About a year ago, long-time readers might remember that I did a profile on President Barack Obama and his ability to strike the balance of food. President Obama likes to eat well, but will go out to a Five Guys and have an occasional burger and fries.
Michelle Obama has been the one to focus even more on healthy eating, especially among children. The White House organic garden. The "Let's Move" program. The taskforce on childhood obesity. The pending legislation to improve school lunches.
But the not-so-deep secret is that Michelle Obama likes fast food more than her husband.
This tidbit was disclosed as part of an online chat done by Mrs. Obama and AOL Health from the White House.
Mrs. Obama was quick to put that myth to rest. "I love it more than he does," she says. But, the Let's Move campaign is "not about saying no to ice cream and french fries." Having a piece of cake at a birthday party is fine, she says, as long as the majority of a day's intake is healthy.
Later in the interview, the focus was shifted to her mother who has said that organic food is "not my thing" and "If you're going to have fried chicken, have fried chicken."
"The message in our household is balance," she says. "We don't shy away from fast foods because we want to send the message about balance." Ice cream is OK in moderation, she explains, so long as the majority of your diet is composed of healthy meals.
Good for Mrs. Obama, Mr. Obama, and Mrs. Robinson (Michelle's mother). Good for them for having the sense and sensibility to be reasonable.
Parents can easily go from one extreme in food to another: discover the horribleness of what we are eating, and go way overboard. But children need to learn to make good choices. And the best way for them to learn is to be exposed to all kinds of food situations.
This isn't to say they should eat Spaghetti O's for a week, or having high-fructose corn syrup drinking contests. Children need to learn good from bad, but having a bit of fun with both.
The "bad" food for us is much worse than when the president or the first lady were children, and especially when Mrs. Robinson was a child. There is that difference. But homemade fast food can still satisfy that craving without being too taxing on the body.
It's all about the balance of food. Besides me, we now have two huge role models: the president and first lady of the United States.