Let’s Move! Talk With the White House

Yesterday I had the privilege of joining in a call with the White House! I was honored to hear Sam Kass, the executive director of Let’s Move! talk about the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move, which the First Lady is very involved in.


She was in Miami this week talking with a parks and recreation center in Miami, Florida about taking action to make sure they are serving healthy snacks and water for kids in programs after school. On the call, Sam talked about the importance of the three hours after school, and making sure kids get out and move, especially if they are not involved in an after school activity or sport.

Sam also gave us some GREAT news, that the obesity rate for young children is on the decline, and 90% of schools have met the new lunch standards. New standards were also rolled out for local wellness polices. The framework for what these policies need to look like is being set, such as nutrition education, how much physical activity a child should get each day, etc. and these policies will have reports and will be able to show progress over time.

Also, new standards were announced for what can be MARKETED in schools. Sam said school should be safe place, and messages kids are getting shouldn’t undermine parent’s good work at home. If you can’t sell something in schools, you shouldn’t be able to market it there. This idea will be implemented this fall (think vending machines, snack bars, etc, full of healthy snacks). Same said the marketing is a big step forward to ensuring our schools are places that support the well being of kids.

I really liked that Sam said having candy or a bag of chips every now in then isn’t a bag thing, but that they shouldn’t be staples in our diets. We were able to ask questions, and some other bloggers had some great ones!

Some of you who have been reading my blog for many years may remember the vlog I recorded on Childhood Obesity, and know this subject is something near to my heart as a former teacher who dealt with this on a daily basis.

In closing, Sam left us with four basic things parents can do to help their kids combat childhood obesity:

1.) Breastfeed (if you can)

2.) Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables

3.) Drink water/avoid sugary drinks

4.) 60 minutes of play a day (he emphasized the word play).

QOTD: What are your thoughts on Let’s Move! and the new announcements from yesterday? Do you think we are headed in the right direction as a country? What would you like to see changed in regards to this topic?

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  1. What a great opportunity! I really like that he emphasizes the word ‘play.’ Kids shouldn’t have to think about ‘working out.’

  2. Love this! I still think we have a loooong way to go, though – every class party in Wyatt’s class for (1-2 yr olds) includes koolaid and pre-packaged individual cakes. I’m glad he doesn’t eat it but it still bothers me!

    Love the four points to reduce the risk of childhood obesity and really love that he included breastfeeding!

  3. WOW – what an amazing experience!! Congratulations on getting to attend the call, and thanks for sharing the info! I saw the news about the childhood obesity decline and was thrilled. I do think we’re headed in the right direction, and I like the emphasis on “play,” but I think the nutrition guidelines could be sharpened a bit … unfortunately, for some reason, the “fill half your plate with fruits and veggies” seems to be easy to pass up. Plus, half a plate of potatoes or pizza (many schools count the tomato sauce as a veggie!), with the other half packaged/ processed items, is still not a healthy choice. Still, progress is progress, so I’m glad we’re celebrating!

  4. I agree with 3 of the 4 suggestions but half the plate with fruits and veggies? What should parents do if their kids refuse to eat them? My poor mother had to put up with so much because I hate veggies and still won’t eat them.

  5. I like that they are trying to make it a healthier world for our kids. And I love that they are encouraging play! So many kids are glued to the tv or video games.

  6. What a cool opportunity! Obesity in children saddens me… I am so glad to hear that there is a turnaround and the rate is declining. We still may have a long way to go to totally combat it, but at least it’s heading in the right direction! I’m not a parent, but if I were, I would absolutely encourage healthy habits in my child every single day!

  7. I agree with play…outdoors!

  8. Elizabeth Gentry says:

    I think this is great! It Is important to get kids involved at an early age! Thanks Heather for sharing 🙂

  9. Bridie Rist says:

    I wish it was as easy as it sounds. At my son’s school, if they have library time, they lose their recess time that day. It’s frustrating to me (a high school teacher) that they put so much emphasis on testing and seem to forget that we are supposed to be helping students develop into well-rounded people with a balanced life. I feel like we need to encourage more students to get active by allowed them to make choices and giving them the time to do that.

  10. This is a great initiative! It saddens me that even thought they say they want more nutrition class and wellness classes in schools, it still depends on the individual district. My district for one has eliminated these types of classes which is a shame. It almost contradicts what the first lady is trying to do and it kind of makes me angry. These initiatives and programs are out there for a reason. School districts need to listen!

Mentioned elsewhere:

  1. Let’s Move! Talk With the White House

    Yesterday I had the privilege of joining in a call with the White House! I was honored to hear Sam Kass

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