Posts Tagged ‘ Produce Marketing Association ’

Sesame Street Brings Fun to the Produce Aisle

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Michelle Obama, Elmo and Rosita

We’ve all been there, walking through the grocery store while our kids ask us for colorful sodas, chips with cartoon characters on the bag, or cookies advertised on their favorite TV shows. Couldn’t they just once harangue us for a pear, or heaven forbid, some broccoli?

Now parents are getting some back-up – furry, funny back-up to be exact.

Last Wednesday at the White House, with Elmo and Rosita at her side, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) have joined the Partnership for a Healthier America in an effort to make fruits and vegetables more appealing to kids. To help in that effort, Sesame Workshop has agreed to license its characters to the PMA for free for two years.

“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” said Mrs. Obama. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips. That’s what this new collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association is all about.”

Through her Let’s Move campaign, the First Lady has been a longtime advocate for making nutritious foods more appealing, affordable, and accessible.

The fact that Sesame Workshop is licensing Grover, Elmo, Rosita and friends for free is important because unlike a lot of processed food manufacturers, apple, broccoli, and spinach producers don’t have scads of marketing dollars to appeal to our kids in fun commercials or by placing their products in family movies. But the PMA and Mrs. Obama are hoping that when children see a sticker of their favorite Sesame Street character on an apple or next to salad greens they will get more excited about eating a variety of healthy fruits and veggies.

There is research to back this up. Mrs. Obama cited a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. When researchers gave kids a choice between a cookie and an apple, unsurprisingly the vast majority chose the cookie. But when researchers placed an Elmo sticker on the apple, nearly twice the number of children opted for the fruit.

After the announcement Mrs. Obama, Elmo, and Rosita headed out to the White House vegetable garden where they welcomed students from four area schools to help with the fall harvest. The students dug up giant sweet potatoes, cut pumpkins from their vines, and pulled up dirt-covered carrots. Under the guidance of White House chefs the kids assembled turkey, hummus, and salad wraps. While Elmo and Rosita didn’t share the snack, they extolled their love of fresh produce, already doing their part to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

White House vegetable garden

Once you have your produce in the kitchen, get cooking with these easy recipes for family-friendly vegetables and delicious fruit dishes.

What do you think? Will Sesame Street characters on packaging encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? 

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