Although First Lady Michelle Obama is behind the Let’s Move! campaign to decrease childhood obesity, children who rang the bell at the White House during a Saturday trick-or-treating event weren’t handed fresh fruit, carrot sticks, or anything that hinted at being made of whole grains.
Press at the White House on Saturday night reported that the pint-sized and costumed who made their way across the north lawn were handed a serving of dried fruit, a White House “sweet dough butter cookie,” and a box of White House M&M’s. (Those M&M’s, also available on Air Force One, apparently fetch $60 on eBay.)
President Barack Obama and the First Lady gave out the candy sans costumes, but a red chili pepper, storm trooper, cowboy throwing a lasso, and a white bunny (soaked by the icy rain that fell most of the day) were on hand to entertain children from Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. elementary schools, along with kids from area Boys and Girls Clubs. (No word on whether they led the kids in a round of jumping jacks.)
Whatever Sasha and Malia were gathering in their plastic pumpkins that night, and whether they were allowed to eat their treats, is another unknown. Press at the event said the girls were out of sight.
While the Let’s Move! message may have been a little murky this Halloween holiday, note that dried fruit is generally high in fiber.
Nowhere that I see on the Let’s Move! pages are treats explicitly mentioned (although a link to some sample menus from the U.S. Department of Agriculture references a single serving of chocolate frozen yogurt in a seven-day period). There is a line about how the average American now eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.
Perhaps everyone needs a night off from scary statistics like those.
And as I now see that the Let’s Move! site does say to “save ‘treats’ for special occasions,” (thanks to an eagle-eyed reader), it seems like that may have been the motivation behind the White House treats.