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Teachers honoured for their part in healthy eating programme across schools

Primary school teachers from across Galway recently joined teaching colleagues from the wider region for a Food Dudes Presentation Day at the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry.

The occasion was a celebration of the schools’ achievements as they completed their four-year participation in the award-winning Food Dudes Programme.

The four-year curriculum-linked programme includes a year of intervention, followed by three in-school Food Dudes Weeks, aimed at promoting health eating habits amongst primary schoolchildren.

The healthy eating programme encourages children to eat more fresh produce and is based on repeated tastings of fresh fruit and vegetables, rewards and positive role models.

The Food Dudes Presentation Days provide teachers with an opportunity to network and feel part of a community of change. Ideas about ways in which the Food Dudes programme can be integrated into the curriculum and daily routines are shared, and peer to peer support is encouraged.

A new and improved Food Dudes programme is currently being rolled out in schools and includes new varieties of fruits and vegetables, additional tasting days, new eco-friendly rewards, as well as new teaching and learning materials which include videos, recipes and a range of bilingual activities.

There are currently over 1,600 primary schools engaged in the four-year Food Dudes programme, creating a movement of life-long change embedding healthy eating within the school and wider community in a way that promotes healthy eating habits amongst children, helps to reduce obesity rates, and improve overall wellbeing. Over the lifetime of Food Dudes, over 3,300 primary schools and more than one million pupils have taken part.

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.

Pictured: Food Dudes Project Manager Claire Hamrock (back left) with Foods Dudes School 2024 winners (back – from left) Emer O’Doherty, Kiltiernan NS; Marc Goldrick, Coolarne NS; Margaret Keane, Newcastle NS; Amy Ní Laoi, Gaelscoil Dara, and Food Dudes Project Manager Maria McHale, with (front) Niamh Kelly, Corrandrum NS; Dympna Reddington, Clydagh NS;, Natasha Lydon, Carnaun NS; Noelle Gannon, Castlehackett NS, and Rachael Mannion, Merlin Woods NS.


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