A new study has found that nearly half of Irish parents struggle to get their children to eat fruit and vegetables while 40 per cent of Irish kids do not eat fruit and vegetables every day.

The best way to change that is to make it more attractive through the lens of something the children enjoy, so enter Aldi with a new Play with Your Food campaign.

The retailer and sponsor of the IRFU recently conducted a survey to learn more about kids’ consumption of fruit and vegetables, polling 500 parents of children aged 4-12.

Only one-quarter said that it was easy to get their children to eat fruit and vegetables. The Department of Health’s healthy eating guidelines recommends that anyone over the age of five should aim for up to seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Healthy Eating

To help get kids into the habit of healthy eating, Aldi is launching the Play with your Food campaign in collaboration with the IRFU. Timed to coincide with Ireland’s upcoming matches in the Six Nations, the campaign is designed to encourage families to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into their day-to-day meals.

Aldi is sharing fun, food-based recreations of cultural symbols synonymous with each of the countries participating in the tournament.

These include the Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Welsh dragon. Each symbol will be accompanied by a healthy recipe that can be made using fresh fruit and vegetables including Super 6 offers available in Aldi stores across the country.


Children will then be invited to roll up their sleeves, let their imagination run wild and create their own food art and recipes using fruit and vegetables.

Parents can share the creations on social channels using the hashtag #AldiPlayWithYourFood for the chance to win prizes including the chance to be Ireland’s Mascot against Scotland on the closing day of the Championship in March.

“Parents are always looking for simple ways to try and get our kids to eat more of the right stuff,” said Paul O’Connell, Aldi Ambassador and Irish Rugby Forwards Coach.

“This play with your food campaign is a great way to get them to see fruit and veg differently and hopefully enjoy it. I’m looking forward to seeing the creations and chatting to the overall winner who will be the mascot for our game against Scotland.”

“Not only is this a super way for parents to teach their little ones about the different countries involved in the exciting rugby games ahead, but it’s an easy way to introduce them to more fruit and vegetables,” added John Curtin, Aldi Ireland Group Buying Director.

“As the research has found, encouraging kids to eat more fruit and vegetable can be a struggle so we’re delighted to introduce a fun and innovative concept to the mix as a way for the whole family to get involved.”

Sport for Business Perspective

Having an alcohol sponsor of the tournament can make it challenging for parents to involve children in the excitement around the tournament but this is a good way for the IRFU to work with a more child-friendly partner and do some good in changing habits when it comes to dinner time.