I really did go to the White House two weeks ago, and I still can’t believe it.
In fact, I think it’s taken me a total of two weeks to even process the whole event.
I, along with about 150 parent bloggers and influencers, was invited to the White House to attend an event for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. It was really an amazing experience.
And I learned a ton about the Let’s Move! programs that I cannot wait to share.
But before anything, I want to let you know that you, too, can go to the White House.
Did you know that? You can. And you should.
Like, soon, yo. Soon.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Why I Went to the White House (and How You Can Go, Too!):
Several blog networks handled the invitations for this event, and I owe mine to SheKnows Media and BlogHer. (Thank you, thank you, SheKnows and BlogHer!)
At the event, special speakers–including Mrs. Obama herself!–carried us through the morning, and through each. I learned so much about the initiatives that support Let’s Move!
Nearly every one of these cool programs deserves its own post, so I plan to write more about each in the next few weeks. Until then, I’ll give you a super-quickie overview.
What is Let’s Move!?
Let’s Move! is an initiative launched in 2010 which is dedicated to helping kids and families lead healthier lives.
And to support this program, a number of incredible initiatives have been implemented. Here’s the super-short on many of them:
Let’s Move! Active Schools
Let’s Move! Active Schools is an effort to make 60 minutes of physical activity the new norm for schools. It’s an effort led by a collaboration of leading health and education organizations, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Let’s Move! Active Schools equips school leaders and educators with the tools to create active learning environments through customized plans, resources, and grants.
Find out how your school can get involved: www.letsmoveschools.org.
Let’s Move! Child Care
Let’s Move! Child Care is a nationwide call to action that gets child care and early childhood education providers to make positive health changes in children that could last a lifetime. This initiative is led by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Nemours.
It’s about getting child care providers to commit to five goals for childhood obesity prevention.
Learn more and get involved: healthykidshealthyfuture.org
Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties
Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties is a partnership between the National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that helps local elected officials to implement policy and changes that will prevent childhood obesity.
Tons of resources and tons of support so that everywhere programs are implemented to keep families healthy.
Learn more: Healthy Communities Healthy Future.org.
Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools
Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools has a simple–but lofty–goal of having every school in the United States to have a salad bar. The idea is that every child, from elementary to high school, will have daily access to healthy foods.
Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative led by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and was founded by the Chef Ann Foundation, the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Produce Association Foundation, and Whole Foods Market.
Find out more here: saladbars2schools.org
Let’s Move! in Indian Country
Let’s Move! in Indian Country focuses on improving the health of American Indian and Alaska Native children, where childhood obesity is at some of the highest rates in the country.
Tribal governments, Urban Indian Centers, private businesses, youth leaders, and the non-profit sector of each are working together to raise the next generation of healthy Native children, and this effort is led by the Indian Health Service at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Learn more: lmic.ihs.gov
Let’s Move! Faith and Communities
Let’s Move! Faith and Communities encourages faith-based and neighborhood communities to initiate, expand, and coordinate activities that make their communities places of wellness for kids and families.
Find out more here and download the resources and toolkit: letsmove.gov/faith-communities-toolkit
Let’s Move! Outside
Let’s Move! Outside was created to get kids and families outdoors and to encourage them to take advantage of our many parks and resources.
I was in awe of this initiative, which boasts the Let’s Move! Junior Ranger programs and Every Kid in a Park initiative.
I’ll definitely share more about this initiative–especially the programs–in the next few days. Stay tuned.
Until then, visit letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside for more.
Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens
Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens initiative helps to inspire healthy habits. In all museums–children’s, public gardens, zoos, science centers, art and history museums–the goal is to have interactive exhibits and to serve healthy foods.
Led by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, you can learn more here: www.imls.gov
Let’s Read. Let’s Move!
Let’s Read. Let’s Move! aims to increase awareness about the importance of good nutrition, of learning, and of physical activity through none other than reading!
Let’s Read! Let’s Move! calls on all Americans to combat summer reading loss and childhood obesity through volunteering and service in the summer months. I love it.
Launched by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency that administers AmeriCorps and other service programs, this program provides resources, toolkits, and ideas for everyone.
Find the resources here: www.serve.gov/site-page/lrlm
Chefs Move to Schools
Chefs Move to Schools encourages chefs to volunteer in schools and to partner with teachers, parents, school nutritionists, food service directors, and administrators. Chefs can teach cool culinary techniques and recipes to kids and families, and in doing so, they can make preparing healthy meals fun.
How fun is that?
There’s even a Chefs Move to Schools Afterschool Pilot Program which I think is just awesome.
Chefs Move to Schools is an effort led by a bunch of partners, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry. You can find a volunteer chef in your area here: ChefsMovetoSchools.org.
healthy lunchtime challenge & Kids’ State Dinner
healthy lunchtime challenge & Kids’ State Dinner is so cool I can’t even stand it.
The First Lady has teamed up with PBS station WBGH in Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host this challenge, and I’m wishing. . .hoping. . .praying that one of my kids will enter.
The healthy lunchtime challenge is aimed at promoting cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation. It’s a challenge that invites kids ages 8-12, along with a parent or guardian, to create an original, affordable, delicious, and healthy recipe.
Hear Mrs. Obama talking about the program here:
Recipes need to be submitted by April 4th. Find out more here: pbs.org/parents/lunchtimechallenge/enter
Find out more about which Let’s Move! programs are near you by clicking below:
We learned a ton about the partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Choose My Plate: Tons and tons and tons of resources to help people remember to make healthy meal choices
- Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals
- Farm to School programs
We learned about the awesome resources available through Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA):
- Drink Up Social Media: Whole focus? Drink more water!
- FNV: The official Fruits & Veggies brand
And check out some of my photos from the event here:
Okay. Now how do you get to the White House?
(Because really, you’re invited. We all are!)
Friends. Anyone can go to the White House. All you need to do is submit a request. Really and truly.
Here’s what you need to know:
- You need to submit a request for a public tour of the White House via your member of Congress.
- You can find your member of Congress here: Find Your Representative.
- Tours may be requested up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance.
- All tours are free!
- If you are a citizen from another country, you must submit your request through your Embassy in Washington, DC.
- You can take a Virtual Tour of the White House any time by visiting the Virtual Tour page: White House Virtual Tour.
A few quickie tips for traveling in DC:
- Driving in the city is not that bad. Really. Parking Panda changed my life. Try it. Use it. Use my code (AMYMASC) for $5 off!).
- Or use Uber and have someone drive for you. Use my code (uberteachmama) for $15 off.
- Or plan your trip on Metro.
Really and truly, you should do it.
Once the Obamas leave office, there’s no telling what things will be like over on Pennsylvania Avenue.
That’s it friends. Let me know what questions you have and which program speaks to you most!
And please stay connected! Find out more about this initiative by following:
- Instagram: @WHKitchenGarden || @MichelleObama
- Twitter: @LetsMove || @FLOTUS
- Facebook: facebook.com/letsmove
- YouTube: Let’s Move! Channel
- Flickr: Let’s Move!
- Follow the hashtag: #LetsMove
fyi: Huge and happy thanks to SheKnows Media and BlogHer for the invitation. Thank you to the amazing Deb Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition; thank you to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS; thank you to Dominique Dawes (yes THE Dominique Dawes!), Co-Chair, President’s Council on Fitness; thank you to Craig Dorsett, Advisor, Department of Interior; thank you to Dr. Katie Wilson, USDA; thank you to Deborah Kane, USDA; thank you to Jackie Haven, USDA; thank you to Stephenie Fu, USDA; thank you to the incredible White House Chef, Cris Comerford; thank you to Ryan Shadrick Wilson, Partnership for a Healthier America; thank you to the honorable First Lady Michelle Obama for making this event unforgettable.