Veg Power’s seven-week national campaign, Eat Them To Defeat Them, was launched on Saturday (February 12).
The mission aims to capture children’s imagination by urging them to join the fight to defeat vegetables – by eating them.
Since February 2019, Eat Them To Defeat Them has seen an increase of 517 million children’s vegetable portions within schools.
The county council, Leicestershire Traded Services, Food for Life and public health are all uniting to get local schools involved in the healthy eating initiative.
For seven weeks children will be encouraged to find out more about the vegetable of the week, discovering its benefits through school assemblies, activity sheets and puzzles.
Catering teams will then use the vegetable in school meals.
Recipes and reward charts are available for children who want to carry on the fight at home as parents are asked to join in and make sure they're defeating their veg too.
Cllr Louise Richardson, the county council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “I am delighted that this initiative is returning again as it’s a great way to get children engaged in healthy eating from a young age.
“It will help children develop healthy habits inside and outside the home that will last a lifetime.”
Gavin Fletcher, Co-ordinator of the Leicestershire Sustainable Food Partnership, said: “We know the kids who take part love this programme – and we do too.
“All the feedback we’ve had from county schools taking part in Eat Them To Defeat Them has been extremely positive and encouraging.”
Dan Parker, Veg Power chief executive, said: “We know that vegetable consumption levels drastically need to be improved – for the benefit of our health, wellbeing, and our planet.
"We also know that Eat Them To Defeat Them is working and children are eating more veg because of their involvement,” added Dan.
“But we need to broaden the reach and have more schools and local authorities join us to achieve our mission this year.”
Across the UK the Veg Power charity’s research found that 89 per cent of children aren’t eating enough veg - with one in three not even managing one portion a day.
To learn more about sustainable food in Leicestershire, and to sign up the newsletter, visit: https://resources.leicestershire.gov.uk/good-food-leicestershire