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

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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, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Interview with Access Hollywood on “Let’s Move” Anniversary & Valentine’s Day with the President

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

First Lady Michelle Obama Talks Keeping Malia & Sasha On ‘Let’s Move!’ Campaign, Valentine’s Day With President

Source: Access Hollywood, 2-9-12

The First Lady Michelle Obama with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, Iowa, February 9, 2012
The First Lady Michelle Obama with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, Iowa, February 9, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama is continuing to campaign for “Let’s Move!,” her initiative to help stop childhood obesity, and on Thursday, in a brand new sit-down interview, she told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, that campaign starts right at home.

When Bush asked if Malia, 13, and Sasha Obama, 10, are allowed to call up the White House kitchen with an order of burger and fries on occasion, Mrs. Obama said she and President Barack Obama have set limits on the youngsters.

“No, absolutely not,” Mrs. Obama told Bush. “They couldn’t do that at home when we lived in Chicago. They can’t pick up the phone and order anything. They’re kids. That’s the point that I make to them: You live in the White House, but you’re a child.

“They have a set menu, they have a set diet that they have,” she continued of her push for healthy eating habits. “They can’t go in the refrigerator and get what they want. They can eat as much fruit and vegetables [as they want], and they can have at that, but not a lot of snacking. So, we set some boundaries.”…READ MORE

For the rest of Mrs. Obama’s answer and more about her ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign, tune into Access Hollywood on Thursday and Friday night. Check your local listings.

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