Veg Power – Eat Them to Defeat Them!

Feb 21, 2024

Despite the many health benefits of eating vegetables, the majority of the UK are not eating enough of them. Worryingly, a recent survey found that 29% of children are eating less than one portion of vegetables per day. As vegetables play a crucial role in supporting children’s growth, development, immune system and digestive function, these low consumption figures suggest the health of many of the UK’s children could be compromised. In addition, we know that children who consume sufficient fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of obesity and obesity-related illness and are more likely to have a healthy dietary pattern throughout their life.

Now in its sixth year, ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ is the award-winning campaign from Veg Power and ITV that gets kids eating veg.  This year’s campaign has just launched, and they are encouraging kids to use their gnashers to defeat that veg one big bite at a time! They are encouraging them to munch, crunch and chomp – which is particularly great for raw vegetable snacks and good for their dental health too.

So far, the campaign has reached over 1.5 million children from nearly 5,000 primary schools – but does it actually work?

The short answer is YES!

The longer answer…

As part of their evaluation involving a national online survey of 3,000 parents and children, 77% of parents claimed their kids ate more vegetables as a direct result of the campaign. In addition, even the most ‘veg resistant’ kids were improving their diets, with 66% of parents with children who vocally dislike vegetables, stating their child ate more veg. And finally, most of those participating – 89% of parents and 85% of children – wanted the campaign to return.

Further analysis revealed that repeated involvement in the campaign led to increased long term veg consumption – in children who were exposed to the programme multiple times in their school, 53% of parents reported it had made a long term and lasting improvement to both the variety and volume of vegetables their child consumed, a great result!

And check out these stats:

* 1.4 billion portions of extra vegetables sold at retail

* 36+ million people reached every year since 2019

* 1.5 million children have taken part in tasting, cooking, growing and vegetable fun

* £132+ million vegetable sales as a direct result of the campaign so far

For more information including puzzles, games, reward charts, recipe cards and teaching aids, check out the Veg Power website: Veg Power

And let’s encourage our children – and ourselves – to Eat Them to Defeat Them!

By Lisa Aldwin, Programme Manager, Eat Smart Sheffield