The White House
Office of the First Lady
Remarks by Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Zavala at "Let's Move" event
New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, Washington, D.C.
11:31 A.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you all for sharing. I mean, one of the reasons we came to this school is because of what you all are doing here. I don't know if you know, but --
STUDENT: Can you come to Field Day?
MRS. OBAMA: You know, I'll see. I'll see what day it is and see what else is going on, but it sounds like a lot of fun, and maybe I could wear jeans and sneakers and really get under the house.
But one of the things that I’m doing as First Lady is making sure that kids are healthy and eating right and getting the right kind of exercise, which is why what you’re doing here at your school -- the fact that you’ve got such wonderful teachers who are focused on your health and how you eat. We’re going to go into the lunch room, and I don't know if we’re going to meet with you guys, but some of your classmates. And we’re going to see how you eat family-style and how you’re learning about how your bodies work, and how exercise is so important for your heart and the system all works together, and how food blends into that, because all of that is going to help you all develop really good habits so that when you’re adults you’re eating healthy. And if you decide to have kids of your own, you can teach them these habits.
But it’s so -- you are so blessed to be in a school like this that’s focusing and giving you this kind of information, and making it fun, right, because what you see is that exercise and play -- that's all exercise is, it’s a bunch of play. It’s just games. But you get your heart moving, and you’ve got to do that.
What they say is that kids should get 60 minutes of exercise every day. And you just got how many minutes were we --
MR. RYAN: About 25.
MRS. OBAMA: You just got 25 minutes already. So if you went home and ran around for another 25 minutes, or rode your bike, and you did that every day, you’d be doing exactly what you need to do as a kid. But you’re fortunate -- kind of fitness -- but you’re fortunate to be able to get that stuff here at this school.
What do you have to say, sweetie?
STUDENT: When I go somewhere with my mom, I always bring an apple to eat.
MRS. OBAMA: That's right. See, that's a good example of healthy snacks, right, because you don't have to have a bag of chips. You don't have to have -- what?
STUDENT: Junk food.
MRS. OBAMA: Or junk food, right. You can have nuts or raisins, an apple, right?
MRS. OBAMA: Banana, that's right.
CHILD: Even I ride my bike --
MRS. OBAMA: That's great. That's all good stuff.
STUDENT: (Inaudible) -- every weekend -- (inaudible) -- when I go to my grandma’s house, we -- they play the Wii --
MRS. OBAMA: The Wii Fit? Yep, Malia and Sasha have that, too.
STUDENT: -- go out and ride our bikes.
MRS. OBAMA: That's it. That's exactly what --
STUDENT: That's why I wanted -- (inaudible.)
MRS. OBAMA: That’s great. That's exactly what you should be doing.
STUDENT: Does your daughters do exercise?
MRS. OBAMA: They do. They do it at school like you do, and they do it at home, because you know what --
STUDENT: Do they ride their bikes?
MRS. OBAMA: They do. Yeah, they ride their bikes, they do.
STUDENT: Do you do exercise?
MRS. OBAMA: I do. I exercise every single day, unless I’m really --
STUDENT: Barack Obama?
MRS. OBAMA: He exercises every morning, every single morning.
STUDENT: I know what his favorite sport is.
MRS. OBAMA: What’s his favorite sport?
MRS. OBAMA: Basketball, oh yeah. And if he can play that, he’d play that every day.
STUDENT: Mrs. Obama, I have a question.
MRS. OBAMA: What’s your question?
STUDENT: I have a question. My mom said -- my mom said that -- I think that she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn’t have papers.
MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, well, that's something that we have to work on, right, to make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That's exactly right.
STUDENT: But my mom doesn’t have … (crosstalk).
MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and that everybody has got to work together in Congress to make sure that that happens. That's right.
MRS. OBAMA: Yes, sweetie.
STUDENT: My mom went to where you all vote. It was so cold. She was standing and she was sleepy.
MRS. OBAMA: Oh, but she stayed there and voted, right? That's good. Sometimes you’ve got to work hard to vote, you know? That's part of what we call our democracy, right, that you have to vote to make sure that the people who are in office making laws are representing what you think. And sometimes it’s not easy to vote. Sometimes you have to stand in lines. And that means when you get older, you’re going to vote every time, right, even if it means standing in line in the cold, right? That's a good thing.
All right, sweetie.
MRS. ZAVALA: I can’t hear you.
MRS. OBAMA: Speak up.
STUDENT: I hope you teach your daughters about fitness and health.
MRS. OBAMA: We do, we do. At our house, we talk about fitness a lot. One plays soccer, one plays basketball. Both of them take tennis. They go to the gym on a regular basis. They ride their bikes. Being active is part -- because the thing about being active is that it helps you with this muscle, too. That's the most important thing about exercise. It’s like you wouldn’t think -- you’d think that exercise is just about muscles in your arms and legs, but the most important muscle that exercise works is your brain muscle, this thing in your head, you know, and that's why we know it’s important for kids to eat healthy and get a lot of exercise, because you all learn better, right, because when you come out here for 25 minutes and you run around, then you’re ready to go back to school and in your classrooms and do what?
MRS. OBAMA: No, when you go back to the --
MRS. OBAMA: Listen and learn, that's right.
But now I’m going to turn it over to Mrs. Zavala who I know might want to say a few words just to you all, as well.
MRS. ZAVALA: Thank you. Thank you very much. The President Felipe Calderón is the President of Mexico. And we have three kids. Maria is 13 years old and she likes ballet.
MRS. OBAMA: Ballet.
STUDENT: I like ballet.
MRS. ZAVALA: And Luis Felipe is the second one, and he loves soccer. It’s a wonderful --
MRS. OBAMA: He wants to -- how old is Felipe?
MRS. ZAVALA: Felipe is 11.
STUDENT: How old is Maria? And Maria, 13. And Juan Pablo --
MRS. OBAMA: She has a daughter.
MRS. ZAVALA: -- he’s seven, and he likes karate.
STUDENT: I like karate! (Laughter.)
MRS. ZAVALA: I want to speak in Spanish. I know somebody can understand me. She is going to translate for me and for you.
(As translated.) In Mexico we’re also very preoccupied, the adults, and also that children throughout the world will exercise and be healthy so they can learn better, because as Mrs. Michelle Obama says, exercise is important for the body and for the brain. It’s important to learn mathematics, history, but also to do exercise so you can learn better. Michelle and I want your entire generation, our children -- we want them to grow up happy and healthy.
But that also depends a lot on you -- that you exercise every day and you eat in a more healthy way and you know what foods are healthy and what foods aren’t. And if you prefer the healthy food, it will be better for the world for you to grow healthy and happy, and it’ll be good for the world.
Thank you very much.
11:41 A.M. EDT