First lady Melania Trump hosted local schoolchildren at the White House on Friday to replant the White House garden, which previous first lady Michelle Obama had made into a symbol of the benefits of healthy eating, according to Politico.
“I’m a big believer in healthy eating because it reflects on your mind and your body,” the first lady said Friday afternoon in the garden.
“I encourage you to continue to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, so you grow up healthy and take care of yourself,” she said, Politico reported
The president’s wife joined children in harvesting lettuce and kale, peas, radishes, Swiss chard, and mustard. They planted cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, carrots, spinach, and kale, the White House said.
President Donald Trump’s administration had relaxed the Obama administration’s focus on healthy eating, Politico reported, noting the delay of a regulation that would require restaurants to put calorie counts on menus.
Eric Kessler, the senior managing director at Arabella Advisors, criticized the first lady’s event.
“For Michelle Obama, the garden was paired with concrete improvements to federal policy and pro-health cultural shifts in America. When this White House holds a garden event, you have to assume it’s meant as a distraction from some policy shift that will make good food less accessible to families that need it most,” Kessler said.
The White House beehive that the Obama family started is still in operation. Melania Trump sent children home from the event with gardening kits and honey from the hive, according to Politico.
The children were from 10 to 11 years old and were from the Girls and Boys Club of Greater Washington, CBS News noted.
“It was time to harvest/plant so she wanted to be able to include children in the process … it is such a good educational tool, and what an amazing experience for the kids,” Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s communications director, wrote in an email, according to The Washington Post.
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