Purpose: This study is based on previous research which suggests that the Dudes programme increases children's fruit and vegetable consumption for school-provided meals by assessing its effectiveness in increasing the provision and consumption of fruit and vegetables in home-provided meals.
Design/methodology/approach: Two cohorts of children participated from six schools in the West Midlands in the UK, one receiving the Food Dudes intervention and a matched control group who did not receive any intervention. Participants were children aged four to seven years from six primary schools, three intervention (n=123) and three control schools (n=156). Parental provision and consumption of fruit and vegetables was assessed pre-intervention, then three and 12 months post-intervention. Consumption was measured across five consecutive days in each school using digital photography.
Findings: No significant increases in parental provision or consumption were found at three or 12 months for children in the intervention schools, however, increases were evident for children in the control group.
Research limitations/implications: Further development of the Food Dudes programme could develop ways of working with parents and children to increase awareness of what constitutes a healthy lunch.
Originality value: This is the first independent evaluation to assess the influence of the Food Dudes programme on parental provision and children's consumption of lunchtime fruit and vegetables.