July 20th, 2011
04:38 PM ET
Take a look at next month’s issue of Better Homes and Gardens, and flowers won’t be the only thing in season— First Lady Michelle Obama is in full bloom and so are her efforts to fight childhood obesity.
The article, featuring several colorful photos and recipe suggestions, illustrates Mrs. Obama’s picnic with the fifth grade class from Harriet Tubman Elementary School, who joined her on the White House lawn back in May.
She tells Better Homes and Gardens that a regular check up with her daughters’ pediatrician first opened her eyes to the fact that the first family wasn’t reacting to life in Washington in the healthiest way.
She noticed it in herself, too: “I realized that some clothes were getting tighter. I didn’t know what was going on.” She started spending more time at the gym, and now she says it’s paid off. “I always tease him I’m in better shape than he is,” joked the First Lady about her husband. “I can do long workouts. He’s the President,” she jokes.
Although, she admits she wasn’t a big vegetable fan as a little kid either, she says encouraging healthy eating is up to the parents. “Children’s habits can be changed so much easier than adults,” she told the magazine. “They don’t have control over their diet – we do.”
Her healthy living tips are making a big impact nationwide, and they’re working in the White House, too. The girls’ pediatrician was impressed by how well they were doing at the next visit, and Mrs. Obama says “that’s when [she] started thinking, ‘I’ve done some really minor things, not a wholesale change that my kids would even notice.’”
So she will continue urging parents to help their kids be healthy and to remember that this isn’t about being skinny. “It is not about how kids look,” she says, “it’s about how they feel and about how kids feel about themselves,” and it’s a family affair. “Kids emulate what they see. You don’t have to make a lecture if you’re living it.”
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