Fifteen percent of American households in this country are financially incapable of providing fundamental nutritional needs for more than 9 million children. Beloved children’s program, Sesame Street, is aiming to fix that with the launch of their new Super Foods Kits. The program sponsors, who include UnitedHealthCare and The Merck Foundation, are distributing 400,000 of these kits in Spanish and English to families in some of the nation’s most poverty-stricken areas.
The healthy kits feature a video with new Muppet characters: banana, broccoli, cheese and a whole-grain roll. The singing and dancing superfoods interact with other well-known Muppet characters and real live families to discuss nutrition basics and how sharing meals together can become a significant family ritual vital to maintaining health.
Jeanette Betancourt, vice president of content design for the education, research and outreach department of Sesame Workshop says, “We found there were really very few resources engaging young children and helping them engage not only in healthy habits but also in knowing that as a family they’re not alone in this.”
Sesame Street is known for tackling tough issues, and nutrition is no exception. In addition to healthy menu ideas, parents can learn meal-planning and budgeting tips from Oprah’s ex-chef, Art Smith.
The Super Foods, along with Elmo and other Muppets discuss how trying new foods can sometimes be a bit scary and hard, and they encourage both the young and old audience to have patience with the process. It may take several times before a new food tastes good, but the benefits are well worth it. Sesame Street has tightened the reigns on that loveable Cookie Monster who has also learned that cookies are only sometimes foods.
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Photo by Nickstone333 courtesy of Creative Commons