On Monday morning, the fog cleared, the sun came out and more than 30,000 people joined President Barack Obama and his family at the White House for the 135th annual Easter Egg Roll. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let’s Move initiative, the theme of the event was Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You. Instead of handing out the traditional chocolate bunnies and jellybeans, the First Family chose to serve apples. The event also offered plenty of opportunities to get moving and learn about healthy lifestyle choices.
The Eggtivity Zone featured an obstacle course and other physical challenges led by professional athletes. Celebrity chefs demonstrated healthy cooking. Yoga instructors from around the country taught kids how to stretch. And of course there was the egg roll, a race in which kids use spoons to push eggs across the White House lawn.
A Day to Learn and Play
Several special guests joined in the festivities. Nine-year-old Robby Novak, otherwise known as the Kid President, introduced the first family from the White House’s Blue Room balcony. Robby’s YouTube videos, in which he urges people “to make the world awesome,” have been viewed by millions. Robby was thrilled when he found out he was going to meet the President. "I danced!” Robby told TFK.
Auto racing star Danica Patrick came to the White House to encourage kids to be active. As a top racecar driver, Patrick understands the importance of being physically fit. “Car races are three to four hours long and you have the heart rate of a running pace, so we do have good cardio endurance,” she told TFK.
Chicago's Ultimate Tumblers, a group of young acrobats, gave two performances. After seeing them compete on America’s Got Talent, the First Lady invited the group last year and again this year to wow attendees with their jaw-dropping flips, jumps and turns. “We almost won [on the show], but fell a little short,” said the group’s founder, Orpheus R. Floyd. “But the best thing about it is that we got invited back and will be on for a second season."
Healthy Living: A Focus for the First Family
White House executive chef Cris Comerford and executive pastry chef Bill Yosses gave a demonstration on healthy cooking. Both chefs have been working with the First Lady to educate kids about good nutrition. “From the very first week [Mrs. Obama] was in the White House, she asked us to help her talk to young people about healthy living," said Yosses.
According to Comerford, “the Obamas like everything.” Their meals often include freshly picked produce from the garden, she says. “Right now there are greens and cabbages that are saying ‘Please cook me!’ That is the main thing on the plate along with a healthy protein like chicken or fish.”
Throughout the morning, the Obamas spent time interacting with their young guests. President Obama read the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to a group of children, and later joined professional basketball players for a game of hoops with several kids. The First Lady demonstrated her love of gardening at her famous vegetable garden and visited with excited fans. What an egg-traordinary day at the White House!