Wednesday, August 10, 2005

C is for Cookie...

O is for Obesity...
P is for Parent...

Q is for Quick....think about how...

R is for Ridiculous if you think...
T is for Television....
S is for educating your kids about healthy eating!

Recently, in the news at ABC News, it was reported that Sesame Street Workshop is now promoting their "Healthy Habits" program in order to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity. By introducing this new health focus into their programming, they hope to educate children about the benefits of eating healthy and making good food choices.

In fact, they are using the beloved muppet, Cookie Monster, and reducing his cookie intake. Cookie Monster has also changed his tune from "C is for Cookie" to "Cookie is a Sometimes Snack."

Sacrilege you say?

I grew up watching this lively program and now I have my own child; he too will watch this program as he enters toddlerhood. While Cookie Monster was not my favorite - I was partial to Oscar the Grouch - don't ask! - I did enjoy seeing this cookie eating monster delight in his love for cookies. Hey, haven’t we all?

Let's be honest though, I was a 3-year old and at any opportunity, a cookie monster wannabe as well. But it was not because of the show or the furry blue muppet. No, the truth is, I was a kid and kids love cookies!

Lucky for me I wasn't allowed cookies whenever I wanted them. You see, I credit my parents with having the sense to know when to say "no" to my childhood whims and desires for a large assortment of less than healthy foods. Children simply make eating decisions based on one main thing - does it taste good? Good for them or not, if it tastes good, it appeals to a child.

While it might be comforting to think that the childhood obesity epidemic is caused by the giddy song of the Cookie Monster, the fact remains it is parents who decide what a toddler (the audience for Sesame Street) eats.

A television show is simply not the reason our children are growing fatter - what we're feeding them is the direct cause!

To be honest, I think the producers of Sesame Street are doing a good job, putting together solid programming for small children. I also believe they have good intentions with their decision to try to encourage a greater awareness of healthy eating habits. The problem is and remains however, that parents are typically not watching these programs with their children to reinforce the messages.

Add to that the fact that a televsion does not dispense cookies to a child - it is the parents who are the ones bringing the food into the house and feeding it to their children. Does anyone really think a 3-year-old will tell mom, who has just offered up a cookie, "No, I don't want a cookie, I want some broccoli florets with dip," at snacktime?

Sesame Street didn't cause obesity in children thirty years ago, or twenty years ago, or even ten years ago - to think that suddenly today, the Cookie Monster, who has been an integral part of the show for decades, is now somwhow responsible for causing obesity is silly - to think that Cookie Monster, not parents, will motivate children to eat less cookies in favor of fruits or vegetables is ridiculous.

After all, parents are the ones who buy the food and make the snack decisions for their little ones, not Cookie Monster!

Maybe Big Bird can come up with a tune for parents - P is for Parent, you've got a lot at stake...R is for Responsibility, that's what you need to take...

1 comment:

  1. These people are nuts. They should leave Cookie Monster alone! I love him!
    (Although Ernie and Bert were my first loves ;-)