When you open up your email and see an invitation to be in the presence of First Lady Michelle Obama, at the White House, you not only respond back posthaste, but you also jump out of your seat into the air while clicking your heels together. On Tuesday March 15, 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama invited 150 parent bloggers to join her at the White House for a conversation about Let's Move! on the health and wellbeing of the nation's children, our children. It was truly an unforgettable experience, and an honor to sit before some of the most prestigious women, representing nutrition and health from our government agencies. A special invitation to the White House doesn't happen every day, especially being granted free range to tour the East Wing. The icing on the cake was being seated at the table directly in front of the podium which was truly amazing. For me, the entire experience was surreal, and this not only made my day, it made my life! I have lived!
The event was perfectly planned, and well executed, with words from the First Lady Michelle Obama, the Executive Director of Let's Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, and Co-chair of President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, along with other Administration officials. The experience was so phenomenal, that #LetsMove began trending on Twitter due to all of us utilizing social media at that moment, to share the conversation with the world. It is simply powerful what we as parents can do when we all come together collectively for one cause, one mission. The day was fun-filled, exciting, and extremely educational. From the cooking demonstration by the White House Executive Chef, the tour of the White House Kitchen Garden, and last but not least, the remarks by the First Lady, it was amazing to learn of the many ways in which we the parents, can support our children on the right path to a healthy future from the time that they are babies, all the way through their school aged years.
"...as many of you know, we're working to create healthier daycare centers and schools for all of our kids, with more nutritious food and more physical activity." -First Lady, Michelle Obama
Let's Move! was launched by the First Lady in 2010. She started this initiative to help kids and their families lead healthier lifestyles. The goal is to foster environments that support healthy choices, whether it be healthier foods in our children's schools, making sure that families have access to healthy foods that are affordable, along with promoting physical activity. We are all equally responsible for making sure that the nation's children have access to a healthy lifestyle.
"...As parents, we decide where to spend our money. And believe it or not, we truly have the power to control the marketplace for food in this country. Just think about it. All these healthier, better-for-you products that we're seeing on the shelves now, they didn't just come out of nowhere. Fast-food places didn't just randomly decide to add apple slices and skim milk to their kids' meals. No, these products were developed because we demanded them, and companies stepped up to meet the demand." -First Lady, Michelle Obama
After six years of Let's Move! , nearly 80 million people live in a Let's Move! City, Town, or Country, over 30 million kids have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch in their school, 2 million kids now have a Let's Move! Salad bar in their school, 1.6 million kids are now attending daycare centers where fruits and vegetables have replaced cookies and juice, and thousands of chain restaurants have healthier menus for kids. Talk about a ground breaking and results driven initiative!
Here are a few ways in which parents can help support Let's Move! and become involved:
Let's Move! Active Schools: Ensure that your children are getting the adequate physical activity in and out of school, especially during the school breaks and summer break when school is out. In addition to this, making plans to eat healthier as a family keeps everyone accountable. Resource: choosemyplate.gov and www.letsmoveschools.org
Let's Move! Outside: Take advantage of America's great outdoors! There are approximately 200 Let's Move! Junior Ranger program in the United States. Resource: letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside
Let's Move! Museums and Gardens: Visit your local and or national museums and gardens. Nearly, 700 museums and gardens within the United States have programs and interactive exhibits to encourage families to increase physical activity and healthy foods. Resource: imls.gov
Let's Read! Let's Move!: Increase your child's awareness about the importance of learning, nutrition, and learning through reading. Resource: serve.gov/site-page/lrlm
Find a local Let's Move! program in your area today: www.letsmove.gov/activities-across-the-usa
To learn more about Let's Move! and to stay connected with the First Lady's initiative, be sure to follow the social media accounts here. Twitter:@LetsMove, Facebook: facebook.com/letsmove, Instagram: @WHKitchenGarden.