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Michelle Obama

WASHINGTON (Oct. 21) — First lady Michelle Obama hooped it up for health — hula hooped, that is — managing to get in an impressive 142 swivels before her hula hoop hit the ground. Jumping rope double dutch? Not so much.

It was all for a good cause — encouraging kids to get more physical activity and eat better.

The first lady hosted a “healthy kids fair” on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday and invited about 100 children and parents from local elementary schools.

Watch Michelle Obama Hula Hoop

Chefs demonstrated how to make healthy-but-yummy snacks. And the first lady delivered a pep talk about eating right.

It wasn’t all gloom, doom and nutrition.

Obama said it’s OK to eat fun stuff sometimes — as long as you usually eat right.

“There’s nothing that the first family loves more than a good burger, right?” Obama said. “And look, my favorite food in the whole wide world are french fries. I love them. Dearly. Deeply. I have a good relationship with french fries and I would eat them every single day if I could.”

“I tell my girls this: If you’re getting the right foods for most of the time, then when it’s time to have cake and french fries on those special occasions, then you balance it out.”

Obama also managed a spot-on imitation of kids whining about eating their vegetables.

“I don’t wanna eat it. I don’t like it. It tastes bad. I don’t want it,'” the first lady said in her best nasal whine.

Then she added: “We don’t want to hear the whining. We want you to eat it. Just eat it.”

That might not be such a hard sell if all healthy foods tasted likes the ones served up on the South Lawn: There was sweet and zesty popcorn made with peanuts and parmesan cheese, and zucchini quesadillas that the first lady declared tasted like pizza.

Obama was preaching to a tough crowd.

Lots of kids eagerly snapped up the treats. But one little girl didn’t move a muscle when the first lady asked her to pledge that she’d try some new and healthy foods.

After checking out the food demonstrations, Obama hiked up her belt and joined a crowd of young hula hoopers, keeping up with the best of them.

She didn’t do so well when it came to jumping rope, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

The first lady made three unsuccessful attempts to jump into a round of double dutch — two ropes turning in opposite directions. Not giving up, she kicked off her flats and tried jumping into a single swinging rope. That didn’t go much better.

So Obama moved on to an obstacle course, when she whizzed barefoot through a series of hurdles and back to the starting line.

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