As a mom, I was thrilled to hear the news that Sesame Street was going to kick off the multi-year campaign, "Healthy Habits for Life" this season. With concerns about childhood obesity on the rise, Sesame Street has answered the call to educate our children about health concerns. What do these health-conscious new shows entail? According to Sesame Street's website, the new season includes, "storylines that guide preschoolers and their caregivers through lessons related to healthy eating, the importance of active play and other key activities such as hygiene and rest." Elmo, Oscar, Big Bird, all our favorite Sesame Street friends will be involved. Even Cookie Monster will teach kids with a new song, "A Cookie is a Sometimes Treat."
The Disney Channel is also helping inspire children to go on a health kick. "The Wiggles" counsels kids to eat healthy food and promotes health with songs such as, "Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy." "Jo-Jo's Circus" encourages kids to get off the couch to dance and move. Also, kids will see cartoon shorts about choosing healthy snacks, such as an apple, over candy and other less healthy choices.
On Nickelodeon, health-conscious parents can direct their kids to several shows which promote physical activity and healthy eating. "Dora the Explorer" encourages kids to get up and move during the show. Another show with a great role model is "Lazy Town." The super hero of the new kids show, Sportacus, is an athlete who can be defeated if he eats sugar. While the villain, Robbie Rotten, is known for being lazy. "Lazy Town" can also be seen on the children's network NOGGIN.
Programs such as these, which emphasize healthy eating and exercise, can be a great tool to spark conversations with kids about leading a healthy lifestyle. Even better, parents can use kids' favorite characters to encourage their children to eat healthy foods. I seem to remember my mom always bringing up something about Popeye and spinach.