bangor University in Wales, the programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine and the European Commission and is managed by Bord Bia.
A combination of psychological (role-modelling and rewards) and biological (repeated tasting) factors are used in the programme to bring about and sustain behavioural change in the eating habits of children.
The programme is divided into two main phases:
Phase 1 (our students have now successfully completed phase 1)
For 16 days students were provided with a portion of fruit and vegetables whilst they were read a letter and/or watched a specifically designed DVD of the Food Dudes. These superheroes save the life force from a gang of baddies who try to take away the energy of the world by depriving it of nutritious fruit and vegetables. Each day the students were rewarded with stickers or small rewards for successfully eating the fruit and vegetables. Students were also encouraged to keep a diary of fruit and vegetables they have eaten at home.
Phase 2 (we are now taking part in phase 2)
Phase 2 extends to the home and encourages students to bring their own fruit and vegetables to school in special Food Dudes lunchboxes which they receive on day 16 of phase 1.
Tips and Ideas for using the Food Dudes Lunchbox
Children are encouraged to have at least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables in their lunch every day. To help you make the most of the Food Dudes lunchboxes that your child/children received, we have suggested some Tips and Ideas below- we hope you find them useful.
Here are some practical tips that might help:
- Sandwiches are a popular choice for packed lunches and you can add in a salad vegetable such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sweet corn, grated carrot or spinach, along with common fillings to include a vegetable portion.
- Make vegetable sticks from carrots, peppers, cucumber or celery and serve with a dip. Alternatively, a vegetable dip could be made and served with breadsticks or crackers e.g. hummus made from chickpeas, avocado, or cooked mashed cauliflower.
- Mix a variety in a pot to create a salad. Mixed berries are a great snack and can be added to yoghurt. Chop up any fruits for a fruit salad. Adding some pure orange juice helps fruit from going brown.
- Chop up or grate a selection of salad vegetables. Add a dressing to make it more appealing.
- Stir-fries can include fruit and/or vegetables. Save some from the previous evening meal and put in one of the lunchbox tubs.
- Mix cheese with a portion of fruit and/or any of the above vegetable items. Grapes and cheese is a popular combination.
- Couscous, pasta or rice mixed with finely chopped or roasted vegetables can be a good alternative to sandwiches.
- Vegetables can be served raw, steamed, baked, grilled, in a salad, juiced, stir-fried or boiled. Try a variety of vegetables in a variety of forms to explore what your child likes.
- Frozen, tinned or dried fruit and vegetables can also be used. Select tinned fruit that is in juice NOT syrup or sugar.
- Involve your child in selecting and preparing their fruit and vegetables and lunch. If they are involved they will be more excited to eat it later in school.
- Remember to encourage repeated tasting. The more times a child tastes a food they don’t like, the more they come to accept it.
Remember, what we provide is what they are going to eat!