In a way, the realities of quarantine life have turned us all into junk food-eating cookie monsters. But there’s no substitute for the real Cookie Monster, especially for parents of desperate, sugar-fueled children who have been trapped inside for weeks.
Luckily, the Jim Henson creation has some valuable wisdom to offer that’s perfect for the current moment. As part of Sesame Street’s “Caring for Each Other” slate of weekly pandemic-themed programming for kids and parents, the blue, googly-eyed fan of baked goods is hosting a weekly “Snack Chat” from quarantine that aims to teach kids how to snack responsibly so they avoid forming the same eating habits that most adults in quarantine have already.
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In the first episode, introducing the seemingly-self produced series, Cookie Monster walks us through the process of proper snacking, which would appear to center on a multi-sensory, mindfulness-based approach. Step 1: Admire your snack. Step 2: Smell your snack. Step 3: Eat your snack.
While you can’t completely take cookies away from Cookie Monster without depriving the creature of his very essence and purpose, the classic Sesame Street character proposes mixing in more healthful fruits and veggies alongside a “sometimes snack” like chocolate chip cookies. Fittingly, the second installment of Snack Chat finds Cookie Monster sharing a simple strawberry smoothie recipe that can trick children into adopting some healthier eating habits.
These episodes make up just one facet of Sesame Street’s broader content meant to help parents and reassure kids during what’s obviously a stressful and confusing time. Presumably, Oscar the Grouch has been elevated to the status of role model and central character given his natural inclination for staying home and strong commitment to social distancing.
Though it might seem weird, childless adults probably have the most to learn from Cookie Monster if data about our shifting quarantine habits are any indication. I’m not sure how he’d handle a Snack Chat episode about not drinking while you work from home, but here’s to hoping.
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