Can Michelle Obama and Elmo Get Kids to Eat their Veggies?

Ok, so we’re a little bit behind the game in noting Michelle Obama’s upcoming Sesame Street appearance–in the show’s 40th season premiere, airing November 10–in which she helps Elmo and his friends plant a vegetable garden and tells kids that “veggies taste so good when they come fresh from the garden!” The segment’s message is in line with Mrs. Obama’s ongoing efforts–including her much-covered organic garden and a PSA with Elmo earlier this year–to promote healthy food and lifestyle choices, particularly for children.

It’s a cute segment–I love the fact that Mrs. Obama is noticeably cracking up at several points. And I especially like the ways she talks about vegetables making you “big and strong,” suggesting that girls, as well as boys, should want to be big and strong. But I do have to question what Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, is thinking airing a garden-planting segment in November. Sure, I get it that Mrs. Obama is a big name and they wanted to put her in the first episode, but if the goal is to get kids interested in gardening and eating vegetables, wouldn’t it make more sense to air the segment in spring–you know, when people in the Northern Hemisphere actually plant gardens? I guess they can always air it again.


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