How schools across Wales are getting involved in the 'Eat Them To Defeat Them' campaign

  • Report and article by ITV Wales journalist Kelsey Redmore

Over the next five weeks, children in primary schools across Wales will be taking part in the 'Eat Them To Defeat Them' campaign which encourages them to eat more vegetables and learn how to stay healthy.

The campaign from ITV and Veg Power, with support and funding from the Welsh Government, has returned for its fourth year this year.

According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, current vegetable consumption levels in the UK are not meeting government recommendations.

It found that almost a third of primary school aged children are eating less than one portion of vegetables a day.

The campaign will run over the next five weeks in primary and special schools across Wales.

Recent Veg Power survey data found 49% of children in Wales want to eat more vegetables than they currently do and 43% claim their parents struggle to get them to eat more vegetables. 

Dan Parker from Veg Power said: "Unfortunately, many of our kids don't eat many vegetables and about a third of our kids barely eat any vegetables at all and what Eat Them To Defeat them does is it does the less obvious, it makes it into a game that says "You know what kids, the veg are coming to take over the world, but there's only one way to defeat them and that is to eat them".

"So the kids think this is funny and silly and so you get that first chance for engagement...This actually starts off from a point of fun and then you can start to move kids towards trying new vegetables and trying them more often."

The campaign encourages children to have fun and learn more about vegetables, as well as trying them.

When asked about the rising cost of living and expensive healthier food options, Lynne Neagle MS, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing told ITV News: "Obviously the cost of living is a real worry but that's why our plan is a cross government plan and that includes our roll out of the free school meals to all primary schools and there's lots of cross government work to make sure that those meals are healthy meals.

"We're looking at what we can do to further improve our healthy start scheme which gives people help with the cost of food for little ones, so we're working across government to make sure that people can still have access to healthy food."

The 'Eat Them To Defeat Them' campaign is hoping to reach up to 275,000 children across Wales in primary and special schools.

So that as many children as possible can learn more about vegetables as well as eating them.