They rose to the challenge. Sophia thanked the first lady for the invitation to the dinner, and asked her about the origins of the event.
“We started the Kids' State Dinner a few years ago, because we thought, ‘Wouldn't it be fun to reward kids who were eating healthy and teaching other kids to eat healthy?” Obama said, adding that more than 1,000 children from all over the nation submitted recipes for the annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. “We had a team of people who tasted every single recipe. And they picked one representative from every state in the United States of America.”
The first lady said the dinner was planned in the same way the White House would do any dinner, with one exception: “But it's for kids. It's just so much fun.”
Isabella had her own question for the first lady.
“What is the most important thing you think kids should know about the food they eat?” she said.
Obama replied: “You know, it's really important for kids to understand that food is fuel. If you're eating fruits and vegetables and whole grains and, you know, good food … you're going to be able to go faster and farther. And you're going to be able to succeed.”
The first lady has championed healthy eating and exercise throughout her husband’s tenure in the White House.
The twins had another question for the first lady. Citing the Obama family dogs, Bo and Sunny, the twins pleaded with Obama to intercede on their behalf with their father for their own dog.
“Absolutely,” the first lady said, adding: “’Dad, wherever you are, let them have a dog. They're so cute and cuddly. And they're going to be responsible. And if they can do this interview, they can take care of a dog. Come on, Michael.’ All right, I hope that helped.”
President Obama also made an impromptu appearance at the State Dinner and shook hands with Sophia and Isabella.