WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome elementary school students from 17 area public schools to the White House on Saturday for Halloween trick-or-treating. The event marks the third time the Obamas have opened the White House for Halloween. Joining the elementary school kids will be students who attend local Boys and Girls Clubs, as well as children of military families.
The columned White House North Portico, often considered the facade of the house, will be lit orange for the occasion. Visiting kids and their parents will be entertained by spooky actors from local theater troupes, a pumpkin carving demonstration and decorations throughout the grounds.
Once kids arrive, they'll be glad to learn that it's not all ultra-healthy treats, despite the first lady's signature campaign to reduce childhood obesity. According to the White House, the Obamas will give out special White House M&Ms, sugar cookies and, of course, some healthy dried fruit.
Despite her status as the nation's top champion of healthy eating, the first lady frequently reminds kids and adults alike that nutrition and moderation are the goals of her "Let's Move!" campaign. In February, she told reporters ahead of a Super Bowl party, " I don't even know what you'd have other than some hot dogs and some burgers for a Super Bowl party." And indeed, that day the White House spread included burgers, sausage and pizzas. "The problem," Obama said, "is when that fun stuff becomes the habit, and I think that's what's happened in our culture. Fast food has become the everyday meal and pediatricians will tell you, that's causing some huge health issues."
For the first lady, the Halloween celebrations come on the heels of a week marked by 2012 campaign events, where she played a very different role than she will on Saturday night, when the first lady again becomes the nation's Mom-in-Chief, giving out candy and cookies. The holiday marks the beginning of one the biggest challenges Obama faces in the coming year: how to best balance her efforts on the campaign trail with her official duties as first lady.
In addition to the video below, the White House released a recipe for sugar cookies provided by White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, who bakes the pies that President Obama has called the best he's ever tasted.
The White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie Recipe
1 lb Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla
2 lbs Butter 1 tsp Salt
3 Eggs 3 lbs All Purpose Flour
Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten. Then add eggs, vanilla, salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated. Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Roll out to one quarter inch thick and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter. Bake at 350F for 14 minutes and then allow to cool.
WATCH: The White House prepares for Halloween