Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Monster to become Veggie Monster?

Last weekend, my little sister mentioned that the googly-eyed glutton on Sesame Street may be using his celebrity to fight the childhood obesity epidemic by trading in those chocolate chips for healthy servings of fruits and vegetables. As lovely - albeit drastic - as an idea as this is, it is not actually happening. Turns out, the rumor came about back in 2005 when producers decided to focus more strongly on sending positive health messages to their young viewers by adding segments about exercise and proper nutrition. Cookie Monster expanding his horizons to other food groups was just one part of the initiative.

PBS received letters and emails about the possible personality overhaul and an online petition even arose suggesting that folks boycott the "Veggie Monster" - but there was no such creature to protest. Can you picture the protestors on PBS's doorstep, though? Chanting: "C IS FOR COOKIE! THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!!!" stomping on bananas and snapping carrots over their knees? Too funny.

Anywho... Cookie Monster has since made appearances on the Today Show, Martha Stewart, and The Colbert Report to assure viewers that although he now enjoys an array of healthful snacks, cookies are still a part of his diet: "sometimes." The shift in the character's eating habits became a hot topic again last month when Sesame Street celebrated 40 years of programming (since November 10th 1969), making it the longest running children's program in television history.

So kudos to Sesame Street and their thoughtful initiatives. Cookie-lovers everywhere can calm down and rest assured that the Cookie Monster we know and love isn't going anywhere (thanks to a healthy, portion controlled, diverse diet).

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