Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, is launching new bilingual resources to help families of all economic backgrounds foster healthy eating habits and increase nutritional literacy — the ability to access and understand information about food and nutrition.
With generous support from the Walmart Foundation, the Healthy Habits for All initiative features Chef Lily, Sesame Street Muppet and ambassador for healthy eating, and promotes accessible ways for caregivers to help children develop healthy relationships with food, including strategies for meal planning and making healthy, budget-friendly meals and snacks.
Sesame Workshop’s formative research findings revealed that COVID-19 and the corresponding financial stress experienced by families have made healthy foods much harder for many to afford. Healthy Habits for All was created to address these concerns by building upon Sesame Workshop’s existing library of Eating Well content to help families find new ways to access affordable food, build a balanced diet, and make groceries last. Available in English and Spanish at www.sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/eating, the new content bundle includes:
Two short documentaries featuring real families: In Making Leftovers Last: The Alicea-Eiras Family, one family shares how they “stretch” their groceries to make different delicious meals throughout the week; In Healthy Food Can Be Fun: The Tran Family, Micah, his friend Lana, and his mom Katie show Chef Lily how they work together to plan ahead and make food fun.
In Chef Lily’s Tip: Cheers to Fruit & Veggies, Lily demonstrates her favorite way to make a yummy and nutritious smoothie.
A new storybook, Summer Sips, illustrates creative and delicious ways to encourage kids to drink more water, especially during hot summer months.
Printables, including a resource list of organizations that support low-income families in finding affordable and healthy food as well as tips on how to freeze food properly to make it last.
Three articles for parents and caregivers: Nutritional Milestones presents age-by-age information and tips; Choosy Eaters offers ways to encourage children to try different foods; and Healthy Choices in Fast Food Restaurants suggests strategies for healthy eating when on a budget or on the go.
“Families deserve access to safe and healthy food, and it is important for parents to feel empowered to build healthy eating habits together with their children,” says Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Sesame Workshop. “We recognize how difficult and overwhelming it may be to help children make healthier eating choices, especially for families impacted by financial stress, and Sesame Workshop is here to provide guidance and support, so children and their families know that they’re never alone.”
“The Healthy Habits for All initiative seeks to empower children and families to make healthier choices, which is crucial to the health and well-being of communities,” said Eileen Hyde, Senior Director of Community Resilience, Walmart.org. “The Walmart Foundation supports programs that are evidence-backed, scalable and culturally relevant, and we’re excited to see the impact these bilingual resources will make in communities across the country as families put the learnings into practice.”
In addition to being available for free to families and providers online, new resources will be distributed through Sesame Street in Communities’ on-the-ground partners. Since launching in 2015, Sesame Street in Communities has provided easy-to-use tools for community providers and caregivers to support families on topics ranging from resilience to school readiness—helping children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder every day.