First Lady Touts Subway's ‘Sandwich Artists’

By Penny Starr | January 23, 2014 | 3:22 PM EST

First lady Michelle Obama . (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( – First Lady Michelle Obama announced on Thursday that the Subway restaurant chain is changing its children’s menu and marketing plan to “promote healthier choices,” including training “sandwich artists to encourage kids to choose apples.”

As part of Subway’s three-year commitment to support the Partnership for a Healthier America as part of Obama’s “Let’s Move” childhood obesity campaign, the chain will push more fruits and vegetables, including in its marketing strategy for children, which includes a “Playtime Powered by Veggies” campaign.

Subway will “focus all kid-focused in-store merchandising and marketing on only the healthier options available in its restaurants,” the press release issued by the White House stated. “This includes training materials which will be updated to teach Sandwich artists to encourage kids to choose apples.”

Sandwich artist is the title the corporation uses for workers in their establishments, according to its website.

(AP Photo)

“I’m excited about these initiatives not just as a First Lady, but also as a mom,” Obama said in the press release. “Subway's kids' menu makes life easier for parents, because they know that no matter what their kids order, it’s going to be a healthy choice.”

“Ending childhood obesity is a cause that has been near and dear to Subway since we introduced the Fresh Fit for Kids Meals in 2007,” Suzanne Greco, vice president of R&D and Operations for Subway said in the press release. “With this partnership with PHA (Partnership for a Healthier America), we will now reach millions of kids as part of a healthier eating education campaign, making it our largest outreach campaign to date.

“From a sign on each restaurant’s door that says ‘Playtime Powered by Veggies’ to a video collaboration with Disney’s The Muppets, we will build upon our ongoing efforts to create even better choices for families.”

Aside from its marketing strategy for kids, Subway also announced two additional components of its pledge:

• Only offer items on its kid’s menus that meet strong nutritional guidelines informed by federal standards for the national school lunch program, including offering apples as a side and low-fat or non-fat milk or water as a default beverage.

•  Deliver $41 million in media value in the next three years to market healthier options to children and families, with a specific focus on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.