Cookie Monster Hasn’t Turned into Veggie Monster…But He Does Eat a Balanced Diet

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Rumor has it that Cookie Monster is turning into a health-crazed Veggie Monster in an effort to combat childhood obesity. This isn’t the case, but Cookie Monster isn’t quite what he used to be, either. The Big Change in cookie monster actually occurred in 2005, but the rumor has found its way back to the Web. CBS reported the scoop three years ago:

My beloved blue, furry monster — who sang “C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me” — is now advocating eating healthy. There’s even a new song — “A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food,” where Cookie Monster learns there are “anytime” foods and “sometimes” foods.

“What’s going on with Cookie Monster?” I asked the “Sesame Street” press office. “Why are you doing this?”

They sent me to Dr. Rosemarie T. Truglio, the show’s vice president of research and education.

She said the show changes every year, focusing not just on teaching numbers and letters but also emotional and physical health. With the rise in childhood obesity, Truglio said “Sesame Street” is concentrating on the need to teach children about healthy foods and physical activity.

Truglio said “Sesame Street” also will introduce new characters, such as talking eggplants and carrots, and offer parodies, such as “American Fruit Stand.” Even guest stars will address healthy activities, such as Alicia Keys talking and singing about the importance of physical activity.

Even politicians have gotten into the act, filming public service announcements with “Sesame Street” residents. In one taping, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist taught Elmo to exercise — jumping up and down. In another, Sen. Hillary Clinton and the small red monster discuss the various textures and tastes of foods.

“Even Cookie Monster is learning to control his cookie cravings,” Frist told me by e-mail. “His sage advice opened our eyes to the simple joys of a tasty cookie and now reminds us that moderation is the key to healthy living.”

“Cookiegate” was just another chapter in a long tradition of social forces intervening in kids’ shows. More recently, Disney recalled Baby Einstein DVDs after consumer groups claimed that exposing kids to TV at an early age hampered play in favor of corporate brainwashing. Sid the Science Kid is now pushing H1N1 flu shots, thanks to a multimillion dollar government PR campaign.

The big question is: Does this stuff work? It has to, to some extent. Companies like McDonald’s fatten kids by luring them in with attractive Happy Meals. Surely Cookie Monster and talking vegetables can make healthy food look less nasty to young ‘uns, too. But parents remain the bottom line. Social propoganda campaigns remain peripheral to the lifestyle parents encourage their kids to live.

Personally, I’d rather see reams of money being pushed into organizations that promote better parenting. If parents are responsible, TV won’t ever have the final say.

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  • ptutor

    This indeed brings the nostalgia to a lot of people world wide, not sure if kids nowadays would appreciate the good ole sesame street gang if they are always tune to Youtube or facebook playing mafia wars. =)

    http://bit.ly/my-sesame-street

  • Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  • No way, i hope this is just a rumor. I would be very upset if they changed Cookie Monster

  • simone

    No, Cookie Monster should stay as he always has been. Eating cookies!

  • Cream

    Why would they make talking veggies then the kids would be scared to put a veggie in thier mouth because what if the food just starts talking to them while it’s in thier mouth

  • “Social propoganda campaigns remain peripheral to the lifestyle parents encourage their kids to live.”
    That is an excellent and succinct sentence. Very nice post. Thank you for sharing.

  • Delia

    I don’t care the cookie monster should stay the same!!!

  • Kyo

    It’s not Cookie Monsters fault, it’s the parent’s fault. My mom signed me up for swim lessons when i was a kid so i would stay in shape or took me out to the park, now adays we have amazing videogames and more interesting websites that will keep children glued to the screen. I think parents need to moderate videogames and playing outside and cut back on happy meals and pizza.

  • celey

    cookie monster i grew up with him armarmarmarmarm you used to to make that noise veggies are not a way to encourge kids to leard the alphabet

  • LoveEternity

    Kids can’t have have cookies? It’s not the cookies that are the problem it’s some of the parents and the new technology. Video games, iPods, tv, computer…kids just aren’t working out and less active it’s not just the sugar and treats

  • A&A

    Think of all the 2 year olds out there that are absolutely in love with cookie monster…wouldn’t they be devastated to have their blue, furry friend change his personality and color just because some(not all) children are obese. At one point we were all 2 and watched Sesame Street just to see this lovable blue monster in action, either singing or gobbling up his cookies. By the way wouldn’t the children get mad at the veggies and fruits for changing all he “lived” for!!! And what’s up with the color change anyway? You CANNOT take the cookie from the monster!!!

  • Well, this ruined my child hood.

  • Dan

    Isn’t it really the parents fault for child obesity? why are they saying it’s a tv shows fault? If the parents wanted their kids to eat vegetables and be more healthier, than take them away from the tv! Let them get some fresh air, play some board games with them. That’s how I grew up, but yes I did watch sesame street and I did eat cookies but only like one a day. If they are seriously going to blame the tv show, they should realize that you’re giving your kids cookies not a sesame street character. Make another character to talk about veggies and bring back cookie monster!

  • debra franks

    why does the “Cookie Monster” have to take the rap for obesity in children? lets look at some of this, the de beat dads who dont take care of their kids which means the moms have to work hiney’s off and when they get home from work there tired and either get fast food or make a quick un-healthy meal persay for their kids.The kids cant play like they did in old school days hopscotch,skatebording, riding their bikes,jump they have to stay in the house alot because its not even safe to play in their own front yard……theres alot of reason why the “Cookie Monster” doesnt have to take the blame.! or take the RAP

  • debra franks

    I have 5 grown kids 1 has a weight problem. 15 grandchildren 1 has has a weight problem.TV does have alot to do with weight problems, anorexia and obesity.can’t mention names or get sued:) the only thing i see is the mess Cookie Monster makes.LOL LETS GET A GRIP