In Review: Top 10 FLOTUS Let’s Move! Moments
Before First Lady Michelle Obama came to the White House, she was a busy mom juggling work and family. After an eye-opening conversation with her pediatrician, Mrs. Obama realized she needed to make some adjustments to her family’s eating routine. With small changes, like cooking more meals at home and drinking water, she started to see the positive impact on her family’s health.
Then, when Mrs. Obama arrived at the White House, she decided she wanted to use her platform to share the lessons she learned and help other busy parents in order to raise a healthier generation of kids and families. One of the first actions the First Lady made back in 2009 was to plant the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn. The garden helped spark a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our country that led to the launch of Let's Move! in 2010.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the launch of the "Let's Move!" initiative in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 9, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
At the start of Let's Move!, President Obama established the first-ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity to develop a national action plan to mobilize the public and private sectors and engage families and communities in an effort to improve the health of our children. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years; giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices; providing healthier foods in our schools; ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food; and helping children become more physically active.
Everyone has a role to play to ensure all of our kids grow up healthy, and through lasting policy, programs, and public-private partnerships, Let’s Move! has enabled impactful progress.
In no particular order, check out our top moments from over the course of the last eight years:
1) Updating school nutrition standards
The First Lady championed the transformation of the school food environment through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which updated school meal nutrition standards for the first time in 15 years and increased funding for the first time in 30 years. Through this law, American public schools offer healthier school meals and snacks for over 50 million kids. In addition, it increased the number of students who could get school meals at little or no cost, and ensured that any food or beverage marketed to children at school meets specific nutrition standards. The nutrition of meals and snacks served at child care was also improved, emphasizing more whole grains, a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, and less added sugars and saturated fat.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks before President Barack Obama signs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C. December 13, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing. And our hopes for their future should drive every single decision that we make,” said First Lady Michelle Obama before President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
2) Planting, harvesting, and dedicating the White House Kitchen Garden
Mrs. Obama planted the White House Kitchen Garden—the first major vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden in 1943—and invited students from across the country to plant and harvest it each year. It has become a national symbol for growing healthy food and teaching kids about where their food comes from and the benefits of healthy eating. In October 2016, the First Lady dedicated the garden, unveiling several updates to make the garden even more accessible to kids and world leaders alike.
First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Horticulturist Dale Haney work with kids from Washington's Bancroft Elementary School to break ground for a White House garden, March 20, 2009. The White House / Joyce N. Boghosian
First Lady Michelle Obama and students from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C., help plant the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn, April 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
First Lady Michelle Obama and student Tammy Nguyen walk through the White House Kitchen Garden prior to the garden dedication at the White House, Oct. 5, 2016. Nguyen introduced the First Lady in 2010 during the launch of the "Let's Move!" initiative. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
3) Creating the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner”
To promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the country, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge was created, and the First Lady hosted five annual Kids’ “State Dinners” where altogether over 6,000 recipes were submitted and more than 270 young chefs and their families were welcomed to the White House. The challenge invited kids ages 8-12 to create an original, healthy, affordable, and delicious lunch recipe.
Mrs. Obama dines talks with her table guests during the Kids' State Dinner. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
President Barack Obama greets Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner, Raine Adams and her mother Stacey Adams, left, attending the Kids' State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 10, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
4) Updating the Nutrition Facts label
Mrs. Obama announced the Food and Drug Administration’s modernized Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods reflecting the latest science, the most relevant nutrition information, and a refreshed design in an effort to provide families with the information they need to make healthy choices.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Summit at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel in Washington, D.C., May 20, 2016. (Official White House Photo By Chuck Kennedy)
5) Developing programs to support kids and families leading healthier lives
Let’s Move! Active Schools was started so kids could attend schools that strive to make 60 minutes of physical activity a day the norm. Reaching over 12 million kids, this program equips schools with a customized action plan to create active learning environments.
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in musical activities with students during a back to school "Let's Move!" Active Schools event at Orr Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools was launched to increase access to fruits and vegetables, and it has done so by providing 3 million students with a salad bar.
First Lady Michelle Obama joins students for a "Let's Move! " Salad Bars to Schools launch event at Riverside Elementary School in Miami, Fla., Nov. 22, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties was created to assist local elected officials in building healthier communities across the country. Over 81 million people – or 1 in 4 Americans – have benefited thanks to the more than 520 local elected officials that have committed to the program.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a "Let's Move!" Mayors meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, July 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Let’s Move! Child Care was launched to ensure that our youngest children are getting a healthy start. Over 1.6 million kids attend a child care site where the provider has committed to improving the nutritional quality of the meals and snacks served, increasing opportunities for physical activity, and limiting screen time.
First Lady Michelle Obama joins children for a healthy snack during a "Let's Move!" event at La Petite Academy child care center in Bowie, Md., Feb. 27, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Let's Move! Outside was created to encourage kids and families to take advantage of America’s great outdoors. As part of President Obama’s commitment to ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit our nation’s more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters, the Every Kid in a Park initiative allows fourth graders nationwide to obtain a pass for free entry for them and their families.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sing songs with Girl Scouts during the White House Campout, as part of the "Let's Move! Outside" initiative, on the South Lawn of the White House, June 30, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
Learn more about our other Let’s Move! program here.
6) Launching MyPlate and MiPlato
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Let’s Move! initiative event with Aimee Busquet and Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue at National Supermarket in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 26, 2012. The event showcased the MiPlato (MyPlate) program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s educational tool that assists families in making healthy meal choices. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
7) Engaging the private sector to make the healthy choice the easy choice
Over 225 corporate commitments and partnerships were championed with Mrs. Obama as the honorary chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit helping the private sector make the healthy choice the easy choice. These commitments and partnerships showcase how the private sector can be an active part of the solution in supporting a healthy food system and society with increased availability of healthier products.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the 2015 Partnership for a Healthier America Summit at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, February 26, 2015.
8) Leveraging the power of marketing for healthier options
In collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America, the First Lady leveraged the power of marketing through three signature campaigns to encourage Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables and drink water.
Together Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association promote kids’ fruit and vegetable consumption through eat brighter!.
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a "Let's Move!" Funny or Die game show taping with Billy Eichner of Billy on the Street, and Big Bird at Safeway in Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
The Drink Up campaign is an unprecedented collaboration of companies promoting water, resulting in increased sales and consumption of water each year since its launch.
First Lady Michelle Obama and children from local YMCA organizations and the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation show off the Drink Up logo during an event on the South Lawn of the White House, July 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Establishing one iconic brand for fruits and vegetables, FNV harnesses the power of celebrities to deliver a healthy dose of advertising.
First Lady Michelle Obama joins the Partnership for a Healthier America for a FNV Live! event at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. Stunts and challenges are led by social media creators from Whistle Sports Network. FNV, short for "fruits and vegetables," is a national brand focused on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and sales, led by PHA and a collaboration of companies, celebrities, athletes and foundations. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
9) Increasing opportunities for physical activity with Team USA
The First Lady teamed up with the U.S. Olympic Committee and several of its National Governing Bodies to provide beginner athletic programming for free or low cost to more than 1.7 million kids in 2012 and nearly 2 million kids in 2016 in support of Team USA and the Olympic Games. Mrs. Obama led the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Games, and she participated in the 100 Day Countdown event leading up to the 2016 Rio Games.
First Lady Michelle Obama runs at an activity station during a "Let's Move! London" event at Winfield House in London, England, July 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the 2016 Olympics 100 Days Out event in Times Square, New York, N.Y., April 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
10) Expanding the mission of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
The President’s Challenge Youth Fitness Test was updated to reflect the latest science on kids’ health and promote active, healthy lifestyles rather than athletic performance and competition. In addition, the mission of the President’s Council on Fitness and Sports was expanded to include nutrition, changing the Council’s name to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and increasing the number of Council members from 20 to 25.
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the “Pit Crew Challenge” during an event with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House, May 9, 2011. The First Lady visited seven activity stations during the event, which helped promote both the Let's Move! and Joining Forces initiatives. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)