First Lady Michelle Obama's Tips For Eating Better as a Family

February 26, 2013
Eating as a family can be a challenge, even in the White House. To mark the 3rd anniversary of Let's Move! (the First Lady's initiative to fight childhood obesity) along with today's announcement of a massive online recipe swap on Pinterest with and other media outlets, the First Lady shared her strategies for healthy family eating. The First Lady's office, along with Partnership for a Healthy America and Let's Move!, is partnering to pin hundreds of healthy family-friendly recipes that fit the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines. The goal is to help reduce obesity rates, and to make it easier to find healthier recipes online.

“We’re all busy parents,” said the First Lady. “I’m busy in a different way, but before being a First Lady, I was one of those moms out there trying to figure out how to feed my kids, hold down a job, get to the grocery store, then what to buy, how to cook it, how to get through a week and how to make lunch that the kids won’t whine about.”
Here are some of the First Lady's tips:
Make healthy changes early and they’ll stick
Adding cauliflower to macaroni and cheese
Make small changes to food your family already likes
Try oven fried chicken instead of fried
Healthy eating takes planning
Take time to plan out the week's meals so you avoid eating out.
Keep it simple
Avoid complicated dishes and opt for simple ones like baked chicken legs served with rice and broccoli.
Vegetables should be a part of our diets

Mrs. Obama says, “As I tell my kids, vegetables are something that has to be a part of your diet so we’ll find a few that you like, but there has to be a vegetable, and you have to finish it. You can skip the pasta, but you’ve got to eat the vegetables.”

But kids don’t have to love every vegetable
Pick at least one vegetable that your kids love and cook that more often.

Master some easy sides
Sweet potatoes are great because they can be popped in the microwave and are ready in minutes. Try frozen peas too and you have your two delicious veggies!

Cook at home and bond over a family meal

Cooking at home is not only cheaper but it allows the family to communicate at the family table.

Make a game out of the healthy foods conversation
“Over Christmas we did a bracketing of foods — ‘food bracketology.’ This was the President’s idea, and he’s quite pleased with it — like March Madness. We were with a bunch of other families, and this was an evening activity where the fathers bracketed foods — like what would be the winner. And you’d have the top brackets — so you had your pizza and your fried chicken, but you had sushi and you had vegetables — broccoli, kale, salads. And everybody got to vote. The foods would go head to head. Bacon against pie, right? Everybody had to vote, and the kids could make an argument. You could make one argument per category when they got down to the final eight. This was an intense conversation. We were surprised at many of the kids, how many vegetables stayed in for a long time. They got to the top eight — beyond the Sweet 16.”

Read more of this interview at Healthy Eats.
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