Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Serious Fun And Serious Challenges At The Healthy Kids Fair At The White House Today

A First Lady hula hooping on the South Lawn was almost as unimaginable 9 months ago as healthier school lunches...
ObFo has just returned from the scorchingly hot South Lawn of the White House, where First Lady Michelle Obama gave another terrific food policy speech during the Healthy Kids Fair--although it seems likely that Mrs. Obama hula hooping barefoot with a bunch of visiting school kids (above) is going to get the most attention for the next media cycle (as will her double dutch jump-roping).

Secretary of Agriculure Tom Vilsack also gave a swell speech, and they collectively threw down the gauntlet and issued a challenge to America's schools to do better--much better--in terms of providing children with a lot more physical activity and much better school lunches--and details will follow in the next post (Photo: Mrs. Obama and Sec. Vilsack at the start of the event).

All the White House Chefs and some very special guest chefs--Koren Grieveson of Chicago and Todd Gray of DC's Equinox, as well as Food Network's Ellie Krieger--gave healthy cooking demos during the event, too (but none of them hula hooped).

It was one excellent, unexpected afternoon of serious fun, with a range of activities for the kids, including a bounce house and an obstacle course--and some serious food and health policy. Above: Mrs. Obama watches as Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass help a child volunteer make a healthy baked egg dish during one of the cooking demos. Sec. Vilsack is hidden behind Chef Comerford's toque.

*Update, 6:00 PM: As predicted, Mrs. Obama hula hooping takes the day in Big and here and here, in which AP actually counted the number of rotations of the hoop (142!)...