4 Reasons the Kids’ State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

Jul 19, 2014 6:22am

Want to drive the president crazy? Just show him a bowl of guacamole he can’t eat.

Obama “lose[s] his mind” over chips and guac, he told guests at the annual Kids’ State Dinner Friday.

The dinner (technically a lunch, Obama pointed out) honors the 54 kid winners of the first lady’s “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” recipe contest.

But the rather than focusing on nutrition, a particularly chipper Obama went a little off-script, instead divulging the first family’s junk food soft spots.

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“One thing – maybe I shouldn’t say this – but it’s not like our family, including me, don’t have, you know, some snacks once in a while that may not be, you know, on the perfect nutrition chart,” the president said.

Sixteen-year-old Malia’s weakness is ice cream, and 13-year-old Sasha’s is sushi (and pie), he said.

“The first lady? French fries,” the president revealed — prompting her to publicly swear off fries.

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“We have a lot of state dinners around here, they’re not always as cheerful and fun as this!” the leader of the free world joked. “Everybody’s older and a little stodgier. But this is a much hipper crowd.”

He’s right. Here are five reasons the kids’ dinner trumps dignitary dinners:

1. Sure, Michelle Obama’s bead-encrusted Carolina Herrera gown (worn at the state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande) was exquisite. So was her daring orange Alexander McQueen (worn at the dinner honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao):

AP obamas hu jintao state dinner jtm 140718 16x9 608 4 Reasons the Kids State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

But when it comes to adorable fashions, it’s hard to outdo the kids’ red carpet:

AP kids state dinner 1 jtm 140718 16x9 608 4 Reasons the Kids State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

Even President Obama’s tuxes can’t compare to this 8-year-old slick dresser:

 

2. Complete with gold leaf china and cut-glass goblets, the table settings at adult state dinners can feel a little, well, hoity-toity.

GTY state dinners table jtm 140207 16x9 608 4 Reasons the Kids State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The kids, on the other hand, get swirly straws. Need we say more?

 

At adult dinners, attendees nibble on Osetra caviar, wild ramp puree, and potato velouté (whatever that is). The names of the dishes at the kids’ dinner are waaaaay more exciting. This year, kids’ recipes included Mo-Rockin’ Meatless Monday Special, Tangy Veggy Springetty, and Barack-oli and Mich-room Obama-lettes.

State Dinner Curse Strikes Again

3. Seating charts pose a bit of a challenge at adult state dinners. French President Francois Hollande had the White House stewing  over potential seating arrangements after he split with his long time girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler (who was also invited to the dinner).

AP obama hollande state dinner jtm 140718 16x9 608 4 Reasons the Kids State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

But at the Kids’ State Dinner, there’s no awkwardness over escorts. Just ask mom or dad!

 4 Reasons the Kids State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

4. The commander-in-chief has been known to crack a few jokes during his state dinner toast.

“We’ve got men in tuxes, women in gowns, fine wine, first-class entertainment. … I was just relieved to learn this was not a GSA conference,” he quipped at a state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

AP obama calderon state dinner jtm 140718 16x9 608 4 Reasons the Kids State Dinner Is Way Cooler Than an Adult One

(Gary Fabiano/Getty Images)

But he’s really in top form when it comes to the kids’ dinner.

This year’s speaker, 2013 winner Braeden Quinn Mannering (a budding philanthropist whose endorsement of the first lady as “one of my favorite people” made her a little teary), recalled Obama’s mock indignation over decorum.

Obama had said, “Michelle never said to me I can just pick up something with my fingers at a state dinner. That’s not fair!”

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