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just fallen out of love with Michelle Obama. Up until now, I’ve thought she was
fabulous. She’s smart, successful on her own and a seemingly good mom. And
those arms, let’s not forget about those arms! To me, she’s the ultimate modern
woman who gracefully balances a career and a family. And she’s the first lady
of the United States!
But when I
read her comments in a recent interview with Cooking Light, I couldn’t help but think Michelle Obama is
wrong about food. Up until now,
I’ve loved what she’s tried to do to give our children healthier school
lunches. She’s taken on the epidemic of childhood obesity and received a ton of
pushback, despite school districts seeing a rise in test scores and attendance
since the healthier lunches have been served. As a kid, I remember my school lunches consisting of a corn
dog, cheese bread that was covered in salt, butter and processed cheese, and
some canned corn that had a questionable state of freshness. Needless to say, when I had hot lunch at school I never ate, so kudos to Michelle Obama for
taking it on.
But in the
Cooking Light interview, she talks about her own nutrition wake-up call when
former White House chef Sam Kass encouraged the Obamas to reduce all processed
foods from their diet stating, “There’s nothing wrong with
mac and cheese, but it’s got to be real food … cheese dust is not
food.” He’s probably right and so is she, but it seems to me that
she’s missing the point.
Because to some moms, boxed mac and cheese is
the best they can do. Mrs. Obama
had a successful and lucrative career, not to mention her own husband’s
success. Her ability to buy and
make better food for her children is probably a lot easier than it is for a
single mom who barely has time to see her kids, much less make an elaborate
We really want to feed our kids well, but it’s time-consuming and expensive.
The truth of the matter is eating
healthy requires two things: time and money. Very few moms have both, and most
don’t have either. So to shame them for making what might not be “real food”
seems like she’s missing the point. The point should be to do the best you can, not to feel like
you’re failing because you simply don’t have the time or the budget to do
Personally, I’m always striving to feed my
kids healthy meals while encouraging them to try different tastes and flavors.
I want them to eat healthy but to also have a good time with food. But I can say honestly that I can’t
always do it. I can’t always feed my kids well. In fact last night, I didn’t
have time to go to the market so my kids had a hot dog for dinner and I had a
yogurt. If I had had a box of mac
and cheese in the house, I probably would have served it.
I think most moms are like me. We really want to
feed our kids well, but it’s time-consuming and expensive. So I wonder if some
of the focus should be on how to make healthier food more affordable to normal people.
Because to me, the real issue is the high cost of eating healthy. Maybe if an
organic chicken were as cheap as a box of mac and cheese, less people would eat
the latter. After all, it’s not even real food—at least that’s what someone