Hey Femme Fitale Family!! I can not tell you how thrilled and honored I was to be receive an invitation to the White House to participate in a conversation on the health of our nation’s children and her #LetsMove initiative on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. It was a long day but an amazing one as I was floating on cloud 9 the entire time.
I’m not going to bore you with my play by play of travelling down to DC on the trains leaving my home by 6 am to finally arrive on the East side of the White House by 8 am. I’m not going to prolong this by sharing how I met some amazing bloggers from Cafe Mom and She Knows Media who were just as elated as I was to participate in this discussion about our nation’s children. Let’s just say it was an experience of a lifetime and the discussion was very relevant because as you know I advocate on this blog and in my online accountability group healthy living, exercise, and good nutrition all of which many of our children are being deprived.
Let’s start with the agenda. It was fully packed as you can see.
Did I mention I was very excited to see Dominique Dawes as part of the discussion? I totally geeked out because I loved gymnastics and she is a 3-time Olympic gymnast. Doesn’t get more awesome I tell ya.
Here were the other esteemed speakers who hailed from HHS, USDA, Partnership for a Healthier America and the White House Executive Chef. The kale salad in the jar she mad is posted below so make sure you keep reading.
The discussion was impactful, relevant and very important. The health of our children’s youth is no laughing matter. Our children are more obese today than ever before. Listen to what our First Lady Michelle Obama has to say about it.
Here are some additional photos of our stunning First Lady as I had the best seat in the house that day.
I was not aware the #LetsMove program had so many arms and was making as big of an impact. Here are some accomplishments:
- nearly 80 million now live in a #LetsMove city, town or county
- more than 30 million kids are eating healthier school breakfasts and lunches
- 2 million children have a #LetsMove salad bar in school
- over 10 million kids attend #LetsMove active schools where they strive to get at least 60 minutes of activity a day
- 1.6 million kids now attend healthier daycare centers where fruits and vegetables replace cookies and juice.
- thousands of chain restaurants have created healthier kids’ menus, food and beverages companies cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products
You should follow #LetsMove on social media to learn more about their program and when new initiatives are launched:
First Lady Michelle Obama launched #LetsMove in 2010 and the program has spawned several meaningful initiatives. I was not aware of all of them so check it out:
- Let’s Move! Active Schools – national solution to help make 60 minutes of physical activity a regular activity daily. Learn more at http://www.letsmoveschools.org.
- Let’s Move! Childcare – this is a nationwide call-to-action that empowers early education providers to make positive health changes. Learn more at http://healthykidshealthyfuture.org
- Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties – this initiative assists local elected officials as they implement policy and environment changes to prevent childhood obesity. Learn more at http://healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org.
- Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools – this initiative promotes for every school in the U.S. to have a salad bar so that every child from elementary school to high school have daily access to healthy foods. Learn more at http://saladbars2schools.org.
- Let’s Move! in Indian Country – this initiative seeks to improve the health of American Indian and Alaska Native children who are greatly affected by childhood obesity with some of the highest rates in the country. Learn more at http://lmic.ihs.gov.
- Let’s Move! Faith and Communities – this project encourages faith-based and neighborhood organizations to initiate, expand and coordinate activities that make communities places of wellness for children and families.
- Let’s Move! Outside – this project was created to get kids and families to take advance of America’s great outdoors. Learn more at http://www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside. As part of this project Every Kid In A Park allows fourth graders FREE entry to any national park in the country along with their families. Head on over and get your free passes at http://www.everykidinapark.gov.
- Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens – this initiative helps to inspire healthy habits via museums, public gardens, zoos, and science centers. Learn more at http://www.imls.gov.
- Let’s Read! Let’s Move! – this initiative aims to increase awareness and learning of good nutrition and physical activity through reading. Learn more at http://www.serve.gov/site-page/lrlm.
- Chefs Move To Schools – this project encourages chefs to volunteer in schools and partner with teachers, parents, school nutritionists, etc. to teach new culinary techniques and recipes for delicious and healthy meals. Learn more at http://chefsmovetoschools.org.
If you are interested to find a Let’s Move! program near you head on over to http://letsmove.gov/activities-across-the-usa.
And what’s a healthy initiative without a little fitness and nutrition challenge? This year is the 5th year for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. This challenge promotes cooking and healthy eating among young people across the country. Here are the details of the challenge if you want to participate:
- children 8 – 12 create an original healthy recipe that is affordable and delicious
- One winner from each state in the U.S., territory and District of Columbia will win an opportunity to come to Washington, DC and attend the 2016 Kid’s “State Dinner” at the White House
- All recipes need to be submitted by April 4th
- Learn more at http://www.pbs.org/parents/lunchtimechallenge/home/
- Good luck!
After participating in such an impactful discussion we received the opportunity to tour the White House Garden which you can follow on Instagram @WHKitchenGarden. The vegetables were so nice and green. I wanted to pluck some for myself but I resisted. Check it out.
As promised check out this Must Have Tuscan Kale Salad to Go (Mason Jar Salad) the White House Executive Chef, Cris Comerford demonstrated.
- 1 bunch tuscan kale, washed and spun dry
- 1/4 small purple cabbage, shredded
- 1 small carrot, peeled and shaved
- 1 small fennel shaved thin
- 1 cup candied pepitas
- 1 cup sundried cranberries
- 1/2 cup shaved reggiano cheese
- 1 serrano pepper shaved thinly
For the Dressing:
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 TB honey
- 2 TB apple cider vinegar
- 4 TB extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained, peeled and prepared for croutons
- 1 TB curry spice mix
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, shallots, honey and vinegar. Incorporate the olive oil slowly and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the bottom of the mason jars equally.
For the salad, cut the kale into thin strips, set on the first layer of the salad jar. Next divide the shredded cabbage equally as well for the next layer with carrots and fennel.
Top the salad jar with the pepitas, cranberries, reggiano cheese and serrano peppers. Close the lid tightly and refrigerate until use. Store garbanzo bean crouton separately.
To prepare the garbanzo bean croutons preheat over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the garbanzo beans on a cookie sheet. Roast until dry and crispy or about 1 hour. Toss in the spice and store in a covered container.
When ready to eat the salad, shake the jar and place in a salad bowl. Top with crunchy garbanzo croutons and enjoy! Bon appetite.
As you can see it was a fully morning and it would not be complete if I didn’t take photos from inside the East Wing of the White House so check it out. The White House is gorgeous inside.
Have you ever visited the White House?
Do you plan to look into any of the #LetsMove initiatives available?