In May 2009, Obama visited the set of Sesame Street, where she recorded a PSA about healthy eating and nutrition with Elmo. She also filmed a segment for Episode 4187 with Elmo and the Kids (including Fatima Ptacek) about planting a garden to grow fresh vegetables. Visiting the U.S. Mission to the United Nations later that day, she talked about her experience: "I never thought I'd be on Sesame Street with Elmo and Big Bird and I was thrilled. I'm still thrilled. I'm on a high. I think it's probably the best thing I've done at the White House." She and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, visited the Kaufman Astoria Studios, unofficially, in March 2010.
Obama was not the first First Lady to visit Sesame Street. Barbara Bush read a book with Big Bird and the Count in 1990, Hillary Clinton talked to Big Bird and Rosita about healthy living tips in 1993, and Laura Bush read a book with Big Bird and Elmo in 2003.
Obama also appeared with cast members of Sesame Street during the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll.
Kermit the Frog appeared at the White House for The National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on December 1, 2011, and read "A Visit from St. Nicholas" with Mrs. Obama, which was broadcast on PBS stations nationwide.
In 2013, Big Bird appeared with Mrs. Obama in two PSAs for her childhood health initiative, Let's Move!
On October 30, 2013, Obama was joined by Elmo and Rosita to announce that Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in a two-year agreement to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids.
In 2015, Michelle Obama appeared on Billy on the Street with Big Bird to promote healthy eating.
Elmo and Rosita joined Michelle Obama to help harvest the White House Kitchen Garden at an event on October 6, 2016.
In 2019, Michelle Obama was honored at the Sesame Workshop Benefit Gala, receiving the Joan Ganz Cooney Award for her work with children. In her acceptance speech, Obama lauded the show and its enduring impact, and remembered her first visit to the set with her daughters. She concluded "As a child of Sesame Street, as a mother, as a partner, and as an unabashed believer in the magic you've created, I cannot thank you enough for what you all do. Congratulations again on fifty years of history, and I think we can all agree here's to fifty more." (Video)