The Health Improvement Commission is working with 13 early years settings, five schools and a range of catering and retail outlets to support the Veg Power campaign – the slogan for which is Eat Them to Defeat Them – for six weeks starting this week.
Community nutritionist at the commission Alex Kosmas said they were eager to support the development of taste preferences and healthy eating behaviours from an early age because it has been shown to help create patterns for life.
‘Recent data from the young people’s survey indicate that around 60% of primary and 70% of secondary pupils eat less than the five portions of vegetables and fruit that are recommended to support health,’ he said.
‘The results also suggest that vegetables are eaten less frequently than fruit among these age groups.
‘As part of broader measures, we are keen to support veg promotion through the Veg Power campaign and are delighted to have received such enthusiastic support from the early years settings and schools alike.’
Each week will feature a ‘veg of the week’, which will be promoted nationally through ITV and Sky TV, in conjunction with a range of actions across schools, supermarkets and social media.
Locally, the commission is supplying participating early years settings with kits to encourage young children to get involved in veg preparation on a regular basis and has sponsored power packs for each of the schools taking part, filled with teaching and assembly resources, craft kits and reward charts that can be used at home.
Beau Sejour’s Parks cafe and the Guernsey Yacht Club will feature the veg of the week on their menus and Morrisons outlets will support the work through promotion over the six weeks.
Le Rondin School & Centre key stage 1 lead Karen Turley said she hoped that children would enjoy taking part in the campaign.
‘Recognising the importance of plenty of veg to help keep healthy and the impact of trying new tastes and flavours alongside friends, we are excited to support our children to take part in Veg Power this year,’ she said.
‘Each child will also have a reward chart and stickers to take home, so they can share the campaign with their families too.’
Mike Rutter, SandpiperCI’s managing director of Channel Islands retail, said: ‘We are once again delighted to be involved with the “Eat Them to Defeat Them” Veg Power campaign.
‘This clever joint initiative with ITV has already encouraged thousands of children to eat more vegetables to help avoid diet-related illness. Our Morrisons stores will be actively promoting this year’s campaign and we’re really looking forward to playing our part to inspire children and young people to eat more vegetables for a better and healthier lifestyle.’