Today, Sesame Street welcomes new healthy muppets to the set called “Superfoods.” The new muppets are a banana, broccoli stalk, wedge of cheese and hamburger bun. Their purpose on Sesame Street is to teach children about healthy snacks.
These “superfoods” are also part of an initiative started by the collabetation between the UnitedHealthcare, Merck Company Foundation, and Sesame Street. Together, these organiczations are trying to reduce food insecurity through an education program called, “Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget.” This bilingual outreach program will provide families with a video starring the new muppets and other educational materials conveying information to parents and caregivers on topics including: family meals, cooking on a budget and social and emotional issues. More information is suppose to be revealed about the Food for Thought program today and this Wednesday the new muppets with appear on Sesame Street.
I think it is wonderful that Sesame Street created the new muppets to entice children to make healthier choices! With that being said, why is a hamburger bun one of the healthy snacks? Was there no other whole grain that would look good being a muppet? I have never seen anyone sit down and have a hamburger bun for a snack!
Also, I know the word “superfoods” sounds cool and maybe adding capes to the muppets will make children like them more, but was using this term really necessary? Currently, there is not a scientific definition for superfoods. Superfoods are said to contain beneficial components that produce significant health benefits when consumed. At this moment, there is not a regulated labeling system for superfoods and consumers don’t have anyway of knowing if the foods they are buying actually contain high amounts of nutrients or if those nutrients are bioavailable or properly absorbed during digestion. The position of the American Dietetic Association states that, “the total diet or overall pattern of food eaten is the most important focus of a healthful eating style.” One or two single foods should not be the main focus of anyone’s diet in order to promote overall health, instead try eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support your overall health.
Where was Seasame Street’s creative department at? Were they not able to think up any other names to call these foods? I just wish they would have called them something else like Healthy Brigade or Healthy Healers instead of using the term “superfoods.”
What cool names can you come up with to call these foods?
Muppet Super Food photo credits: Richard Termine and Jennifer Rupnik