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    Reviewed by Michael Smith on February 10, 2012


    Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, director of nutrition, WebMD. Michelle Obama, first lady. Hansa Bhargava, MD, WebMD medical expert. Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, nutrition consultant and author. Jim Kauffman, national director for health and well-being, YMCA of the USA.

    © 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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    Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD: When you and your family are on the road, what are your favorite go to healthy meals?

    Michelle Obama: Oh, favorite go to, now, that's the tough thing, is really staying on track when you're not at home, and a lot of times we travel, whether it's campaigning or doing things like this, but what I remind my kids is that a lot of foods that are out there are healthy. I mean, you know, a hamburger is not unhealthy, right, if it's on a whole wheat bun, if the fries are baked, if it's not fried, if it's grilled. Sandwiches are good, you know, turkey sandwiches and on whole wheat. If you put lettuce and tomato, you've got a good mix. What I usually encourage my kids to do is to, you know I tell them, you know, that they have alternating opportunities to pick a fun lunch and a healthy lunch, and the fun lunch means they can eat whatever they want. A healthy lunch means it's got to be something that has a vegetable, you know, but it can be something like pasta, and oftentimes we use whole wheat pasta. So a lot of times it's the way it's prepared and it's not necessarily, you know, the actual thing. So, you know, chicken nuggets are good. Oftentimes we look at them when they're baked and not fried. That's a good meal.

    : So, you know, when we're on the go, you have to make do with what's out there and just, you know, tweak it the best you can to make it something that's not just completely over the top, and what I tell my kids, whether we're on the road or not, is that dessert is that sometimes treat. So we don't have desserts every day of the week. Desserts are reserved for the weekends, and that's true even if we're traveling, you know. We just try to keep it to a minimum, and then we make sure that we have snacks that are healthy, so they're not just cookies and chips, but we've got lots of fruit around, nuts, you know, trail mix, things like that, and, you know, popcorn, air popped popcorn is good. So those are the kinds of things that you don't have to be, you know, a culinary genius to make the simple things easy, so we just try to keep it simple.

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