‘Don’t Hate’ Michelle Obama Says, Launching Video Game Health Challenge

By Matt Loffman

Mar 10, 2010 1:58pm

ABC News’ Yunji de Nies and Sunlen Miller Report:

"Don't hate," First Lady Michelle Obama said today at a National Parent Teacher Association event in Arlington, Virginia today.

She says she still knows what it’s like to be a parent trying to feed her kids healthy food.

"I know there are people who say, ‘Oh Michelle, she can't relate, she lives in the White House’," she said admitting that she recognizes her resources in the White House, but insists it wasn't so long ago that she too was a working mom.

As part of the First Lady’s signature initiative, the “Let’s Move” campaign, Mrs. Obama today announced a videogame challenge in partnership with the USDA designed to inform and motivate kids about healthy eating and living.

“Apps for Healthy Kids Challenge” challenges software developers to create active games or games that educated children about what food are nutritious. Mrs. Obama promised a “diverse panel of judges” — including the co-founder of Apple, and leaders of gaming and nutrition -  who will ultimately award tens of thousands of dollars in prize money.

Run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition “challenges software developers, game designers, students and other innovators to develop innovative, fun, and engaging tools and games that help kids and their parents to eat better and be more physically active,” the White House says.

The competition is open to software and game designers, amateurs , parents and kids – whoever wants to come up with a game that will incorporate nutritional information and healthy living.  A second element of the challenge will focus on designing “creative tools for parents” to have easy-to-understand nutritional information at their fingertips.  All the contestants will compete for $40,000 in cash prizes and the rules can be found at www.AppsForHealthyKids.com.

Mrs. Obama said that any governmental effort – from school lunch programs, to health-related video games  — will not matter unless parents want to instill healthy patterns at home for their children.

She encouraged parents “to live in a way that gives them a model to follow” starting at home, and pushed them to engage in more active play with their kids  "even just turning on the radio, dancing for a while and working up a sweat."

Next week the First Lady will continue her “Let’s Move” campaign and will meet with food manufacturers to talk to them about creating healthier choices.

FLOTUS Fashion Watch: Mrs. Obama wore a purple short-sleeved blouse and large broach.

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