Superhero Vegetable Puppets Teach Healthy Eating

Roger, a man who lives in Brooklyn, enters a refrigerator with a talking carrot. They are transported from his home in New York City to a farm in Pawling, NY hoping to collect ingredients for a last minute Thanksgiving side dish.

This is a scene from Super Sprowtz RAW, a new YouTube cooking channel for children that teaches healthy eating with animated vegetable puppets. Kids watch Roger go on adventures with his superhero vegetable friends such as Colby Carrot with his super sight, Brian Broccoli with his super strength and Erica Eggplant with her super smarts just to name a few of the characters on the show. The cast and their celebrity guests learn about vegetables and prepare meals together on each episode.

Radha Agrawal is the founder of Super Sprowtz and the co-founder of Wild (formerly Slice), an organic, gluten-free pizza restaurant in New York City. When she was working at Wild, she noticed that children were more likely to choose vegetable toppings on their pizza if she gave vegetables personalities and stories.

Her success is also supported by research. Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and Super Sprowtz studied 10 public elementary schools across five boroughs in New York City, according to the Huffington Post. The study tested how likely children visited their cafeteria’s salad bar if they were surrounded by media. Super Sprowtz characters were displayed on the bars and short video clips of the show ran on tv monitors.

“Our program generated a 250% increase in kids eating their veggies by turning the salad bar into a fun, interactive environment for children!” according to the Super Sprowtz website.

The results were so successful the New York City Department of Education wants to build 100 similarly designed salad bars in various elementary schools in the city.

"You really can't underestimate the power of storytelling," said Agrawal in a press release. “It is support like this from thoughtful organizations who are taking a stand around health and nutrition for the next generation that will really change the game around childhood obesity.”

Watch new episodes of Super Sprowtz RAW every Thursday on YouTube.