Sunday, October 30, 2011

First Lady Says She "Confiscates" Daughters' Halloween Candy

Holiday treat indulgences should be time-limited, according to Mrs. Obama...
First Lady Michelle Obama has an easy parental solution to ensure that daughters Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10, don't overdose on the tons of candy they gather when they go trick-or-treating for Halloween. It's swift and easy: Mrs. Obama "confiscates" the girls' treat bags, she revealed during a recent roundtable interview with digital reporters. (Above: The First Couple hands out Halloween treats at the White House on Saturday night)

"What we do is we get that bag of candy, and I let them hang out with that bag for maybe a day or two, and then I confiscate it," Mrs. Obama said.

The First Daughters trick-or-treated in the DC area last year, and both dressed up as food: Malia was costumed as a Sour Patch Girl, while Sasha haunted the night as a turkey. But while they get to celebrate Halloween, the girls aren't allowed to participate in the time-honored tradition beloved by America's kids: Keeping their Halloween candy haul in their bedrooms.

"I confiscate it, because it's like, you just don't need to have this in your room; it's not good," Mrs. Obama said.

The First Lady is running a national campaign to combat childhood obesity, and she said the idea is that the girls should enjoy their sugar on Halloween without worrying about over indulging, but then the uneaten candy has to be removed.

"The temptation is too great," she said.

On Saturday, extra pieces of candy were added to White House goody bags for the Presidential Halloween celebration, after President Obama publicly worried that the mansion would "get egged" because Mrs. Obama insists on handing out dried fruit to celebrate the nation's biggest candy holiday. The treat bags included a scoop of dried fruit, a box of White House M&Ms with the Presidential seal, and a White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie, just as they did in 2009 and 2010. But packages of Reese's candy were added at the last minute to the treat bags, which were given out to thousands of invited kids.

Mrs. Obama's approach to holiday treats is all about balance, she said.

"If you make good choices every day—I tell this to my girls all the time—when it's time for the holidays and the fun stuff and the birthday parties, you don't have to worry about it because you're doing what you're supposed to be doing every single day."

No junk food in the Residence...
Mrs. Obama also revealed her approach to limiting her own junk food indulgences. Asked what she does to manage "midnight cravings," Mrs. Obama said that the kitchen pantry in the Residence is stocked with exactly what the President complained about: Dried fruit. The First Lady said she asks White House staff to keep "dried and fresh fruit, cereals, crackers, and nuts" available, and to put these in clear containers so they're easily visible and available.

"I'm a salty snack person," Mrs. Obama said. "So if a bag of chips were there, I'd eat the whole thing, so I just can't have it around. And I think the same thing is true for the kids. It's just tough temptation. So we try to put out healthy snacks in clear containers."

"I just tell them, 'Don't put junk in there,' because if it's there, it wouldn't even matter what it was," Mrs. Obama said, adding that she'd eat it.

The White House released the recipes for the Halloween cookies and for the dried fruit mix. The First Lady's forthcoming book, "American Grown," will offer readers plenty of healthy eating advice, as well as recipes and gardening tips.

Mrs. Obama's remarks about the First Family's eating habits came on Oct. 17, during her first-ever roundtable interview with writers from digital outlets, which was conducted in the White House. Twelve outlets were represented, including Yahoo's Shine, and iVillage, and MSNBC. (Above: The First Lady during the roundtable)

*Top photo by AP; second by Chuck Kennedy/White House