First lady to children: ‘Don’t be mad’ over healthier school lunches

First lady to children: ‘Don’t be mad’ over healthier school lunches
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First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama to host global summit in Chicago Kelly Clarkson says new song 'Go High' inspired by Michelle Obama Michelle Obama outshines all Democratic prospects for 2020 MORE said it was "natural" that kids are "grumbling" over new requirements for schools to fill vending machines and lunch lines with healthier food, but that it would not deter her from improving child nutrition.

"Change is hard," the first lady said in an interview with Channel One. "And the thing about highly processed, sugary, salty food is that you get addicted to it. I don’t want to just settle because it’s hard." 

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The first lady said she knew children "are grumbling because they have to make changes," and said her daughters roll their eyes when she forces them to eat their vegetables.

"But I know that I’m doing it because I’m giving my kids the best that I know I can give them," Obama said.

The first lady also encouraged children to try "vegetables that have a little flavor, sweetness" to them like broccoli, celery and carrots.

"Don’t be mad because there are changes," she said. "Figure out why the changes are important, and then find out how you make it work for you."

New requirements for snacks sold in school vending machines implemented this year require food to be less than 200 calories, have less than 35 percent saturated fat, and have zero grams of trans fat. The switch has elicited some outrage on social media, with students complaining that some of their favorite treats are no longer available.

The swap has also given additional ammunition to congressional Republicans, who are pushing the administration to allow some schools to opt out of new, stricter school lunch requirements. The GOP lawmakers say the new regulations are driving up lunch costs for schools, and that children aren't eating food they don't like.

But the first lady dismissed those complaints, saying there was a way to serve food that was healthy and still tasted good.

"Look, I wouldn’t want to eat a nasty lunch either. Quite frankly, no one wants to eat bad food," Obama said. 

She added that she did not "want to give up because it's expensive."

"I don't want that to be the excuse," she said.