The First Lady, Elmo, and Rosita Partner to Encourage Healthy Food Choices for Kids

>>Mrs. Obama:
Well, welcome
to the White House. I’m thrilled to have
you all here today. As many of you know, last month,
we held the first ever White House Convening on food
marketing for children. And I stood in this exact room
in this exact same spot with representatives
from America’s leading companies
and organizations. And I issued a simple challenge:
I challenged those leaders to market food more
responsibly to our children. I challenged them
to use creative, innovative marketing strategies
to get our kids excited about healthy foods. And today, just six weeks later,
it is no surprise that Sesame Workshop
was the first organization to answer this call. Because that,
more than anything else, is Sesame Workshop’s mission:
To help our kids learn and grow and fulfill every last bit
of their potential. And that’s why,
nearly a decade ago, Sesame Workshop created
their Healthy Habits for Life initiative to teach kids about
healthy eating and exercise. And that is why, today, they’re
taking the unprecedented step of letting America’s produce
companies use Sesame Street Muppet characters to get kids
excited about eating fruits and vegetables, and they’re
doing this free of charge. Yes! [laughter and applause] Free! Yes, Mel, free. [applause] Right here in the pocketbook. Like that. [laughter] This is a huge deal, and I want
to take a moment to express my appreciation to Mel Ming and
everyone from Sesame Workshop for everything they are
doing for our children. You guys are phenomenal,
and it is always a pleasure and an honor to work with you. I also want to thank Larry
at PHA for their work on this initiative and so many
other important initiatives. You all have been phenomenal,
and I am so proud and so grateful. And of course, I want to
give a big thank you to Jan and to Bryan Silberman and the
Produce Marketing Association. Their members are already
hard at work preparing to deploy the Sesame Street
Muppet characters on behalf of fruits
and vegetables. You guys are ready
to roll, that’s good. [laughter] And these new efforts
are so incredibly important, because right now, when it comes
to marketing food to our kids, as you all know, the deck is
stacked against healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The average child watches
thousands of food advertisements each year, and 86 percent
of these ads are for products loaded with sugar, fat or salt. By contrast, our kids see an
average of just one ad — just one ad — a week for healthy
products like water and fruits and vegetables. Just one. And the ads that our kids are
seeing are highly effective, particularly those that feature
the TV and movie characters that our children have
come to love and adore. And you don’t have to
take my word for it. The research bares it out. In one study, researchers
gave children a choice between eating an
apple, a cookie or both. Surprisingly, the vast majority
of kids went for the cookies. I might do the same. [laughter] But when the researchers put
Elmo stickers on the apples and let the kids choose again, nearly double the number
of kids went for an apple. That’s right, just that little
Elmo sticker, the power of Elmo, was enough to get kids excited
about eating a healthy snack. So 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. Just imagine. Imagine. [laughter] Mel’s eyes are like, oh,
it’s going to be good. [laughter] 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. It can happen. That’s what this new
collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the
Produce Marketing Association is all about. It’s about showing our kids
that healthy food can be fun and that fruits and vegetables
just don’t make us feel good, but they also taste good. So this is a very
important step forward. But while Sesame
Workshop and PMA might be the first to answer our call, there is plenty
of work left to be done, and there are plenty
of different ways to show leadership on this issue. So I am looking forward to
celebrating more companies and more organizations as they step
up on behalf of our children. And today, we have
a very special surprise. I am thrilled to be
joined by two furry friends from Sesame Street — [laughter] — who will be playing
such an important role in this new effort. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you
Elmo and Rosita! [applause]>>Rosita: Hola!>>Elmo:
Hello, Hello Mrs. Obama! [laughter]>>Mrs. Obama:
It’s great to see you. Elmo, I love the tie. You dressed up for
our press conference.>>Rosita:
And I wore my pearls,
my mom’s pearls.>>Mrs. Obama:
Oh, my God, they’re beautiful.>>Elmo:
Can Elmo tell you a secret?>>Mrs. Obama:
Yes, please.>>Elmo:
It’s a clip-on.>>Mrs. Obama:
It’s a — oh, it’s a clip-on.>>Elmo:
It’s a clip-on.>>Mrs. Obama:
So, how do you guys feel
about getting kids pumped up and excited about
eating healthy foods?>>Elmo:
Oh, well, it’s wonderful. Elmo loves healthy foods. Yes, Elmo thinks that fruits
and vegetables are delicious.>>Rosita:
Yes, sí, sí, sí, me, too. And you know what? They help us grow
healthy and strong. Check out these muscles.>>Mrs. Obama:
Let me see your muscle. Let me see it.>>Elmo:
Oh, that’s a giant
muscle, Rosita. [laughter]>>Mrs. Obama:
It’s mighty, mighty. Oh, yes. Oh, Elmo, oh, your muscle,
too, is so powerful.>>Rosita:
Let me see your muscle. Oh. [laughter] Wow, strong.>>Elmo:
You know, Elmo eats lots
of fruits and vegetables every day, Mrs. Obama.>>Mrs. Obama:
That’s very good.>>Rosita:
Oh, that’s wonderful,
Elmo, because you know what?>>Elmo: What?>>Rosita:
Fruits and vegetables
are anytime foods.>>Mrs. Obama:
They are.>>Rosita:
You know what that means?>>Elmo: What?>>Rosita:
They’re so good for you that you
can eat them every single day. [laughter]>>Mrs. Obama:
All the time. All the time.>>Elmo:
You know what Elmo
loves about them, too?>>Mrs. Obama: What?>>Elmo:
They’re very colorful.>>Mrs. Obama:
They are pretty.>>Elmo:
Lots of different colors.>>Mrs. Obama: Yes.>>Rosita:
And the more colors
you eat, the better. Yes.>>Mrs. Obama:
Lots of colors are good.>>Elmo:
It’s like a rainbow of food.>>Mrs. Obama:
A rainbow of food.>>Rosita:
Beautiful rainbow.>>Elmo:
Can Mrs. Obama say it? A rainbow of food.>>Mrs. Obama:
A rainbow of food. [laughter] It’s beautiful.>>Elmo:
And even if some of
the foods are foods that Elmo’s never tried before, Elmo likes to try new foods
because they’re so colorful.>>Mrs. Obama:
That’s very good. I’m so proud of you.>>Rosita:
Yo también. Me, too.>>Mrs. Obama: Sí, sí.>>Elmo:
Yes, yes –>>Mrs. Obama:
And, Mrs. Obama?>>Mrs. Obama: Yes.>>Elmo:
What are some of
your favorite foods?>>Rosita:
Yes, tell us.>>Mrs. Obama:
Oh, I love sweet potatoes. I love broccoli. And you know what? I love them when
they’re put on a pizza. I love veggie pizza.>>Elmo:
Now, wait a minute,
wait a minute.>>Mrs. Obama: What?>>Elmo:
We’re talking about
healthy foods here, and you’re going to
put cheese on them?>>Rosita:
But it’s good. [laughter]>>Mrs. Obama:
Is that funny, Elmo?>>Elmo:
That’s hilarious.>>Mrs. Obama:
Veggie pizza is
very healthy for you.>>Rosita:
Do you know how you
say broccoli in Spanish?>>Elmo: How?>>Mrs. Obama: How?>>Rosita: Broccoli. [laughter]>>Mrs. Obama: Broccoli. That’s excellent. Well, these are all good foods,
and we’re going to help kids learn to love all the
fruits and vegetables. In fact, we actually have many
of these fruits and vegetables growing in our White
House Kitchen Garden. Yes.>>Elmo: Oh.>>Rosita: Really?>>Mrs. Obama:
And guess what?>>Elmo: What?>>Mrs. Obama:
We’ve got a bunch
of kids here today. They are out there
at the garden, and they’re going to help
us harvest our fruits and vegetables for the fall.>>Elmo:
Oh, really, really?>>Mrs. Obama:
Yes, yes.>>Elmo: Wow.>>Mrs. Obama:
And then we’re going to
cook a tasty meal for us all to share after we
harvest the vegetables.>>Elmo:
Oh, that’s very exciting.>>Rosita:
Oh, oh, this is good. Yes, yes!>>Mrs. Obama:
It’s going to be good. It’s going to be good. [laughter] So here’s the thing —
do you guys want to help?>>Rosita: Sí. Pero, claro que sí.>>Mrs. Obama:
Do you want to come
and help us harvest, and then eat with the kids?>>Elmo:
That sounds wonderful.>>Mrs. Obama:
All right, well then,
let’s get it done.>>Rosita:
Let’s get it done.>>Mrs. Obama:
Let’s Move. Let’s Move. Let’s Move. Let’s Move. Let’s Move. [applause] All right, I’ll see you guys. I’ll see you guys. Bye. [applause] I have to go change
to go out to the garden. I’ve got to beat
Elmo and Rosita. But thank you all for the
work that you’re doing. As you can see, we’ve got some
good ambassadors right here. I think this is going to help. So, once again, thank you
all, and we will see you soon. At the next press conference, we’re announcing
the next initiative, correct? All right, you all. Take care. [applause]

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