Michelle Obama used to rely on packaged convenience foods to feed her busy family. She’s admitted it before and she admitted it again yesterday to a group gathered in the White House for the White House Convening on Food Marketing to Children.

In the opening address to the guests — mostly members of the food industry — she said that as she started reading labels and learning about nutrition, she realized that “some of these foods that were quick and cheap and tasty weren’t always healthy for my kids.” She thanked the food companies for how they had provided for her family in the past but asked them to join moms like her who are now looking for healthier foods for their families. She recognized that they have been taking steps toward making their products healthier, but pointed out that their advertising needs to change. It needs to get kids excited about eating healthier foods.

It can be frustrating to hear her talk about “foods that are fortified with real fruits and vegetables” because I’d like for her to ask them to market foods that are actually fruits and vegetables. But, then I have to remind myself who Mrs. Obama is talking to. She’s talking to huge corporations that are in the business of making money — a ton of money. They aren’t going to drastically change their products overnight and they aren’t going to drastically change their marketing overnight.

It will be interesting to see what the end results of this convening are.

For a list of all the speakers and guests at the event, visit Obamafoodorama.

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