First lady enlists Sesame Street to promote healthy eating

Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita joined Michelle Obama at the White House on Wednesday to announce that the muppets would start promoting fruit and vegetable consumption for kids.

And companies will be able to use the beloved characters for free.

“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” Obama said. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips."

Under the agreement, the Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) growers, supplies and retailers can use Sesame Workshop characters like Big Bird, Elmo and Abby Cadabby without paying a licensing fee to promote fruits and veggies.

The characters may be on produce in stores as early as mid-2014.

The PMA is a trade group with about 2,500 members worldwide in the production, retail, distribution and foodservice sectors of the fruit, vegetable and floral industries.

The announcement follows the White House's first ever meeting on food marketing to children, where Obama urged companies not to use their beloved characters to market junk food.

It's all part of her signature Let's Move anti-childhood obesity initiative.

After her remarks at the White House, the first lady sat down with Elmo and Rosita to talk about her favorite vegetables. She listed sweet potatoes and broccoli, adding that she loved them on pizza.

"I love veggie pizza," she said. "Veggie pizza is very healthy for you."

Obama also gamely showed off her famous biceps, after Elmo remarked veggies help your muscles grow and them implored the first lady to show off her muscles.