Full Text Obama Presidency April 21, 2014: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Remarks at the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

The 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll

Remarks by the President and the First Lady at the Easter Egg Roll

Source:  WH, 4-21-14

Watch the Video

South Lawn

10:34 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, hello everybody.  Is everybody having fun?  (Applause.)  Happy Easter.  This is the biggest event that we have at the White House all year long and it is our most fun event, because we have a chance to see families from all across the country coming through here.  My main and only job, other than officiating over the roll at some point, is to introduce, alongside the Easter Bunny, the person who makes this all possible — we love her dearly — my wife, the First Lady, Michelle Obama.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, honey. Hey, everybody.  Happy Easter Egg Roll Day.  Isn’t this exciting?  It is so wonderful to have so many of you here today.  We are celebrating the 136th Easter Egg Roll.  The theme of this year’s roll is “Hop Into Health, Swing Into Shape.”  Yes, I love it.

And it’s going to be a great day.  We have beautiful weather, because the Easter Egg Roll is blessed.  And we’re going to have fun stuff going on.  We’ve got the Egg Roll.  We’ve got some storytelling.  We’ve got entertainment.  We’ve got wonderful athletes and performers like Cam and so many others.  We’ve got obstacle courses and yoga and face painting and egg hunts.  It’s just going to be terrific.  As Barack said, we love this event.  This is the largest event that we do here on the South Lawn.  We’re going to have more than 30,000 people on the lawn today.

And we’re just thrilled that this theme is focusing on one issue that is near and dear to my heart, and it’s making sure that our young people are active and healthy.  So while you’re here, parents, look around.  You’re going to learn how to make healthy snacks that the kids will actually eat.  I’m going to be over there on the chef’s stage doing some demonstrations.

And I want to make sure that kids know that healthy eating and being active can be fun, because what today is about is having a whole lot of fun.  And I hope you all do that, because we want our kids to be the healthiest and the strongest they can be, so they can do well in school and live up to all of their God-given potential.  Isn’t that right, parents?  That’s what we want for you all.  (Applause.)

And we want to thank the Easter Bunny, as always, for being here.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the hundreds of volunteers who make today possible.  (Applause.)  Thank you to our volunteers who have been out here setting up the South Lawn, who are going to make sure you guys get through these activities and have a great time.

So you all just enjoy.  That’s all you have to do from this point on, is have fun.  And we’ll be down there to participate in the Egg Roll.  The President is going to read.  I’m going to read a little bit.  So we’ll meet you down on the South Lawn, okay?

All right.  Have a great time.  Bye-bye.  (Applause.)

END
10:39 A.M.

Political Musings February 21, 2014: Michelle Obama celebrates Let’s Move’s fourth anniversary on Jimmy Fallon

POLITICAL MUSINGS

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=500&h=80?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

First Lady Michelle Obama embarked on a media tour to celebrate the fourth anniversary of her health, nutrition, and exercise movement for America’s youth, Let’s Move on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 visiting the New Museum in…READ MORE

Political Musings February 3, 2014: Michelle Obama talks Scandal, Valentine’s Day, health care with Ryan Seacrest

POLITICAL MUSINGS

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=500&h=80?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

While President Barack Obama embarked on his two-day economic opportunity policy tour, First Lady Michelle Obama went on her own official trip fundraising in California from Wednesday, Jan. 29 to Friday, January 31, 2014. While on the trip to…Continue

Full Text Obama Presidency August 20, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama & President Barack Obama’s Speeches at First-Ever Kids’ State Dinner

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts First-Ever Kids’ State Dinner

Source: WH, 8-20-12

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the first-ever Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House, welcoming 54 budding chefs to a formal luncheon in the East Room. The guests, all between the ages of 8 and 12, represent all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

Each of the guests, along with their parents, submitted a healthy recipe as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, which invited families to create an original lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable and delicious, and follows the nutritional guidelines of MyPlate.

“Believe it or not, more than 1,200 kids submitted recipes for this challenge — 1,200.  It’s a big competition,” the First Lady said.  A panel of judges from the organizations that teamed up with Mrs. Obama on this initiative — Epicurious, the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture—tasted each of the recipes that made it to the final round of the competition and picked their favorites from each state, as Mrs. Obama explained.

And they spent hours trying to decide which ones were the healthiest and the tastiest and the most fun to cook and eat.  And it wasn’t easy to choose one winner from every single state.  You were the winner in your state — the whole state.  You guys won!  Cool!

But you’re here because your recipes truly stood out, right?  And that’s really saying something.  You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients; dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too.  See?  It can happen — healthy and tasty at the same time.

The junior chefs and their parents enjoyed several of the judges’ selections at lunch, including a Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Salad created by 11-year-old Haile Thomas of Arizona, Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes, created by 12-year-old Rori Coyne of Kansas.  There was even dessert: a Strawberryana Smoothie, created by 11-year-old Stefani Shimomura-Sakamoto who came all the way from Hawaii.

Not one to be left out of all the fun, President Obama stopped by to surprise the guests, and told all the young people how proud he was of their hard work.

Look, let’s face it, I don’t cook that often these days. But I remember cooking and it’s not always easy to make something that people like to eat. Then for you guys to actually come up with recipes that are healthy and tasty, and to do it in a way that helps to contribute to spreading the word about healthy eating among your peers — that’s a really big deal.

So we’re very proud of you.  We’re very impressed with everything that you’ve done.

Remarks by the First Lady at Kids’ State Dinner

East Room

11:49 A.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, that was really sweet, it really was.  Marshall, we’re so proud of you.  We’re so very proud of you and your mom, who actually has some serious guns going on, too.  (Laughter.)  People talk about my arms, but I felt them.  They’re not — (laughter) — she’s no slouch.

But I want to welcome everyone to the White House.  Is this not cool?  (Laughter and applause.)  This is just so very cool.  And understand it’s not just cool for all of you.  I mean, this house has been abuzz with this event.  I think this is one of the best events that we’ve ever had here — our very first ever Kids’ State Dinner.  So, so awesome.

And I want to start by thanking all of the staff, everyone who helped put together this gorgeous room, the tablecloths, the chairs.  This stuff isn’t normally here.  They brought this in for you.  Did you notice the centerpieces on the table?  Everything was thought out to the nth of detail; down to the little drink classes and your programs.  And it’s just so wonderful, so I want to thank everyone who put so much time and effort into making this day special.

Again, I want to thank Marshall for that very sweet introduction.  He is an outstanding role model, truly, for kids in this country.  And we are so proud of him, we’re so proud of his family, because, again, you often can’t do this alone.  You need some kind of support for young people to get on the right track.  So we’re just grateful that he is now one of those leaders, has written a book and is going to do some magnificent stuff in the future.  So congratulations, Marshall.  (Applause.)

And, of course, I want to thank Epicurious for their tremendously generous support of this event.  Through their efforts to make today possible, they’ve inspired kids across this country to learn about healthy eating and to get in the kitchen and start cooking.  Right?  For how many people was this was the first cooking you’ve done?  You guys are old hands, though.  (Laughter.)  You guys are always in the kitchen.  You are going to inspire some kids to get in the kitchen, just understand that.

This is exactly the kind of leadership that we need to give all of our kids the healthy futures they deserve.  So I want to thank Tanya as well as the folks from the Departments of Education and Agriculture, too, as well — we’ve got representatives here — for working so incredibly hard to make today such a success.

And, of course, we’ve got some special guests coming up.  I want to thank them in advance.  My guys of the group Big Time Rush — they’re coming out to perform.  They are incredible.  They always come through.  They’re awesome.  They are energetic.  They’re healthy.  And they made it a special point to be here to entertain.  So let’s give them a round of applause.  (Applause.)

And I have to acknowledge all of the parents, and I know we have grandparents, too, as well, for joining us today.  Thank you all for teaching your kids about healthy eating and nurturing that passion for cooking.  And I want to thank you for the patience that you all have shown.  I’m sure that there are some wrecked kitchens in this room.  (Laughter.)  Sticky things, lots of stuff all over every place.  Thank you for being patient and giving your children that sense of possibility to be able to do anything, even compete to win a recipe contest to be here at the White House.  So let’s give our parents and grandparents a round of applause.  (Applause.)

And finally, to our 54 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners — congratulations.  (Applause.)  Look what you’ve inspired!  Just look around the room.  Look — just look around the room.  This is all for you.  Look at all — reporters from everywhere.  They’re just everywhere.  (Laughter.)  They never show up like this for stuff that we do.  (Laughter.)  This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you.

And I am so proud of you, we are all so proud of you.  The President of the United States is so proud of you.  It’s so cool.  (Laughter.)  So thank you, guys.  Well done.  Well done.  And that’s why I wanted to invite you all here — because you’re special.  You’ve done some special stuff.  And I’m so impressed — just like Marshall said — amazing, amazing stuff you did.

Believe it or not, more than 1,200 kids submitted recipes for this challenge — 1,200.  It’s a big competition.  Yes, look, oh my God, you didn’t know.  (Laughter.)  It was a true competition.  What did you think, we just picked you?  (Laughter.)  No, no you had to work for this.  1,200 submissions.  And when it got to the final round, our judges spent hours tasting the dishes.  So it wasn’t just what it sounded like — they actually tasted each and every one of these dishes.  I know, Sam, you did a little tasting.

MR. KASS:  I did a lot of tasting.  (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA:  A lot of tasting.  That’s a lot of hard work, eating 1,200 submissions’ worth of food.  (Laughter.)

And they spent hours trying to decide which ones were the healthiest and the tastiest and the most fun to cook and eat.  And it wasn’t easy to choose one winner from every single state.  You were the winner in your state — the whole state.  You guys won!  Cool!  (Laughter.)

But you’re here because your recipes truly stood out, right?  And that’s really saying something.  You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients; dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too.  See?  It can happen — healthy and tasty at the same time.

And you all were so creative — here are some of the recipes — Kickin’ Chicken Salad.  Power Pesto Pasta.  Miss Kitty’s Egg Salad Sensation.  (Laughter.)  Michael Lakind from Texas — Michael is here — he created his Secret Service Super Salad.  (Laughter.)  And Michael came up with the name because he is interested in joining the Secret Service one day, so I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time Michael will make his trip to the White House.  Michael, where are you?  Did you finally meet one of the agents?

MR. LAKIND:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  (Laughter.)  That’s good.

And then there was Aaron Beckman from Nebraska — came up with the Apple Alien, a dish that involves fruit meteors and veggie asteroids.  (Laughter.)  Aaron, where are?  There you go, Aaron.  Aaron — it’s meteors and aliens and stuff — very scary, but healthy.  (Laughter.)

And Betsy DaSilva from Connecticut submitted a recipe for a Heavenly Lunch Wrap.  Where are you, Betsy?  Here, stand up, sweetie, might as well.  Betsy — she says — (applause) — “whenever I eat this food, I know that I’ve been blessed with the energy to focus more at school.”  See, there?  (Laughter.)  Thank you, sweetie.

More than anything else, truly — you can sit down, babe, I’ve embarrassed you enough — (laughter) — that’s what this challenge is really all about.  And that’s what Let’s Move is all about, that’s one of the reasons why I started it.  It’s all about all of us coming together to make sure that all of you kids and kids like you across the country have everything you need to learn and grow and lead happy, healthy lives.

It’s about parents making choices for their kids — choices that work with their families, schedules, budgets and tastes, because there is no one-size-fits-all here; as parents we know what works for one kid in one household doesn’t work for the other kid in the same household.  So we’ve got to be flexible.

It’s about companies like Epicurious doing their part to promote healthy eating.  And it’s about kids like all of you doing your part to eat well and get active, which is an important part.  We never want to underestimate the importance of getting up and moving.

So stay active.  Get involved in cooking delicious, good stuff — dishes like the ones we’re going to try today.  And on the menu today, we’re going to have some of those tasty, delightful treats.  We’re going to try some of those.  That’s going to be our lunch.

But before we get to the business of eating, I thought that I would introduce two very special people here.  Since we are in a room full of chefs, I thought that you would love to meet the two chefs, main chefs in our lives — Executive Chef Cris Comerford, and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses.  (Applause.)  So you’ll be happy to know that you had some of the top chefs in this country working to prepare your recipes.  They’ve been slaving for hours.  I would have helped you, but I was getting my makeup done.  (Laughter.)

But Cris and Bill and our whole crew, they played such a huge part in Let’s Move.  They help with the garden.  They lead efforts in the garden.  All of our chefs, all of our staff, they are so bought into you guys.  And you all give us that kind of energy.  Just know that — you guys inspire us here at the White House to keep doing what we need to do to keep this message at the forefront.

And I just want to thank Bill and Cris for being so terrific, and for working so hard to make this lunch such a success.  And with that, I think we can start eating.  How about that?  All right, let’s eat.  (Applause.)

END
12:00 P.M. EDT

Remarks by the First Lady at Kids’ State Dinner

East Room

11:49 A.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, that was really sweet, it really was.  Marshall, we’re so proud of you.  We’re so very proud of you and your mom, who actually has some serious guns going on, too.  (Laughter.)  People talk about my arms, but I felt them.  They’re not — (laughter) — she’s no slouch.

But I want to welcome everyone to the White House.  Is this not cool?  (Laughter and applause.)  This is just so very cool.  And understand it’s not just cool for all of you.  I mean, this house has been abuzz with this event.  I think this is one of the best events that we’ve ever had here — our very first ever Kids’ State Dinner.  So, so awesome.

And I want to start by thanking all of the staff, everyone who helped put together this gorgeous room, the tablecloths, the chairs.  This stuff isn’t normally here.  They brought this in for you.  Did you notice the centerpieces on the table?  Everything was thought out to the nth of detail; down to the little drink classes and your programs.  And it’s just so wonderful, so I want to thank everyone who put so much time and effort into making this day special.

Again, I want to thank Marshall for that very sweet introduction.  He is an outstanding role model, truly, for kids in this country.  And we are so proud of him, we’re so proud of his family, because, again, you often can’t do this alone.  You need some kind of support for young people to get on the right track.  So we’re just grateful that he is now one of those leaders, has written a book and is going to do some magnificent stuff in the future.  So congratulations, Marshall.  (Applause.)

And, of course, I want to thank Epicurious for their tremendously generous support of this event.  Through their efforts to make today possible, they’ve inspired kids across this country to learn about healthy eating and to get in the kitchen and start cooking.  Right?  For how many people was this was the first cooking you’ve done?  You guys are old hands, though.  (Laughter.)  You guys are always in the kitchen.  You are going to inspire some kids to get in the kitchen, just understand that.

This is exactly the kind of leadership that we need to give all of our kids the healthy futures they deserve.  So I want to thank Tanya as well as the folks from the Departments of Education and Agriculture, too, as well — we’ve got representatives here — for working so incredibly hard to make today such a success.

And, of course, we’ve got some special guests coming up.  I want to thank them in advance.  My guys of the group Big Time Rush — they’re coming out to perform.  They are incredible.  They always come through.  They’re awesome.  They are energetic.  They’re healthy.  And they made it a special point to be here to entertain.  So let’s give them a round of applause.  (Applause.)

And I have to acknowledge all of the parents, and I know we have grandparents, too, as well, for joining us today.  Thank you all for teaching your kids about healthy eating and nurturing that passion for cooking.  And I want to thank you for the patience that you all have shown.  I’m sure that there are some wrecked kitchens in this room.  (Laughter.)  Sticky things, lots of stuff all over every place.  Thank you for being patient and giving your children that sense of possibility to be able to do anything, even compete to win a recipe contest to be here at the White House.  So let’s give our parents and grandparents a round of applause.  (Applause.)

And finally, to our 54 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners — congratulations.  (Applause.)  Look what you’ve inspired!  Just look around the room.  Look — just look around the room.  This is all for you.  Look at all — reporters from everywhere.  They’re just everywhere.  (Laughter.)  They never show up like this for stuff that we do.  (Laughter.)  This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you.

And I am so proud of you, we are all so proud of you.  The President of the United States is so proud of you.  It’s so cool.  (Laughter.)  So thank you, guys.  Well done.  Well done.  And that’s why I wanted to invite you all here — because you’re special.  You’ve done some special stuff.  And I’m so impressed — just like Marshall said — amazing, amazing stuff you did.

Believe it or not, more than 1,200 kids submitted recipes for this challenge — 1,200.  It’s a big competition.  Yes, look, oh my God, you didn’t know.  (Laughter.)  It was a true competition.  What did you think, we just picked you?  (Laughter.)  No, no you had to work for this.  1,200 submissions.  And when it got to the final round, our judges spent hours tasting the dishes.  So it wasn’t just what it sounded like — they actually tasted each and every one of these dishes.  I know, Sam, you did a little tasting.

MR. KASS:  I did a lot of tasting.  (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA:  A lot of tasting.  That’s a lot of hard work, eating 1,200 submissions’ worth of food.  (Laughter.)

And they spent hours trying to decide which ones were the healthiest and the tastiest and the most fun to cook and eat.  And it wasn’t easy to choose one winner from every single state.  You were the winner in your state — the whole state.  You guys won!  Cool!  (Laughter.)

But you’re here because your recipes truly stood out, right?  And that’s really saying something.  You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients; dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too.  See?  It can happen — healthy and tasty at the same time.

And you all were so creative — here are some of the recipes — Kickin’ Chicken Salad.  Power Pesto Pasta.  Miss Kitty’s Egg Salad Sensation.  (Laughter.)  Michael Lakind from Texas — Michael is here — he created his Secret Service Super Salad.  (Laughter.)  And Michael came up with the name because he is interested in joining the Secret Service one day, so I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time Michael will make his trip to the White House.  Michael, where are you?  Did you finally meet one of the agents?

MR. LAKIND:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  (Laughter.)  That’s good.

And then there was Aaron Beckman from Nebraska — came up with the Apple Alien, a dish that involves fruit meteors and veggie asteroids.  (Laughter.)  Aaron, where are?  There you go, Aaron.  Aaron — it’s meteors and aliens and stuff — very scary, but healthy.  (Laughter.)

And Betsy DaSilva from Connecticut submitted a recipe for a Heavenly Lunch Wrap.  Where are you, Betsy?  Here, stand up, sweetie, might as well.  Betsy — she says — (applause) — “whenever I eat this food, I know that I’ve been blessed with the energy to focus more at school.”  See, there?  (Laughter.)  Thank you, sweetie.

More than anything else, truly — you can sit down, babe, I’ve embarrassed you enough — (laughter) — that’s what this challenge is really all about.  And that’s what Let’s Move is all about, that’s one of the reasons why I started it.  It’s all about all of us coming together to make sure that all of you kids and kids like you across the country have everything you need to learn and grow and lead happy, healthy lives.

It’s about parents making choices for their kids — choices that work with their families, schedules, budgets and tastes, because there is no one-size-fits-all here; as parents we know what works for one kid in one household doesn’t work for the other kid in the same household.  So we’ve got to be flexible.

It’s about companies like Epicurious doing their part to promote healthy eating.  And it’s about kids like all of you doing your part to eat well and get active, which is an important part.  We never want to underestimate the importance of getting up and moving.

So stay active.  Get involved in cooking delicious, good stuff — dishes like the ones we’re going to try today.  And on the menu today, we’re going to have some of those tasty, delightful treats.  We’re going to try some of those.  That’s going to be our lunch.

But before we get to the business of eating, I thought that I would introduce two very special people here.  Since we are in a room full of chefs, I thought that you would love to meet the two chefs, main chefs in our lives — Executive Chef Cris Comerford, and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses.  (Applause.)  So you’ll be happy to know that you had some of the top chefs in this country working to prepare your recipes.  They’ve been slaving for hours.  I would have helped you, but I was getting my makeup done.  (Laughter.)

But Cris and Bill and our whole crew, they played such a huge part in Let’s Move.  They help with the garden.  They lead efforts in the garden.  All of our chefs, all of our staff, they are so bought into you guys.  And you all give us that kind of energy.  Just know that — you guys inspire us here at the White House to keep doing what we need to do to keep this message at the forefront.

And I just want to thank Bill and Cris for being so terrific, and for working so hard to make this lunch such a success.  And with that, I think we can start eating.  How about that?  All right, let’s eat.  (Applause.)

END
12:00 P.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency April 9, 2012: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speeches / Remarks at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Photo Gallery: The 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll

Source: WH, 4-9-12
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/imagecache/embedded_img_full/image/image_file/p040912ck-0211.jpg” alt=”President Obama Cheers on an Easter Egg Roller” width=”502″ height=”334″ />
President Barack Obama cheers on a young child as she rolls her egg toward the finish line during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, April 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

After nearly 12 hours of fun and excitement, another successful Easter Egg Roll has come to a close. The day featured live music, a dance party, opportunities to participate in tennis, basketball and yoga, cooking demonstrations, and story time.

If you weren’t able to join us on the South Lawn this year, check out the gallery of images from the day and videos from many of the performances, readings, and demonstrations will be available on our YouTube channel.

Today is the White House Easter Egg Roll

Source: WH, 4-9-12
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/imagecache/embedded_img_full/image/image_file/eer_2012_poster.jpg” alt=”Easter Egg Roll 2012 Poster” width=”500″ height=”399″ />
Reed Preston Lindsey, a nine-year-old attending Anderson Elementary in Booneville, Mississippi, was the co-winner of the contest. His artwork was chosen as the 2012 Official Easter Egg Roll Poster. Reed won first place in the Mississippi Public Broadcasting writing contest two years in a row for writing and illustrating Roscoe Wants a Red Feather and Troy’s Next Stop……..Mars! respectively.

Today, the First Family is hosting the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Throughout the day, more than 30,000 people will gather on the South Lawn for games, snacks, music and, of course, the Egg Roll.

The tradition of the Easter Egg Roll dates back to 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes welcomed children to the White House to roll hard-boiled eggs down the sloping hills of the South Lawn. This year, some 14,500 dyed and hard-boiled eggs will be used for the game.

This year’s theme is “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move!” and  focuses on promoting health and wellness and encouraging children to lead healthy and active lives. Activities at today’s event include:

  • Musical performances on the Rock n’ Egg Roll Stage from artists Janelle Monae, Cody Simpson, Rachel Crow, Sesame Street, Zendaya, China Ann McClain and the McClain Sisters
  • Reading on the Storytime Stage with Robin Roberts, Julianne Moore, Jeff Kinney from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Etan Thomas, Forest Whitaker and Bella Thorne
  • An Eggtivity Zone featuring an obstacle course, players and coaches from professional sports teams teaching kids fun ways to stay active and fit
  • Healthy eating and food demonstrations at the Play with your Food station with Chefs Andrew Zimmern, Richard Blais, Marcus Samuelsson, Paul Qui, Carla Hall, Pat and Gina Neel,; Bryan Voltaggio and the White House

Download the program and activity book for this year’s event, and catch all the fun as it happens on www.whitehouse.gov/live. Also visit the 2012 Easter Egg Roll page for more photo galleries and videos from years past.

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Easter Egg Roll 1898

All dressed up for the Easter Egg Roll in 1898. President Rutherford B. Hayes started the tradition in 1878

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President and the First Lady at the White House Easter Egg Roll

South Lawn
The White House

10:46 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody!  (Applause.)  How about Rachel Crow?  Give her a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

I want to wish everybody a wonderful Easter.  And we are so thrilled that all of you could join us here today.  My job is very simple:  It is to introduce the powerhouse of the White House, the one truly in charge, as Malia, Sasha and Bo all know — the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, honey.  (Applause.)  My job is simple as well.  I just want to officially welcome you all to the White House Easter Egg Roll.  It is a beautiful day, perfect weather.  We are so excited to have you all here.  We’ve got a great set of activities planned for you.  There’s something for everyone.  We’re going to be over there doing a little egg roll.  I think the President is going to try to beat a three-year-old — which I hope he does not.  (Laughter.)

But we also have a wonderful yoga garden.  We’ve got some story-time guests.  We’ve got great readers here this year, as we do every year.  You can get your face painted.  We’ve got wonderful musical guests.  Rachel was amazing, and she’s a really sweet kid, which is more important.  We’ve got wonderful athletes here.  We’ve got Chris Evert — my gosh.  (Applause.)  And many, many others — the Harlem Globetrotters are here.  (Applause.)  You can do an obstacle course.  We’re going to be down at the kitchen learning how to do some healthy cooking with the — some of our celebrity chefs.

So it’s a wonderful day, and I hope you all enjoy it.  I hope you put on your comfortable shoes.  We’ve got ours on, right, all the Obamas here.

So on behalf of our family, I also want to wish you all a happy Easter and a happy Easter Egg Roll.  So in the theme of this year’s Easter Egg Roll, let’s go, let’s play — let’s move!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Have a great time.  We’ll see you down there.  (Applause.)
END
10:48 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency March 13, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech at Mini-Olympic Games Event — A Call to Action: Let’s Move!

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

A Call to Action: Let’s Move!

Source: WH, 3-13-12

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a mini-Olympics event at American University

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during an event at American University in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012. Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, joined the First Lady, Olympic and Paralympic athletes including Lisa Leslie, and Washington, D.C., area children in a mini-Olympics competition to celebrate the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the “Let’s Move!” initiative. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

Ed note: Former WNBA player and four-time Olympic champion Lisa Leslie joined First Lady Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Washington, D.C., area children in a mini-Olympics competition to celebrate the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the “Let’s Move!” initiative. The First Lady will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremonies of the Games.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the First Lady at Mini-Olympic Games Event

American University
Washington, D.C.

4:57 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, you guys can have a seat. You’ve done well. You’ve done well. Have you guys had fun today?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: Was this not — very cool. This was very cool, wasn’t it?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: I mean, let’s say thank you to everyone who helped organize this thing. Let’s give them all a round of applause. (Applause.) It looks like it was so much fun.

But I want to start, first of all, by thanking Lisa for that very kind introduction. She’s one of my heroes, I love her to death. Don’t we love Lisa?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: She is so awesome. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I want her autograph.

MRS. OBAMA: We’re going to get autographs. We’ll get that done. We’ll get that done. But we have to say thank you to a few more people. We have a couple of guests.

Mrs. Marjorie Susman, and Lady Susan Westmacott are here. They are the ambassadors for our great countries, and they’re visiting us. (Applause.) They’re here somewhere. There they are. There they are.

And of course, we have to thank all of our wonderful Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have joined us today who helped you guys out. Did you learn something from them?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, focus, because these people have put in some time and made some sacrifices, and they’re great role models to all of you, right?

And I want to join in in also welcoming our very special guest, Mrs. Samantha Cameron — we already said hello today, but Mrs. Cameron is here. She came here with her husband from the United Kingdom. Her husband is Prime Minister David Cameron. So he’s the Prime Minister there, and they’re here on an official visit.

And what we hope to do is just remember this special relationship our two countries have. They hosted us a little while ago. We had a wonderful time when the President and I got to visit London last year as guests of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, as well as the Camerons. So we are very pleased that they’re both back here in Washington with us today. So this is a really special day.

So we are very excited to have her here with us today, and I’m particularly excited that the Camerons are visiting our country this week because, as it turns out, I will be visiting their country this summer. Because today, I’m pleased to announce that I will have the honor of leading the presidential delegation to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer. (Applause.) And let me tell you, I am thrilled to do it. I wasn’t sure whether they were going to let me do it, but I get to do it and I’m very excited. And I know that all of you are looking forward to the Games this summer, aren’t you?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: I mean, this is why we’re here today. Because the true spirit of the Games isn’t confined to just the two weeks of competition in the summer. It’s not just about who wins the Gold, right? You’ve heard that before. It’s not just about who wins the medals, right?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Or which country wins the most medals. That’s not what the Olympics are about. Instead, the Olympic Games are about commitment, right? It’s about determination, and, most importantly, it’s about teamwork — teamwork, right?

The Games are about finding our inner strength. Do you know what I mean by inner strength? It’s like, what’s deep down inside that you want to do for yourself, right? And all of these athletes have done it by pushing ourselves to be the very best that we can at something that we feel deeply about, right? And that’s sports in this case, but that can be anything. But it’s about digging down deep and finding the thing that makes you want to do more.

And just to give an example of some of the athletes we have here today, do you know that to prepare for the Olympic Games, Dominique Dawes — Dominique, make sure they know who you are. Dominique, she was in the gym almost 40 hours a week practicing. I mean, can you imagine — 40 hours a week? And that’s in addition to going to school, right? Getting her homework done, and anything else she had to do. She was in the gym. That’s how much dedication it takes.

And Lisa Leslie was out on the basketball court practicing every night, because she knew it wasn’t just good enough to be tall, right? We like being tall, but that’s not enough. You’ve got to have some skills to go with that height, and you’ve got to practice, right?

And then there’s Kortney Clemons, this guy right here. In 2005 — listen to this, guys — Kortney was serving our country as a combat medic in Iraq. He was fighting in the war when a bomb exploded nearby him, right? A bomb went off. And he was 24 years old at the time, and he had a very young daughter; he was the father of a little girl. But then he lost his leg. All of a sudden, his leg is gone.

Now, he didn’t let that stop him from reaching new goals, see? And that’s the beauty, right? He lost his leg and he thought, what more can I do with one leg? So he set a new goal for himself. So he’s always been a pretty good athlete — you can tell. He’s got that athlete look in his eye. And so during his rehabilitation, he learned about the Paralympics, and he decided he wanted to participate.

At first, he tried weightlifting, because he wanted to get buff — I’m sure he was trying to impress somebody, right? (Laughter.) But soon, he found out that he really enjoyed running. He really loved the wind in his face when he was moving fast. How many people feel that when they’re moving fast? Yes, yes, there’s nothing like moving fast. Well, that’s how he felt. So he kept working.

And less than two years after the explosion — two years afterwards — he became a national champion sprinter. Can you — dang, yes. You want to say that again?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dang!

MRS. OBAMA: He is the first Iraq veteran to qualify for the national Paralympic team. And he is an inspiration to people around the world. Do you understand that? Around the world. Let’s give Kortney a round of applause. (Applause.)

I could go on, because everyone behind me has a similarly powerful story, okay? Everyone does. But these are the stories of triumph, of perseverance and sheer willpower that lie behind every Olympian and every Paralympian. And that’s why these Games are important, you guys.

So when you watch these Games — and I hope you all do, right? There are a lot of lessons to learn — not just who wins and loses. The stories behind these athletes should give us all reason to get up and move, right? And that’s what’s so beautiful about these Games.

They don’t just allow us to marvel at the skills and the achievements of the world’s greatest athletes. They help us all dream bigger, right? I mean, you can just imagine what you can do, right kids? These Games are about inspiring you guys to move.

And that’s what I want you all to do with Let’s Move. You guys know Let’s Move is about me ensuring that young people like you guys get up and get moving. And we want to use these Games as a way to jumpstart people into moving, right? And as Lisa said, moving isn’t just being a part of a sport. Moving can be dancing in the living room, it can be riding your bike, it can be walking your dog.

But if all these athletes can do what they do, then surely you guys can get moving and help the people in your lives get moving, right? So that’s going to be one of our very important goals with the Olympic Games, is using this as a way for us to be inspired to be as healthy as we can all of the time. Do you think we can do that?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: So I’m going to need your help. You guys are going to get some medals, but I need you to be our ambassadors. Do you know what an ambassador is? I need you to send the word out to people in your lives and in your community about how important it is to stay active and healthy. Will you guys help?

AUDIENCE: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, if I have that promise, then I think we can get on with the next part of the ceremony, because I think we’ve got some medals to hand out, right?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: Yes! (Applause.) Medals to hand out.

So with that, I’m going to turn it over to Kortney, who’s going to help with the medal ceremony. Congratulations to you guys. We are so proud of you. Keep up the good work, okay? Give yourselves a round of applause.

END
5:06 P.M. EDT

Full Text February 13, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s CNN Op-ed for Let’s Move! 2nd Anniversary “Changing the Conversation on Healthy Eating”

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Michelle Obama: Changing the Conversation on Healthy Eating

Source: WH, 2-13-12

First Lady Michelle Obama Olive Garden Dinner

First Lady Michelle Obama holds a roundtable dinner discussion at an Olive Garden restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 9, 2012. Mrs. Obama met with the parents to hear their ideas on how Let’s Move! can continue to support families across the country. In September 2011, Darden, the world’s largest full service restaurant company which owns Olive Garden, made a commitment to improve their kids menus by offering a fruit or vegetable and low-fat milk with every meal, as well as reduce total calories and sodium across their menus. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

Back when we first launched Let’s Move! — a nationwide initiative to end our childhood obesity epidemic — in the back of my mind, I wondered whether it was really possible to make a difference.

I knew how serious this problem is. Nearly one in three of our children are overweight or obese, at risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer that cost our economy billions of dollars each year to treat.

I also knew the conventional wisdom on this issue. There’s the assumption that kids don’t like healthy food, so why try to feed it to them? There’s the belief that healthy food doesn’t sell as well, so companies will never change the products they offer. And there’s the sense that this problem is so big and entrenched that no matter what we do, we’ll never be able to solve it.

But over the past two years, we have seen a new conversation in this country about how we live and eat and how that affects the health and well-being of our kids. Since we launched Let’s Move!, people from every corner of this country who care about our children’s futures have stepped up and proved the conventional wisdom wrong.

Read the entire op-ed from the First Lady at CNN.com

More from the Let’s Move tour:
Michelle Obama: If You Are Doing Great Work, Tell Me About It
Michelle Obama Judges “Top Chef”
On the Road with Let’s Move
Watch: Behind the Scenes on the Let’s Move Tour
Two Years of Healthy Changes for Our Nation’s Kids
View a slideshow from the tour

Full Text February 9-11, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Second Anniversary Road Tour

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

First Lady Michelle Obama Is on the Road with Let’s Move

Source: WH, 2-9-12


First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates Let's Move Day in Iowa
First Lady Michelle Obama dances with students at the event highlighting Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative during her tour celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move!, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, Feb. 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Ed note: this has been cross-posted from Let’s Move!

To celebrate the second anniversary of Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama is on a three day, four state tour, visiting people across the country whose lives have been impacted by her signature initiative.

First stop was Des Moines, Iowa where more than 14,000 students gathered to join Governor Terry Branstad as he declared February 9, 2012  Let’s Move! Day in Iowa. The energy in the Wells Fargo Arena was electric, as Olympians Michelle Kwan and Shawn Johnson talked to the crowd of students waving “Let’s Get Moving” signs about how eating healthy had helped them achieve their dreams.

Mrs. Obama said she she was in Iowa to celebrate the state’s bold ambitions:

We could have had this party anywhere in the country, right? We could have gone anywhere, but there is a reason why we wanted to come here to Iowa to be with all of you. And that’s because I am so proud of what you all are doing to make Iowa the healthiest state in this country by 2016.

I am proud that you guys are starting community gardens, that you’re eating your fruits and vegetables.  I’m proud that you guys are walking to school instead of taking the bus.  I’m proud that you’re working hard to get that 60 minutes of activity a day, every day.  I’m also proud of your government, and businesses like Hy-Vee, and community leaders across the state who are all coming together to help you guys get healthy, to keep moving.

This is exactly what “Let’s Move” is all about.  We want every single state in this country to do exactly what Iowa is doing.

Before the whole audience joined in singing “Happy Birthday” to Let’s Move!, the First Lady led the crowd in dancing  the “Interlude” — which originated at the University of Northern Iowa.

Next stop for the Let’s Move! team was the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas where Mrs. Obama announced a groundbreaking commitment being made by the Department of Defense to secure the health of our troops and their families: For the first time in 20 years, the DOD is updating their nutritional standards to include more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats,and  low-fat dairy products with every meal.

The First Lady praised the military leadership for being role models in the fight to improve our nation’s health:

And I want to emphasize that in doing so, you’re not just sending a powerful message throughout the military community.  You’re sending a message to our entire country.  And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be here, because whenever our men and women in uniform step forward, America takes notice.  We are all inspired by your courage.  We are all inspired by your service and your sacrifice.

So when you make healthy eating a priority in your lives, the rest of us are more likely to make it a priority in our lives.

Mrs. Obama ended her day at an Olive Garden in Fort Worth, Texas, where she met with local parents who shared their concerns about raising healthy children as they sampled some of the healthy menu options from the popular chain, whose parent company, Darden Restaurants, has made a commitment to reduce calories and sodium in their meals and to provide healthier options in their kids’ menus.

First Lady Michelle Obama at an Olive Garden restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas (February 9, 2012)

First Lady Michelle Obama holds a roundtable dinner discussion at an Olive Garden restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 9, 2012, during a tour celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move!. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

The Let’s Move! birthday tour continues tomorrow morning in Dallas, with a Chef’s Move to Schools event with local students.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

To celebrate the second anniversary of Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama is on a three-day, four-state tour.

First Lady Michelle Obama dances with students in in Des Moines, Iowa
First Lady Michelle Obama dances with students in in Des Moines, Iowa, White House Photo, Sonya N. Hebert, 2/9/12

White House Recap February 4-10, 2012: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Hosts Second Annual White House Science Fair & Hails Housing Agreement with Banks over Mortgage Fraud & Abuses

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: February 4-10, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: The Next Generation of Scientists, Engineers and Inventors

Source: WH, 2-10-12

All-hands-on-deck for Science and Innovation: Monday marked the second annual White House Science Fair, featuring research and inventions from more than 100 students representing 30 student teams. With marshmallows catapulting through the State Dining Room and robots roaming around the Blue Room, this celebration of research highlighted the talent of America’s next generation and their ability to change the world through science and engineering. If you missed President Obama’s historic launch of 14-year-old Joey Hudy’s marshmallow cannon, you can check it out here.

Housing Agreement: On Thursday morning, President Obama spoke about what he called a “landmark settlement”– an agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage providers that will result in their issuing at least $25 billion to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. This settlement, in which “America’s biggest banks – banks that were rescued by taxpayer dollars – will be required to right these wrongs,” will aid thousands of working families now, and establish new protections for homeowners henceforward.

Kids Can’t Wait: From the East Room of the White House, the President announced that 10 states have agreed to implement impactful education reforms and will receive waivers from the burdensome mandates of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. These waivers will ensure that states have the flexibility necessary to raise student achievement standards, improve school accountability and increase teacher effectiveness.

Happy Second Birthday, Let’s Move!: There’s reason to celebrate – Thursday marked the Let’s Move! initiative’s second anniversary. Significant progress has been made to solve the problem of childhood obesity over the course of the past two years – President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law in December 2012; grocers including Walgreens, Supervalu and Walmart committed to build or expand 1,500 stores in food deserts; among many other accomplishments that are making a difference in the lives of our children.

Full Text January 25, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Remarks at U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New School Lunch Nutrition Standards Announcement at Parklawn Elementary School

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Healthy Changes on the Menu for School Lunches

Source: WH, 1-25-12

First Lady Michelle Obama has lunch with Parklawn Elementary  School students
First Lady Michelle Obama joins children for lunch at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 25, 2012. Mrs. Obama was joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and celebrity cook Rachael Ray for a Let’s Move! event celebrating the school’s food service employees serving healthy meals that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today introduced new rules that mean America’s school children will soon be eating healthier lunches in the cafeteria.

The new USDA guidelines, which implement important provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, substantially increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on the menu, while reducing saturated fat, trans fats and sodium, and set calorie limits based on the age of children being served. The standards make the same kinds of practical changes that many parents are already encouraging at home, and that are a key pillar of Let’s Move, the First Lady’s initiative that is focused on improving child nutrition and reducing childhood obesity.

Speaking at the Parklawn elementary school in Alexandria, VA, Mrs Obama praised parents for their contribution to the movement to improve the food served in schools:

When we send our kids to school, we have a right to expect that they won’t be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we’re trying to keep from them when they’re at home.  We have a right to expect that the food they get at school is the same kind of food that we want to serve at our own kitchen tables.

After the press conference, the First Lady and Secretary Vilsack joined students for a healthy lunch of turkey tacos, black bean and corn salad and fresh fruit, prepared by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.

 POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the First Lady in School Lunch Standards Announcement

Parklawn Elementary School
Alexandria, Virginia

11:32 A.M. EST

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, everyone.  Please, sit, rest.  This is exciting.  It is such a pleasure to be here today.  This is an exciting day.

I want to start by thanking Secretary Vilsack, not just for that very kind introduction but for his outstanding work as Secretary of Agriculture.  He has been just a major proponent on so many issues that are near and dear to me, and we wouldn’t be here without his efforts and the efforts of his entire agency.  So, thank you, sir.

I’d also like to thank Principal Akroyd and Jen Fitzgerald for their terrific work and for hosting us here today at Parklawn Elementary School.  Go, Panthers!  (Laughter.)  I hear you’re the “purring Panthers.”  (Laughter.)  It’s very, very good — very good.  We are so happy to be here and so proud of you all.

And I want to recognize all of the educators, the administrators, the food service workers and the advocates who are here today for everything that you do, every day, on behalf of our kids.  This is a great celebration for us all.

And of course, I want to give a special hello to Rachael Ray, who’s a special guest here.  I know she’s hard at work getting lunch ready, and I am hungry — (laughter) — so I’m looking forward to it.  But she has been a true advocate on this issue for quite some time, and we’re just thrilled that she’s here with us today.

And finally, I want to thank all of the parents who are here today — because, I just want to be clear that we can’t make any mistake about it — this movement to improve the food in our schools is happening in large part because of all of you, the parents.  It’s happening because you all stood up.  It’s happening because you all spoke out and you asked for something better for our kids.

Because, as parents, we all know that if left to their own devices, many of our kids would eat candy for breakfast, they’d follow it up with a few French fries for lunch and cookies and chips for snacks, and then they’d come home for a big chocolate sundae for dinner, right?  (Laughter.)  And we know that it is our responsibility, as adults, to make sure they don’t do that.  So it’s our responsibility to make sure that they get basic nutrition that they need to stay healthy.

And that’s why so many of us try so very hard to prepare decent meals at home, and to limit how much junk food they get at home, and to ensure that they have a reasonably balanced diet.   And when we’re putting forth this kind of effort at home — and many of us are, and it’s difficult to do every single day — it’s always a challenge, particularly with tough economic times and not enough time in the day — but when we’re putting forth these efforts, when we’re doing what we’re supposed to do at home, the last thing we want is to have all these hard efforts, all this hard work undone in the school cafeteria.

When we send our kids to school, we have a right to expect that they won’t be eating the kind of fatty, salty, sugary foods that we’re trying to keep from them when they’re at home.  We have a right to expect that the food they get at school is the same kind of food that we want to serve at our own kitchen tables.

And let’s be clear, this isn’t just about our kids’ health. Studies have shown that our kids’ eating habits can actually affect their academic performance as well.  And I’m sure that comes as no surprise to the educators here today.  Anyone who works with kids knows that they need something other than chips and soda in their stomachs if they’re going to focus on math and science, right?  Kids can’t be expected to sit still and concentrate when they’re on a sugar high, or when they’re stuffed with salty, greasy food — or when they’re hungry.

And that brings me to another important point.  For many kids whose families are struggling, school meals can be their main — or only — source of nutrition for the entire day.  So when we serve higher-quality food in our schools, we’re not just fighting childhood obesity; we’re taking the important steps that are needed to fight child hunger as well.

And that’s why so many schools across this country have been working so hard to improve the food that they serve to our kids in school.  In fact, there are many schools that have been meeting these new standards for years, long before this legislation was passed.  Thousands more have made significant improvements, offering their students a whole array of healthy — and tasty, mind you — new options.

For example, right here at Parklawn and in schools throughout this district, you all are doing some wonderful things, serving baked chicken tenders instead of frying them — small things; replacing white rice with brown rice.  You’re offering all kinds of veggie side dishes, everything from succotash to broccoli, exposing kids to a whole array of wonderful tastes and flavors.

And we’re seeing changes like these in schools all across the country, of all sizes — rural, urban and suburban.  And I’m not just talking about schools in well-off areas with plenty of resources.  I’m talking about schools like F.S. Ervin — it’s an elementary school in Pine Hall [sic], Alabama.  Now, Pine Hall [sic] is a little-bitty town, rural town, with a population under 1,000 and an average household income of less than $26,000.  But they have made some important changes to their school menu already — things like replacing canned vegetables with fresh or frozen ones, moving in more whole grains, offering plenty of fresh fruit, and even baking their French fries instead of frying them.  These are small changes.

And plenty of schools like F.S. Ervin are getting creative in this way.  There are schools around the country that are holding taste tests and recipe contests to get kids really involved in the whole change — give kids a competition and they’ll get involved.  There are schools that are partnering with farmers and with chefs in their communities, and that’s making a difference.  They’re making these small, daily changes — simple things like replacing whole milk with skim milk — changes that add up over time and it can make a real difference in the life of our kids.

And again and again, schools are finding that when they actually offer these healthier options, kids aren’t just willing to try them, they actually like them.  That’s the thing, that’s the surprising thing.  I’ve been to so many schools across the country where parents see their kids eating fresh vegetables off the vine, kids they say would never try anything, but that’s the beauty of children — they change.  They change much easier than we do, and when we give them an opportunity to try something new, they embrace it oftentimes, and they come back for more.

So while budgets are tight right now, there are schools across the country that are showing that it doesn’t take a whole lot of money or resources to give our kids the nutrition they deserve.  What it does take, however, is effort.  What it does take is imagination.  What it does take is a commitment to our children’s futures.

So today, I am asking parents and educators and food service workers across this country to embrace this effort on behalf of our children.  Embrace it.  Because we all know that we are some of the best role models for our kids.  We are the first and best role models.  And if kids are like mine, if I’m excited about something, they’re excited about it — right?  If we as adults embrace it, the kids will follow suit.  They’re looking to us to figure out how to make this happen.  So if we get pumped up about this effort, get excited, get creative, the kids will follow suit and they will do it with vigor and vim, and they’ll be out there out front in a way that we would never expect.

So I want to thank you all once again for all that you do every day on behalf of our children.  I’m excited to be here.  This is a great day, a wonderful accomplishment.  And it’s just exciting to be able to highlight the work that’s being done here at Parklawn.

So now, as I mentioned, I’m a little hungry.  (Laughter.)  I understand that I get to hang out with the kids, have a little lunch.  And it’s turkey tacos!  Sounds really good.  So with that, I want to thank you all for being here, and we’re going to have some lunch.

Thank you all.  (Applause.)

END
11:42 A.M. EST

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