Updated 2:17 p.m. | Minutes after giving a somber statement in the briefing room on the Malaysia Airlines disaster and the war in Gaza, Obama was cracking jokes about guacamole and ice cream.
At the Kids' State Dinner hosted by first lady Michelle Obama, the president talked up daughter Malia's attempt to control her love for ice cream and his own love for chips and guacamole. Obama acknowledged liking snacks that "aren't perfect on the nutrition chart" before referencing the ice cream.
Sasha loves sushi, the first lady interjected.
"I love sushi," Obama asserted.
But, he then went on to his first love:
"My big thing: chips and guacamole," he said. "I lose my mind" if there's a bowl of chips and guacamole, he joked.
He also told the kids, "fun food that may not be perfect for you, that's OK too."
Obama said that being around kids helped him keep his spirits up:
"Sometimes people ask me, you know, Mr. President, you have this really tough job and there is always stuff happening all around the world, and how do you keep up with all of it and how do you keep your spirits up? And my answer is, because I meet young people every day who I know are energetic and are full of great ideas and are going to be continuing to make this country better. This is one way to do it. You guys are leaders in your schools and in your communities, and you’re helping to teach folks the importance of good nutrition, the importance of putting good fuel in your bodies so that you’re living healthy, active lives."Obama has often shown an ability to shift straight from somber to light-hearted — including Thursday, when he faced some criticism for talking briefly about the plane before lapsing back into a joke-filled stump speech about infrastructure spending.