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Let’s Move! Executive Director, Sam Kass Kicks off the School Year with Healthy Kid Friendly Meals on the TODAY Show

As school bells rang across the country this morning, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass visited the TODAY Show to talk about the importance of nutritious meals for kids—both in school and at home. He also highlighted Let’s Move! Active Schools, the First Lady’s initiative to really get kids active throughout the school day.

Let’s Move! Active Schools defines an active school as one that incorporates physical activity for an hour into each day, before, during and after school. “Parents can really get involved if they go to letsmoveschools.org, they can sign up and help their schools make environments that will have their kids moving all day,” Kass said.

Speaking with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, Kass shared some of the successes of Let’s Move! in getting children healthy and active.

  I think we’re seeing the country unite around our kids’ health. We’re seeing preschool obesity rates starting to already come down, which we’re really excited about. Now we’ve got to get our youngsters in school and getting healthy.

Kass discussed how schools are now offering healthier dishes after the new school lunch standards were put in place. He added that healthier food will be put in vending machines and a la carte lines starting next year. This means that the hard work parents are doing at home, will now be reinforced during the school day.

Kass, who wears many hats at the White House, also cooked up some healthy dishes on the TODAY Show, showing the audience how they can cook and expose kids to some quick and healthy meals. He whipped up an egg and potato frittata, a berry smoothie, a turkey wrap and a popcorn snack with dried fruits and nuts. Kass knows that parents lead busy lives and the start of the school year can add even more to their already long to-do lists, but keeping their kids healthy should be top of mind. Kass provided parents with some helpful tips on how they can make cooking a little easier: “A little planning can go a long way.” Prepare ingredients the night before to save time in the morning.

For the berry smoothie, Kass recommends purchasing fruit when it’s in season – and cheaper – and then freezing it for later use. Even in the freezer, the nutrition from the fresh fruit won’t be lost.  When making wraps, Kass suggested substituting hummus for mayonnaise. Guthrie remarked, “That’s a good idea - so you get that moisture but not all that fat.”

Hungry? Watch the video of Kass on the TODAY Show – or get the recipes - and learn more about Let’s Move! Active Schools here