The Food Dudes Healthy Eating Programme is owned by The Food & Activity Research Unit at Bangor University, Wales and managed in Ireland by Bord Bia & The Deptartment of Agriculture Food & Fisheries. The programme is designed to change children’s attitudes towards consumption of fruit and vegetables. Upon winning the tender, Real Nation developed the initial experimental model into a fully workable programme within the Irish Educational System. This model has since won a Best Practice Award by The World Health Organisation Awards in 2006. Based on psychological theories and extensive research using positive role models, peer modelling, positive reinforcement and repeated behaviour, the programme has been proven to effect long lasting changes in attitudes and behaviour.
Real Nation is responsible for the overall coordination of this programme in Ireland, from the initial planning, visits to schools, training for teachers, scheduling deliveries of fruit and vegetables and reward merchandise to schools, on-going hotline support for schools and monthly and yearly reports to Bord Bia. Real Nation’s experience of large-scale logistics coupled with our teaching experience and educational credentials has ensured smooth running of the programme since its inception.
Real Nation have successfully managed the Food Dudes Programme on behalf of Bord Bia from the national pilot which began in 2005 through to the subsequent national roll out which commenced in 2007. To date the programme has been rolled out to three quarters of all national schools around the country. Real Nation has always exceeded the basic project management requirements and has been instrumental in developing and piloting new aspects of the programme. The day to day management of the programme has been exemplary including the communication with the other service providers to the programme. The contact and liaison with the participating schools has ensured a positive reaction and engagement with the programme from teachers and parents which has contributed to the significant uptake of the programme nationally. Real Nation are an innovative and enthusiastic team to work with on this programme and we are delighted with their contribution to the programme since their involvement.Mike Neary