Published July 11, 2012
WASHINGTON – The White House staff is spilling details about Obama family life, from the first family's fitness regime to their eating habits.
White House chef Sam Kass and personal trainer Cornell McClellan answered questions about working for the Obamas as they read to more than 100 children Wednesday at the Department of Education.
Kass said he serves lots of vegetables including broccoli, spinach, green beans, brown rice, fish and chicken. He said the family still has fun with a pizza or burger, but "we have some very balanced meals."
McClellan said the family does jumping jacks, push-ups, jump rope, boxing, running, soccer and basketball to keep fit.
Kass read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, while McClellan read Jonathan London's "Froggy Learns to Swim" to the children from half a dozen schools and centers in the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania.
After reading to the children, the two joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan in cheering on the youngsters in relay races, shooting hoops, using hula hoops and other physical activities.
"Keeping kids reading, keeping them engaged intellectually, going to libraries, going to museums, whatever it might be, is so important," Duncan said. "The physical activities — the moving part of this — is a lot of fun, but we're just trying to develop in students healthy lifestyles and if they start to build the habits now, they'll literally last them a lifetime."
The event was promoting the Education Department's "Let's Read! Let's Move!" series, which encourages children to read and be physically active during the summer months away from school. White House administration, Cabinet members and other public figures are scheduled to participate in reading events throughout July.