Category Archives: Other

Page 24: Sasha and Malia Letter

I just recently wrote a letter to Sasha and Malia Obama! Here it is!

Dear Sasha and Malia:

            Congratulations to your family!  Our family is very excited for your family, and for our country.  I volunteered for your dad’s campaign. This must be so exciting, but also a little scary. You will have to tell me all about the White House now that you have moved in. Is it so big that you get lost?

            My name is Natalie Smith. I live in Ventura, California (a tiny beach town close to L.A.).  I’m 12 years old and I attend Cabrillo Middle School. I am on the Alliance For A Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board, which is in association with the Clinton Foundation. I know you want to hear all about my life (Ha-ha. As IF!)

            I’m writing to you to talk about obesity and the effects it has on children of every age. 25 million kids in America are obese; that is 1 out of every 4 kids. Obesity has terrible impacts on health, and long term, the implications for individuals and our country are very serious.  I think that you two could help reduce the number of obese children in America.  I have read that your family has very healthful habits: you eat well and you exercise. You two are now the biggest role models for kids in the U.S.  If you encouraged children to eat healthier and exercise more, they would.  I know that your Mom, especially, is interested in eating healthier and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She can influence other moms to adopt the same kinds of healthy habits your family has.

            I don’t know if this letter has made a light bulb in your head go on.  I hope you are as interested in this issue as I am! You might like to learn more about this issue, so here is the Alliance for a Healthier Generation website:; click on the Youth Movement tab.  You can also visit my blog, The 12 Year Old’s Guide to Ending Childhood Obesity, at  My blog can lead you to lots of other resources.

            I wish you the best in your new home – our nation’s First House! – and your new school.


           Natalie Smith

P.S. You HAVE to tell me what your puppy’s name will be. I LOVE dogs!  We have three.

“You can only improve!!”


Page 9: Gardens

Taking the first step to starting a garden isn’t always easy. You have to go and drive to the nearest nursery or Lowes, then you have to go find the seeds, then you have to wait in the LONGEST line ever, then you have to prepare the spot you want to garden in.  It’s very overwhelming when you think of it this way, but if you think of the fun you can have, the work doesn’t seem so bad.  Planting the seeds or transplanting is always fun. Then you water, watch, and water some more. After you’ve planted the garden it all gets easier, and a lot more fun.  

When it’s time to harvest the garden – pick the vegetables – you are so ecstatic! You can’t wait to see how big the carrots look, and taste that crisp lettuce. So, you go and you start pulling out the plants, and then you find that a little gopher has eaten up the bottom of the lettuce and carrots. You are so BUMMED! What are you supposed to do now? Most people would throw in the towel at that point, but some would look at it a different way. They would be happy that the gopher had something to eat. Who knows, maybe the gopher has a family to support. I know that you would be disappointed, and you wouldn’t want it to happen again. But don’t go and call the pest dude. Just stay calm, and find a solution.

There are solutions to almost every problem in life. You just have to look around for them, and ask for help. If you have an annoying pest you can try a raised bed, a container garden, or put wire in the bottom of your garden bed. For help with gardening problems, there are always Master Gardeners, which I know about because my mom works with the program.  Just google Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, and you’ll find the number for your community.  They don’t charge to answer gardening questions, because they are volunteers.

I know that starting and maintaining a garden can be a challenge, but gardening is super fun.  And the fruits and veggies are WAY better than the ones you are going to find in the store!

If you would like to get more information about gardens, go to Victory Grower.

“You can only improve!!”

Page 6: Books/Recipes

Some of my favorite dinners have been dinners that I have cooked with my family. Sometimes your parents will have really good family recipes, or you could look in a cookbook for some new tasty ones. Some of my favorite recipes come from the Rachel Ray magazines and cookbooks. I need something that I can understand and is fast to make. I also need something that has the ingredients that I will either have at home, or can easily get in the store. I think that she does a great job of coming up with good healthy recipes.

Another way that you can learn more about food and how they make it is by reading some informative books. One book that I read and absolutely loved was Chew On This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. Eric Schlosser has also written Fast Food Nation, a great book that has gotten many raving reviews, that is the adult version of Chew On ThisChew On This talks about fast food. It is a marvelous book, and I really suggest reading it.

“You can only improve!!”

Page 5: Calories

Did you know that 3 Oreos – a serving – is 160 calories, and 60 of those calories come from fat? YIKES! A 12 FL oz bottle of Mountain Dew is 170 calories. But you could have a 16.9 FL oz bottle of water for zero calories. While both quench your thirst, which is healthier? If you choose to eat/drink the healthier thing you will feel better. Mountain Dew might get you really energized for 10 minutes – it’s all the sugar – but then your energy will drop, whereas water is a healthier choice.

Other places where you might find more interesting facts like these are: Carsons12 Weblog or Highway To A Healthier Generation

“You can only improve!!”