WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama is hosting the first ever Kids' State Dinner at the White House, to celebrate the winners of a healthy lunch recipe contest. She will be introduced by 12-year-old author Marshall Reid.
"I was being bullied and I snapped one day. I said, 'you know what? I'm done with it. ' And so I thought about it, and the only reason I could come up with was my weight," shared Marshall.
His mom, Alex Reid, explained, "We were pretty much eating anything possible out of a box. Or fast food, or 5 dollar pizzas. Anything that was quick and convenient."
But Alex Reid didn't realize how badly that diet of pre-packaged convenience was affecting her son until he came to her with a novel idea: to execute the opposite of the movie "Supersize Me" in which the main character eats nothing but fast food for a month. Marshall's plea: "Portion Size Me" turned into a series of YouTube videos and a book and changed his life dramatically.
"I ended losing 36 pounds," said Marshall.
From their kitchen in North Carolina, the Reids demonstrate how easy it is to get kids involved in cooking in their YouTube videos, with simple recipe ideas that cut portion sizes, and focus on whole, instead of processed food. For instance, healthy lunches kids can take to school this fall.
Marshall gets a thumbs up for coolness in the cafeteria when he pulls out his bento box. In the compartments are sweet bell peppers, tuna and almonds.
"And then in this one, we have dried apricots, good for something chewy, and aloutte portions- perfectly portioned pieces of cheese. They are all natural only 40 calories, only 2 ingredients, really good," he pointed out.
Alex Reid says the move away from sugary cereals and pastries in the morning was tough at first- but not now. A typical breakfast: this fruit parfait, with yogurt, mangos and granola.
Alex Reid told us, "So they get the fiber, but the yogurt actually softens it up a little bit. You can drizzle a little agave nectar if they want it sweeter. But you're just finding a better balance, instead of giving them a whole plate of something that's super sweet and nutritionally void."
"First 2 or 3 days I didn't like it, 'cause I couldn't eat what I wanted and how much I wanted. But day 4, day 5- I felt great. I had more energy, I could focus better, I did better in school. I mean, so much positive happened from the few changes that I had to make," shared Marshall.
The Portion Size Me idea has been so well received that Marshall was asked to be a judge for the Kids' State Dinner recipe competition and will be at the White House with his parents on Monday.