Nutrition and the White House Garden
Elementary students help First Lady harvest White House garden, while learning to eat healthy.
On Tuesday I visited the White House for a harvesting party that First Lady Michelle Obama hosted for students from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The garden was planted by these same students in March on the South Lawn of the White House.
As I walked out to the garden for the event, I saw the playground that was installed for the Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia earlier this year. I also caught a glimpse of the tennis and basketball courts used by the First Family. The courts are hidden behind greenery. The grounds are much bigger than they appear when you are looking at them through the White House fence.
The First Lady seemed very excited about how much progress the garden had made over the last four months. She was obviously glad that the kids had helped to plant it. Now they were back to help harvest and eat some of the bounty.
Mrs. Obama showed students how to cut lettuce off at its base, while other kids washed produce in big plastic bins on nearby tables. While they worked, the kids chatted with Mrs. Obama. She seemed to really enjoy spending time with them.
After harvesting, the kids carried produced-filled bins across the lawn to the kitchen or to a deck outside where they prepared a salad.
Outside, a group of kids got busy washing and cutting vegetables. Others decorated cupcakes with berries, while others made salad dressing. Another group went into the White House kitchen to help prepare the baked chicken.
The food looked and smelled delicious, but reporters didn’t get to eat any. Many of the kids seemed very curious about all the reporters watching and photographing them from behind a rope line.
The kids were very casual around the First Lady. One of the boys encouraged Mrs. Obama to try the salad dressing he had helped make.
When the food was ready, the kids and Mrs. Obama set picnic tables with plates and forks. While they worked, they joked with each other. All the kids seemed eager to get a seat as close to Mrs. Obama as possible.
Before sitting down at the table, Mrs. Obama spoke to the press about the importance of good eating habits. White House chefs brought out the delicious-looking food from the kitchen—baked chicken with peas and brown rice—on silver platters.
Everyone began eating as reporters started to leave, many trying to fit in some last minute notes as they were escorted to the exit. I enjoyed this event because I got to see the First Lady up close. It was also very fun to see the beautiful White House grounds.