Mom-in-Chief advice for child health initiatives in sequester-era America: "We have to get creative regardless of resources"...
First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday morning hit all the high notes from last week's third anniversary tour for her childhood obesity initiative as she chatted from the Blue Room via livestream during her first-ever Let's Move! Google+ "Fireside Hangout." Mrs. Obama spoke about her own family and doled out budget-savvy Mom-in-Chief advice
about healthy eating, school meals, and fitness as she
spotlighted some of the newest projects for her campaign, including the
Let's Move! Active Schools initiative and the MyPlate Recipe Partnership. (Above, a White House photo of Mrs. Obama during the chat)
Participants joining the First
Lady onscreen were handpicked by the White House, and included a New York Times bestselling author, though the White House last week invited citizens to submit video questions to be included in the event. Talk-show host Kelly Ripa moderated the
conversation by a separate video feed; the chat began at 11:10 AM and lasted a little more than
half an hour, airing on the White House Google+ page and Let's Move! YouTube channel, where just over 2,700 people tuned in.
Asked about how she discusses health and weight with her daughters, Mrs. Obama said Malia, now 14, and Sasha, now 11, faced weight challenges when they were younger, and she took action to get them to eat healthier food and to exercise. The story has long been a staple of the First Lady's Let's Move! narrative, and on Monday she said the conversation with her children didn't include specifics about poundage or numbers.
"I never talked about weight in the household, we just started making changes," Mrs. Obama said.
She said she filled the cupboards with healthier foods so the girls could learn to make the right choices, and then tried to make physical fitness fun.
"We don’t want to make it about how they look, we want to make it about how they feel," she said.
The First Lady added that she often turns on music and dances with the girls--a cost-free way to exercise. Finding cost-free ways to do anything related to child health is crucial in the era of sequester, whether at home or at school, Mrs. Obama said.
"We have to get creative regardless of resources."
To that end--"go outside, roll in the snow, roll down some hills, have a snowball fight," Mrs. Obama advised a group of third graders who participated from Maine (clad in their Sunday best, and seated with their teacher).
Prospective participants for the chat were invited to submit questions by Feb. 28; 631 people
submitted 117 questions and cast 4,561 votes on the Let's Move! YouTube Channel. The White House released the names and brief bios of those who appeared onscreen with Mrs. Obama:
Millner, a New York Times bestselling author and the founder of the
blog, MyBrownBaby.com. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their
*Lexi Croft, a mother from Wyoming and an avid member of parenting communities on Google+.
*Brad Lowery, a father of three from North Carolina. Brad works in the health care field, and regularly hosts health and fitness hangouts on Google+.
*Kishan Shah, a New York native who works in the financial industry. He's also an advocate for kids, inspiring them to live healthier lives.
*Mrs. McGuiness's third grade class joining us from Brewer Community School in Brewer, Maine. The class has recently been learning all about health and fitness.
*CLICK HERE FOR LINKS to all posts about the third anniversary of Let's Move! CLICK HERE for links to all Let's Move! posts.
*Photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House