By Sarah Begley
October 3, 2014

The First Lady visited The Chew talk show on ABC on Friday to talk about school lunch, healthy snacking, and of course, Halloween treats. ’Tis the season, after all. But given her zeal for nutrition, we might have guessed that the First Lady would pass out apples on October 31. Not so: she says they give out White House cookies instead.

When co-host Carla Hall said she gives kids pencils in lieu of a treat, Mrs. Obama reacted with shock and disgust. “Really Carla?” she asked. “Are they sharpened so that they can stab you with them?”

Three school cafeteria directors presented their best lunches, judged by the hosts of the show. The winner was a spaghetti with meat sauce, with vegetables like squash and carrots “hidden” in a puree. A video spot also featured a farm, Amber Waves in Amagansett, NY, that grows many of the ingredients for pizza. Kids can visit, pick their own peppers and tomatoes, and bake themselves an individual whole-wheat pie. These kinds of projects, said Mrs. Obama and the hosts of The Chew, are the kind of thing that get kids involved in a conversation about food and health, rather than making them think of nutrition as a chore.

FLOTUS said that her own passion for nutrition came after realizing the “mistakes [she] made as a working mom,” being busy and ordering out too much. The family’s motto is now “finish your vegetables,” and she noted that she has trained Sasha and Malia to only indulge in desserts on the weekend.

“The president isn’t a big sweets eater,” she said. “I love it, but I’m always watching my weight, so that’s the first thing I pass on.” Hopefully all this conscientious eating won’t put the White House pastry chef out of business anytime soon.

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