The iron maidens of New Zealand sport are being knocked off the podium by a team of cute kids poised to become the new faces of New Zealand Beef and Lamb.

In a change of tack, the meat promotion agency has swapped the elite sportswomen for youngsters in their latest television campaign as they urge parents to return to a simpler "meat and three veges" diet.

Olympians Lisa Carrington, Sarah Walker and Paralympian Sophie Pascoe will switch to an ambassadorial role as they focus on preparation for this year's Rio Olympics.

Marketing manager Ashley Gray says the theme is on turning back the clock, with a focus on family meals resembling those of our grandparents.


She says parents are bombarded by dietary information and the campaign aims to reassure those preparing the evening meal it doesn't have to be complicated to get great results.

"Given there's quite a [focus] now on different fad diets, whether it's gluten free, sugar free -- all that kind of stuff -- having a healthy diet doesn't have to be too difficult. We're going back to basics in a way," she says.

Twenty cute children aged between 3 and 8 will appear in a series of advertisements answering unscripted questions about what they want to be when they grow up.

Ms Gray says the campaign's premise is that a nutritious diet will help them achieve their goals.

New recipes will be available free to shoppers with a special focus on preparing family meals from cheaper cuts of meat.

The celebrated trio of sporting iron maidens will still be making public appearances starting with a pop-up restaurant in Auckland for next month's National Lamb Day.

The television advertising campaign will launch on February 8 and run for six months.