RODALE NEWS, WASHINGTON, DC—It was a picture-perfect day for the first lady to replant the White House garden, with help from local elementary school children, her chief of staff, and a couple of cabinet secretaries, as well as members of the White House kitchen staff.
The garden is 400 square feet bigger than it was last year, and it has added four new spring vegetables. It, too, is picture-perfect.
The planting of the White House garden last year was the beginning of Michelle Obama’s crusade to reduce childhood obesity in a generation. Two months ago she announced her initiative, Let’s Move, to make it happen. She’s asked everyone, from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and American Beverage Association to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the School Nutrition Association, to help, and they’ve all signed on.
But there’s a seemingly ignored elephant in the room—or the garden, if you will: money.
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THE DETAILS: One of the cornerstones of Let’s Move is the importance of improving the nutritional quality of the food children are served in school, particularly the addition of more fruits and vegetables to their menus and the reduction on fat, sugar, and salt. Mrs. Obama mentioned that to the children who worked with her in the garden yesterday, asking, “We’ve also even started talking to schools about how do we make your school lunches even more healthy, right?" But fruits and vegetables are more expensive than fried foods and bologna sandwiches, so making school lunches and breakfasts more healthful costs money.