Joined by Elmo and Rosita on the eve of Halloween, first lady Michelle Obama predicted that candy and other junk food would take a back seat healthier food when children start “begging” their parents to buy fruits and vegetables.
The first lady announced a new partnership Wednesday at the White House between the Produce Marketing Association, the Partnership for a Healthier America and Sesame Street, the popular children’s program on PBS.
“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store and they see the Sesame Street Muppets lining all over the produce aisle,” the first lady said. “Just imagine what it’s going to be like moms and dads when our kids are begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips.”
First lady Michelle Obama flexes her muscles alongside Sesame Street character Rosita during an event announcing free licensing of Sesame Street characters to promote and market fresh fruit and vegetables by Produce Marketing Association growers, suppliers and retailers, as part of the Let's Move initiative, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 30, 2013. The agreement utilizes the strength of the Sesame Street brand to help deliver messages about fresh fruits and vegetables and characters such as Elmo and Big Bird may be on produce in stores as early as mid-2014. (Getty)
“It can happen. That’s what this new collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association is all about. It’s about showing out kids that healthy food can be fun and that fruits and vegetables don’t just make us feel good, they also taste good.”
The comment prompted social media response.
She cited a study by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted by researchers at Cornell University that found given the choice between an apple, a cookie, or both, most children chose the cookie. But when Elmo stickers were added, nearly twice as many kids picked the apple as before.
During the event, the first lady stepped away from the podium to set with Sesame Street characters Elmo and Rosita. Rosita said, “Fruits and vegetables are anytime foods.” Elmo pointed out fruits and vegetables were “very colorful” and a “rainbow of food.”
At the prompting of the Muppets, the sleeveless first lady flexed her muscles.
Under the partnership, the Produce Marketing Association’s growers, suppliers and retailers can use the Sesame Street brand without a licensing fee, and using the show’s various character on produce in stores as early as mid-2014.