White House Honors Junior Chefs at Healthy Eating Luncheon
On Monday First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed 54 aspiring chefs to the first-ever Kids’ State Dinner, a formal luncheon held in the East Room of the White House. The 8 to 12-year-old guests were winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, part of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative to end childhood obesity by exercising more and eating a better diet.
More than 1,200 kids developed healthy, affordable, and delicious recipes that satisfied the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines and included fruits, vegetables, protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Submissions were judged by White House chefs, USDA officials, and a team from the recipe website Epicurious.com.
Winning recipes ranged from fish tacos to egg white omelets to vegetarian lasagna and were inspired by various experiences in kids’ lives. (You can check out the full list of winners here.)
Aidan Gould, a 12-year-old from Colorado, told judges that the idea for his Rainbow Salad with Black Beans, Mint, and Lemon came to him when he broke his arm and wasn’t allowed to play soccer or ride his unicycle. Instead, he used one arm to tend to four mint plants that his mom had purchased. Jonah Schaik, a 12-year-old from Illinois, came up with this Pesto Pasta recipe to address his little brother’s food allergies. Eleven-year old Iliana Gonzales-Evans of Washington, DC, developed her Mexican Delight dish after watching her grandmother make tortillas.
Before the event wrapped up, guests got a surprise visit from President Obama, who popped in unannounced to congratulate the winners and thank them for playing a part in promoting healthy eating.
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