Michelle Obama to promote gardening on "Sesame Street"

LOS ANGELES Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:37pm EDT

First Lady Michelle Obama is shown in this undated publicity photograph as she plants a garden on ''Sesame Street'' with characters Big Bird and Elmo. ''Sesame Street'', the world’s largest informal children’s educator, celebrates its 40th birthday on November 10, 2009 with Obama's appearance on the show. REUTERS/Richard Termine/Handout

First Lady Michelle Obama is shown in this undated publicity photograph as she plants a garden on ''Sesame Street'' with characters Big Bird and Elmo. ''Sesame Street'', the world’s largest informal children’s educator, celebrates its 40th birthday on November 10, 2009 with Obama's appearance on the show.

Credit: Reuters/Richard Termine/Handout

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is to kick off the 40th anniversary season of the children's TV show "Sesame Street" with a segment encouraging kids to plant gardens and eat healthy food.

Obama, who is planting a fruit and vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House, will appear in the November10 season debut of "Sesame Street" -- the educational show for kids that is broadcast in more than 120 countries around the world.

Producers said on Tuesday that Obama will teach the furry "residents" of Sesame Street about the benefits of growing a garden and healthy living, and will show children how to plant tomato, cucumber and lettuce seeds.

"All these seeds need to grow are sun, soil and water. If you eat these healthy foods, you're going to grow up to be big and strong, like me," Obama says.

"I know you're going to like these vegetables, because in addition to being healthy, they really taste great!"

The new season will highlight a two-year science initiative on "Sesame Street" called "My World is Green & Growing." The show is broadcast on public television in the United States.

Michelle Obama in March broke ground on the first fruit and vegetable garden at the White House since World War Two. The 1,100 sq ft garden will grow some 50 fruits and vegetables for use in the White House kitchen.

Other celebrities due to make "Sesame Street" guest appearances in the 40th season include actresses Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria-Parker, British comedy actor Ricky Gervais and U.S. basketball star Kobe Bryant.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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