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Back to School healthy eating campaign

Date: 01/11/2021

Minister McConalogue and Olympic Champion Kellie Harrington launch Back to School healthy eating campaigns


Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. has today launched Back to School healthy eating campaigns with Kellie Harrington, Ireland’s Olympic gold medallist and School Milk and Food Dudes ambassador.


Launching the campaign at Kellie’s former primary school, St Vincent’s Girls National School, North William Street, Dublin 1, Minister McConalogue said “I am delighted to launch the Back to School Campaigns for the School Milk Scheme and the Food Dudes Programme, both of which play a key role in meeting school children’s dietary requirements in a school setting, and also encourage children to make healthier eating choices outside of school. I would urge all primary schools that are offered the opportunity to sign up to these programmes.”


Congratulating Kellie on her Olympic Gold Medal win the Minister said “Kellie is a positive and inspirational role model for school children. As a School Milk and Food Dudes ambassador, she has empowered many school children to make healthier eating choices by drinking  milk and eating more fruit and vegetables”


In a recent educational video created to support the roll out of Food Dudes and School Milk in disadvantaged schools Kellie said “A lot of my achievements are down to hard work, eating the right food and getting plenty of rest”.


The Food Dudes Programme is an award winning curriculum-linked evidence based healthy eating programme developed to encourage children to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Now entering its 17th school year over 1.2 million school children have participated in the programme to date. For more information see www.fooddudes.ie



Dr Elizabeth Finnegan, Healthy Eating Executive with Bord Bia says “The most recent National Children’s Food Survey highlights that school children are still consuming well below the recommended 5 to 7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day (3 servings per day).” This research corresponds well with the recent National Teen’s Survey which showed teens aged 13-18 years old are consuming less than 3 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and a recent Consumer Insights Fresh Produce Study by the Bord Bia Thinking House which also revealed that Irish people aged 18-34 are only eating 3.9 portions of fruit and vegetables a day on average. Thus the need for continuous promotion of healthy eating and the benefits of increased fruit and vegetable consumption amongst the population is warranted.


Dr Finnegan continues “Early intervention is key to behaviour change. The Food Dudes Programme has been shown to bring about significant change and improvements in school children’s eating habits. Our most recent evaluation conducted by researchers from the National Nutrition Surveillance Centre, UCD, found that the programme effectively increases provision and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables at home and in school both in the short- and long-term.”

For more information visit www.fooddudes.ie


The Food Dudes Healthy Eating Programme is managed by Bord Bia in Ireland and is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with support from the European Union under the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme. The programme was first developed by the Food Activity Research Unit, School of Psychology at Bangor University, Wales.