Michelle Obama's New Mission
SL: Don't you get pushback on that?
MO: Oh, yeah. Tennis was the sport I chose for them because you can play it for a lifetime. When they started, the racket was bigger than Sasha. She was frustrated because she couldn't hit the ball. Malia didn't understand why I was making them play it. But now they're starting to get better and they actually like it. And I'm like, "Mom was right!"
And they see me exercise. I'll say, "You see Mommy getting up every day. I do it because I have to stay healthy. If you want me to run around with you, I've got to be in shape."
Now, my kids are young, so we'll see if I've driven them crazy. But hopefully they'll grow up with a healthy sense of confidence about themselves. And in terms of weight -- those things work themselves out. Kids fluctuate so much at this age. They're bananas one minute and pears the next.
SL: Is there a healthy food that you just can't eat or the girls won't eat?
MO: There are tons of them.
SL: What's your worst nightmare?
MO: Beets. I am a believer that there is a beet gene. People who love beets love them and people who hate beets can't stand them. Neither the President nor I have the beet gene. And there are a lot of healthy things my kids don't like. But our rule is, you've got to finish your vegetables. And if somebody says, "I'm full," then it's like, "Okay. If you're full, you're done. But you have to finish your vegetables, and don't ask for dessert." Because if you're full, you're full. You can't be full just for the healthy stuff. That's the joke in our household. . . .
The truth is, some of the flavors in vegetables are harsh for young kids. But if they don't start getting them, their palates won't change. . . . Recently I was on a sort of cleanse and I was just eating vegetables.