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Girl Scouts USA and Kraft Foods Host Let’s Move! Town Hall

Leadership and great cookies are usually among the first things that come to mind when you think about the Girl Scouts, but last week at Johns Hopkins University’s DC campus, healthy eating, fitness and exercise were the focus of a lively town hall co-hosted by the Girl Scouts of the USA and Kraft Foods, celebrating the first birthday of Let’s Move!

Over 100 Girl Scouts from the National Capital region, along with Girl Scouts via telecast in  Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles, joined U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to celebrate the first anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.  Chicago Girl Scouts joined from the Kraft test kitchen, where the girls created their own healthy snacks. When the girls’ voted on their favorite snack -- a turkey, pear and cheese melt – those of us in DC could only look on while our stomachs rumbled!

Secretary Sebelius took a few moments to talk about Let’s Move! and its goal of ending childhood obesity within a generation –and to answer the Girl Scouts’ questions.  The Secretary acknowledged that it can be challenging to consistently eat healthy food, revealing her own occasional “craving for Blizzards®” – which prompted appreciative laughs from the audience. She challenged the Girl Scouts to eat healthy foods and also to find physical activities that they enjoy.  By doing both, they can be examples to their friends, siblings and parents to live healthier lives, said Sebelius.  She also cited the new child nutrition law that will provide more nutritious school meals to millions of American children as one of the key Administration measures to cut down on childhood obesity.

The Girl Scouts and Kraft Foods have both been avid participants in Let’s Move.  At the launch of Let’s Move Faith and Communities initiative for community and faith-based groups, the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s  Capital  is committed to challenge their 88,000 members to earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award. The Girl Scouts of the USA upped the ante at the town hall, challenging all Girl Scouts in the Atlanta, LA, Chicago and DC regions to earn the PALA award.  Kraft joined the country’s largest food producers to cut 1.5 trillion calories out of their products by 2015, said Sebelius.

The Girl Scouts also had an opportunity to ask questions of Secretary Sebelius, and her co panelists Kathy Cloniger, CEO of the Girl Scouts, and Rhonda Jordan, President of Global Health and Wellness, Kraft Foods.  Ms. Cloninger emphasized the importance of self-esteem and body image in healthy living for girls in particular. One town hall participant asked how to get more involved with Let’s Move! Secretary Sebelius noted that Let’s Move! is part eating healthy and part exercise, and hoped the Girl Scouts would develop healthy eating and exercise habits today that would last a lifetime.

You can also learn about the Let’s Move Faith and Communities challenges and find a helpful toolkit to support your work.