The U.S. Department of Agriculture has teamed with the creators of the "Sesame Street" television program for a multimedia project aimed at helping low-income families cope with limited access to affordable and nutritious food.

USDA, Sesame Street team up for nutrition education

Richard Termine

Elmo and Super Grover pose with the four healthy food groups: fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains as part of "Sesame Street"’s Food For Thought initiative.


Known as “Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget,” the initiative will provide families with an educational resource kit, including a video featuring the debut of four Sesame Street Muppets, the “Super Foods,” the USDA said in a Dec. 7 news release.

The project is designed to educate families on achieving a balanced and healthy diet through nutritionally sound foods that are easier to access and are good for child development, according to the release. Additionally, the project will provide information about locally available resources and programs for healthier foods.

“Tackling hunger and obesity will require us to use the most innovative outreach methods, and when it comes to connecting with kids across America Sesame Work-shop has lead the way for decades,” USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said in the release.

“Reaching these goals requires cooperation at all levels — parents, teachers, schools, community and faith-based organizations, businesses and elected officials,” Concannon said.

In recent years, the government has stepped up efforts to promote healthier eating and exercise amid growing concern over childhood obesity. Last month, First lady Michelle Obama launched an initiative to put at least 6,000 salad bars in the nation’s schools, part of her “Let’s Move!” campaign to encourage child to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The Food for Thought video features Elmo and friends, along with real families as they try new foods, learn about the importance of healthy snacks and discover that sharing a meal together is a perfect opportunity to connect as a family.

About 400,000 kits will be distributed through UnitedHealthcare, the Merck Foundation, and organizations including National WIC Association, Feeding America, Head Start, Meals on Wheels.

Sesame Street is part of Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization based in New York.