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Veggie Run app gets more children to eat school meals

The app was created by the London Borough of Havering to promote healthy eating to primary and junior school children. Since its launch earlier in 2018, it has seen an increase in school meal uptake of 14%.

Veggie Run App, Courtesy London Borough of Havering

Veggie Run App, Courtesy London Borough of Havering

The app was created by the London Borough of Havering to promote healthy eating to primary and junior school children. It presents the newly created ‘Crunch Bunch’ characters that were designed to appeal to children aged 4-11 years old. It is a first of its kind, and it aims to teach children to dodge unhealthy foods and earn rewards by collecting fruit and vegetables. Users will also be able to view weekly school lunch menus and parents can purchase meals via the app's links. Since its launch earlier in 2018, it has seen an increase in school meal uptake of 14%.

The Veggie Run app, developed with local Havering children and supported by Change4Life and Quorn, aims to address the rising obesity epidemic in the borough and highlight the health benefits of healthy school lunches. It is a first of its kind, and it aims to teach children to dodge unhealthy foods and earn rewards by collecting fruit and vegetables. Users will also be able to view weekly school lunch menus and parents can purchase meals via the app's links.

The benefit of playing Veggie Run is that children can compete to win prizes for themselves and their school each term. Prizes have been sponsored by Everyone Active, the leisure contractor for Havering Council, Quorn and Cycles UK Romford and Havering Sports Collective. There are also opportunities for pupils to receive credit towards free school meals.

Each school issues a code which children enter upon registration and children can then play against friends and schools to see who can get the most points and answers the most questions on food.

West Ham United Foundation (Healthy Hammers) are also now official partners offering some fantastic prizes such as signed shirts and balls, tickets for both the men’s premiership games and the ladies. All partners and sponsors have had an incredible input which has helped in raising the message of healthy eating.

Dennis Brewin, Head of Catering at HES commented:

“One of the main reasons the app has been developed is due to recent evidence that only one percent of packed lunches are healthy. We hope that by playing the game primary and junior school children in the borough will be able to identify the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods.

Since the launch of the app in April 2018, Havering has seen an increase in school meal uptake of 14% so we believe the initiative paid for itself.”

Download the app at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/veggierun/id1339059186?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mct.veggierun&hl=en

To know more about other initiatives to promote vegetables or get involved go to vegcities.org

Published 12 Sep 2018

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