How Do Your Dinnertime Rules Compare to the Obamas'?

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If you listen to the Morning Edition interview with first lady Michelle Obama, you'll know she's come out with a new book about the White House garden. It's just one more effort to help create a culture of wellness among Americans, which began with her Let's Move campaign in 2010.

As leader of this campaign, Mrs. Obama has been careful to keep it real. She acknowledges that her family, like most of the rest of us, enjoys burgers and fries on occasion. And, in public, she's shown that she enjoys all kinds of food — and likes to celebrate it.

But she has also made it clear that in the Obama household, there are some rules at meal time. The Obamas eat brown rice instead of white, limit dessert to a few times during the week and pack lots of vegetables into dinner.

What else? Mrs. Obama told NPR's Rene Montagne that dinner is a ritual for her family.

"At 6:30 we make it a point, that if we're in town, no matter what the president is doing, we stop what we're doing, we sit down and and have a meal as a family," she said. Clearly it's not always possible with the president's schedule, but it's a high priority, she says.

And what are Sasha and Malia drinking?

"Water is probably the best thing you can do for kids or low-fat milk," Mrs. Obama says. "Just eliminating sugary drinks, take out the soda."

Besides eating together, the family also tries to exercise for 30 minutes a day.
"Even if it's going for a walk, make it fun, make it silly," she says.

As moms, dads and caregivers, lots of us are probably aiming for these same types of goals. So we wondered, how often are you able to pull it off? Take our online survey and weigh in.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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