The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • Hanging Out with First Lady Michelle Obama

    Ed. note: This post was originally published on the official Let's Move! website.

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the Let’s Move! Google+ Hangout

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the “Let’s Move!” Google+ Hangout in the Blue Room of the White House. March 4, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined her first ever Google+ Hangout live from the Blue Room of the White House. Continuing our series of “Fireside Hangouts” on Google+, Mrs. Obama participated in a virtual conversation about Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure our nation’s kids grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

    During the Hangout, the First Lady discussed the new Let’s Move! Active Schools program designed to bring physical activity back to schools, the importance of family dinner, steps to get healthier lunches into schools – and favorite dance moves (of course, it’s the dougie. And yes, everyone in the hangout dougied together.)  Watch the full video:

  • Join First Lady Michelle Obama in Google+ Hangout about Let’s Move! on Monday

    Ed. note: This post was originally published on the official Let's Move website. You can read that post here.

    Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled around the country to celebrate the third anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

    Mrs. Obama highlighted great progress being made in schools, towns and businesses across America. She also announced several new programs that will help families make healthier choices and will enable our kids to be more physically active, including a new MyPlate partnership that identifies recipes that meet USDA nutrition standards on the largest food sites on the web, and the launch of Let's Move Active Schools, which empowers schools to find free or low-cost ways to incorporate movement before, during, and after the school day.

    On Monday, March 4th at 11:10 a.m. ET, the celebration continues as the First Lady joins her first ever Google+ Hangout.

    Mrs. Obama will participate in a completely virtual conversation from the Blue Room of the White House, speaking with families from around the country. The hangout will be moderated by Kelly Ripa, co-host of LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and we hope you’ll join, too!

  • First Lady Michelle Obama Launches Let's Move Active Schools

    Mrs. Obama at McCormick Place

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a “Let’s Move! Active Schools” event with athletes and students at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., Feb. 28, 2013. The First Lady called on leaders to support schools’ efforts to ensure all kids get the physical activity they need to stay healthy and succeed in school. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    According to First Lady Michelle Obama, Thursday was "a groundbreaking, earth-shattering, awesomely-inspiring day." That's because Mrs. Obama was in Chicago to announce the launch Let’s Move Active Schools, an unprecedented effort to bring physical education back to America’s schools.

    The problem is severe -- we are raising the most sedentary generation in history. Only six states require P.E. in all grades, and only one in three kids is physically active on a daily basis. In addition to the health risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, including diabetes and obesity, physical activity has been shown to lower anxiety and stress, and fight depression. In addition, physically active kids do better in school, with studies showing that physical activity enhances important skills, like concentration and problem solving, which have been shown to improve academic performance.  

    Let’s Move! Active Schools is designed to address these challenges by spurring innovative solutions and offering customized support every step of the way. It empowers schools to find free or low-cost ways to incorporate movement before, during, and after the school day. And thanks to funding and other resources being provided by NIKE, Inc., the GENYOUth Foundation, ChildObesity180, Kaiser Permanente, and the General Mills Foundation, schools can connect to grant opportunities, online resources, personal assistance, and hands-on professional development. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation are the managing organizations guiding the development and implementation of the program.

  • West Wing Week: 03/01/13 or “Hope Springs Eternal”

    This week, the President urged Congress to take a responsible approach to deficit reduction instead of the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts called the sequester. He also met with the Prime Minister of Japan, America's Governors, and the country's only all-black Ranger unit, and unveiled a truly moving monument to Rosa Parks.

  • Michelle Obama: The Business Case for Healthier Food Options

    Ed. note: This op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama was first published by the Wall Street Journal

    For years, America's childhood obesity crisis was viewed as an insurmountable problem, one that was too complicated and too entrenched to ever really solve. According to the conventional wisdom, healthy food simply didn't sell—the demand wasn't there and higher profits were found elsewhere—so it just wasn't worth the investment.

    But thanks to businesses across the country, today we are proving the conventional wisdom wrong. Every day, great American companies are achieving greater and greater success by creating and selling healthy products. In doing so, they are showing that what's good for kids and good for family budgets can also be good for business.

    Take the example of Wal-Mart. In just the past two years, the company reports that it has cut the costs to its consumers of fruits and vegetables by $2.3 billion and reduced the amount of sugar in its products by 10%. Wal-Mart has also opened 86 new stores in underserved communities and launched a labeling program that helps customers spot healthy items on the shelf. And today, the company is not only seeing increased sales of fresh produce, but also building better relationships with its customers and stronger connections to the communities it serves.

  • Let's Move Tour Day 1: Cafeteria Cook-off

    Ed. note: This was originally published on the Let's Move website. You can see the original post here

    Today, Rachael Ray joined First Lady Michelle Obama and 400 elementary school students in Clinton, Mississippi to celebrate the new, healthier school meals being served in cafeterias across the country. Two teams -- cafeteria chef Fannie and celebrity chef Sunny Anderson versus cafeteria chef Wendy and celebrity Ryan Scott -- competed in a Let's Move! Cafeteria Cook-off to make the most delicious, healthy school lunch. 

    Rachael Ray and Mrs. Obama watched as student judges scored the lunches from blind taste tests. Before the winner was announced, the First Lady applauded the work of Fannie, Wendy, and their peers in school cafeterias across the country.

    “These are major, major achievements. And I know that getting to this point hasn’t been easy. I know that a lot of folks had to put in a lot of time and effort to make all this possible. And I’m particularly proud of all of the school chefs, the food service workers at schools like this one all across this state, and all across this country. And I want to take time to recognize those folks in the kitchen who do the hard work of cooking for our kids and loving every minute of it. When we passed historic legislation to improve school lunches for the first time in 15 years, these were the folks who had to totally transform their menus in a matter of months. They went from frying to baking. They had to work with totally new ingredients. And they had to satisfy both strict nutrition requirements and, as we know, picky eaters.”

  • Let's Move Anniversary News: Recipe Partnership Makes It Easy for Families to Eat Healthier at Home

    First Lady Michelle Obama with Robin Roberts and Marcus Samuelsson on Good Morning America

    First Lady Michelle Obama, along with Robin Roberts and chef Marcus Samuelsson, participate in a “Good Morning America” cooking segment at the GMA Studios in New York, N.Y., Feb. 22, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Ed. note: this post was originally published on the official Let's Move website. You can read it here

    MyPlate is one of the easiest ways to learn about healthy eating. It's simple to look at the icon and recognize how to pile up your own plate. But can you cook with it? Mrs. Obama thinks so. Today, the First Lady joined Robin Roberts and Chef Marcus Samuelsson on Good Morning America to announce a new partnership that highlights healthier recipes that align with MyPlate. 

    Your favorite recipe sites -- and Pinterest, an online tool millions use to find the inspiration for their lives-- have teamed up with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to make it easier to find healthier recipes online. Each of the sites will indicate which of their recipes meet nutrition guidance from the US Department of Agriculture, meaning you can now find delicious MyPlate-inspired recipes on the sites you already visit for cooking inspiration. Thousands of recipes will also be featured on new Pinterest boards that launched today. This one-stop-shop for home cooks will give parents the information and tools they need to make healthy choices for their families.

    "As a mom, I know how challenging it can be to think of new meal ideas that your kids will like and that will be good for them,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This partnership takes the guess work out of finding healthier recipes and gives parents the information and the tools they need to make healthy choices for their families every day.”

  • Renewing the National Commitment to Putting America’s Heroes Back to Work

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden addressed the National Governors Association today, and renewed their call on governors to do their part putting America’s heroes back to work, and to serve our military veterans and spouses as well as they’ve served us. The First Lady’s remarks are a call to action – building on President Obama’s June 2012 announcement of the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – setting a goal that by the end of 2015, all 50 states will have taken legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need to successfully transition to the civilian labor market.

    The remarks by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden coincide with a new report by the Executive Office of the President that details the barriers veterans and their families face as they seek employment, the Administration’s commitment to help them leverage their skills to good, meaningful jobs and the progress that has already been made.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges Governors of all 50 States to Ease Service Members' Transition to Civilian Work Force

    Too often the talented men and women who have served our country face barriers that make it difficult to find jobs that capitalize on the skills they have gained through their military education and experience. Many service members and veterans are required to repeat education or training in order to receive industry certifications and state occupational licenses, even though much, and in some cases, all, of their military training and experience overlaps with credential requirements.

    The members of our Armed Forces and their families make great sacrifices, and when their service is concluded, we owe it to our veterans and their families to help them accomplish a successful transition to the civilian labor force. That is why over the past year and a half, President Obama has taken significant action to create a “career-ready military” and streamline the transition process.

    Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden highlighted the work that has been done across the country to change laws that require military spouses to attain new credentials when they move to a new state, and challenged the governors of all 50 states to take legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need by the end of 2015. Speaking to the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room, Mrs. Obama talked about the pressing need to take action and fulfill our responsibilities to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past decade:

    In the coming years, more than one million service members will make the transition to civilian life. 

    Think about that – a million people hanging up their uniforms… figuring out what’s next… and doing everything they can to make that change as seamless as possible for their families.

    So the fact is, while this time of war may be ending, our responsibilities to our troops and their families will only be ramping  up.

    And that’s what I want to talk to you about today—how we can fulfill what is perhaps our most pressing responsibility to our troops: making sure that when they come home, they can find a job—and not just any job, but a good job, a job they can raise a family on.

  • West Wing Week: 02/15/13 or “You’re a Hero”

    This week, the President delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, and then brought his proposals to a factory in North Carolina and a school in Georgia, presided over a Medal of Honor ceremony, honored the outgoing Secretary of Defense, and hungout on Google Plus.