Eat Them To Defeat Them: Veg at School

For the past 5 years, the Health Improvement Commission has been championing “Eat Them To Defeat Them”, a UK-wide campaign from Veg Power. Over the years, our Eat Well team has adapted the campaign for our local audience, to meet its mission to inspire young people, support parents and encourage everyone to enjoy more veg. 

We recently found out that on average Primary school children are having 3 portions of fruit and veg and 21% of local year 6 lunchboxes contain veg. While this is up from 12% in 2019, there is still work to be done. 

The campaign was originally developed with children, who wanted to become the heroes in the story. Although the language might seem counter-intuitive, of positioning the evil vegetables as an enemy, the children wanted to be the focal point of having to “Eat Them To Defeat Them”. Many teachers and parents have expressed to us how this approach has turned a battle at the table to eat their greens, into a battle of wanting to defeat them. 

Check out this video to learn more about this vibrant campaign in the video below.  

Locally, this year we focused on supporting pupils with vegetable tasting and activities in the classroom. We gave reception classes the opportunity to sign up to receive a veg box with a choice of 10 vegetables and the option to sign up for the Veg Power resources. In total, ten primary schools across the Bailiwick took part, with 375 children having the opportunity to taste a total of 2,616 portions of veg! We also found out that many pupils tried specific veg for the first time. The most popular vegetables to have as a “first try” were butternut squash and red peppers. The pupils are rewarded for any try of the vegetable, such as smelling and touching them, with stickers – 800 of these were given out to parents, to support their children outside of school too.

This is a small part of our work across the community, to support children and their families to eat well. Read more about what we do to support local children to eat well at school, here - 

If you would like to further support your child with trying and eating vegetables, check out the resources here: