The White House will host its annual Easter Egg Roll on Monday April 1 this year. More than 35,000 people will join the First Family on the South Lawn for “games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll.”

Also, because we apparently can’t just let kids have fun anymore, the day’s activities will include sports courts and cooking demonstrations in accordance with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. Nothing says “Happy Easter” like educating families on “smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines.”

I can just imagine the disappointment on some kid’s face when the Easter Bunny hands him a carrot instead of chocolate. Not everything has to be turned into an educational seminar. You know how to get kids not to care about healthy eating habits and exercising regularly? Jam it down their throats on a candy-holiday.

It’s not like parents are really going to listen to any of the cooking lessons anyway -- they’re at the White House, and they’re trying to keep track of their kids while vying for a chance to shake the president’s hand all the while hoping that no one has a melt down and embarrasses them in such a public, important setting.

The best way to teach is by example. You don’t have to explain everything as you do it -- you just do it. As I write this, I’m at Chick-fil-A, because it’s spring break over here and I didn’t have a sitter today and my kids were bouncing off the walls. They ate their chicken nuggets, some waffle fries, and small milkshakes. Yes, fries and shakes! They are currently wearing themselves out in the play structure while I tap away on my keyboard, glancing up occasionally to make sure they’re not crying or bleeding.

I didn’t have to sit down and explain calories or making healthy decisions or anything to them. I just provided them with the opportunity to have fun. I gave them their chicken first so they wouldn’t fill up on fries. I sent them off to play. Done.

The best way for Michelle Obama to teach families to be healthy is not to turn the Egg Roll into “fat camp.” It’s to have a great event, with lots of healthy eating options like sandwiches on whole wheat bread or salads or fruit or whatever kind of thing they serve at functions like this.  And don’t forget lots of candy -- it’s Easter after all!

Then turn the kids loose and them have a ball running around like crazy sugar-rushed maniacs. Not only will they burn off all the sugar calories, they’ll develop muscle strength and social skills as they make new friends and learn to get along in a group setting. That is healthy living, not “sports courts” and “cooking demonstrations.”

Do you think the White House should make the Easter Egg Roll more about fun than nutrition?

 

Image via creativedc/Flickr