"If it tastes like a real carrot and it's really sweet, they're going to think that it's a piece of candy," she said. "So my kids are more inclined to try different vegetables if they're fresh and local and delicious."
With her daughter's weight now under control, Michelle has turned her attention to the rest of us. She is on a mission to get American families hooked on healthy, locally grown foods. Those soup kitchens where she's photographed doling out food are serving fresh, local fruits and vegetables to the hungry. And she recently flung open the White House kitchen doors to show America what the Obamas eat for dinner every night. (Think creamed spinach sans the cream.)
Good food, says Michelle, is not just a privilege for the wealthy. Every family should be eating well. Michelle describes herself as "a big believer" in community gardens that provide "fresh fruits and vegetables for so many communities across this nation and world."
Michelle is ushering in a new era of healthy living. Between her buff arms and healthy palate, she's sending a message to moms that our wallets might be thin on the green these days, but our refrigerators shouldn't be.
"They're not just saying, I want to feed my family this; this is good for us," Ruth Reichl, editor of Gourmet magazine told the New York Times. "Clearly Mrs. Obama is making a point. She thinks communities across the nation deserve to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables."
But back to the Obama girls. Not only do they go to bed at 8 every night and set their own alarm clocks, they also eat their greens. (Malia, however, was not a fan of the creamless creamed spinach.)
Michelle certainly sets the bar high for moms. We could look at it this way: Michelle is giving us great ammunition. The next time our kids refuse their spinach, we can now say, "But Malia and Sasha eat spinach."
|Ronda Kaysen is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, BusinessWeek.com, Architectural Record, Huffington Post, New York Observer and AM New York. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.|