The child winners of First Lady Michelle Obama's Healthy Lunchtime Challenge recipe contest were announced by co-sponsor Epicurious.com on Tuesday. The 54 winners, from each US state, the District, and three US territories, will visit the First Lady at the White House on Monday, August 20th for a special 'Kids' State Dinner.' It is actually a luncheon hosted by Mrs. Obama, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden.
Designed to promote the Let's Move! campaign, the contest was open to children 8-12 years old. There were 1,200 recipes submitted, according to the White House.
"The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge truly represents the cooking creativity of our entire nation," Mrs. Obama said in s statement. "Our judges had a great time tasting the finalists' dishes and I can't wait to try their tasty creations myself at our "Kids State Dinner" at the White House. As a mom, I know how cooking with your kids can open them up to trying new healthy foods and I am eager to see what our finalists dreamed up to help kids enjoy nutritious lunches so they grow up healthy and strong."
Entries ranged from dishes like 8-year-old Myka Smith-Jackson's "Myka's Perfect Curry Chicken Wraps" (Kentucky) to 12-year old Kyle Moore's 'Chicken Spinach Pasta' (Missouri). There are also some unusual delights, like the winner from Texas, 9-year old Michael Lakind's 'Bunny Bisque and Secret Service Super Salad.' Aaron Beckman, age 8, from Nebraska, won for 'Apple Alien.'
The judging round...
A judging panel tasted 100 dishes that were prepared from the recipes at Washington, DC's DC Central Kitchen on June 20th. Led by Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass, the panel included acclaimed DC chef José Andrés, two representatives from USDA and USDE, Epicurious.com editor Tanya Steel, and Alexandra Reid and her son Marshall, age 12, co-authors of the book Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family, made up the panel. (Above: Kass and Andrés judging)
"I was impressed by the knowledge of these 8-to-12 year olds, who knew how to make something gluten or lactose free, and what constituted a healthy meal according to the USDA's ChooseMyPlate guidelines," Steel wrote on Epicurious.com.
In late August, the recipes will be posted online as a free downloadable and printable e-cookbook that will including nutritional analyses, photos and drawings. It will be available at letsmove.gov, USDA.gov, and Ed.gov. The winning kids, each accompanied by a parent or guardian, will be flown by Delta Airlines to the District for the 'Kids' State Dinner,' and the Westin Georgetown will provide accommodations for the big day with the First Lady.
Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Winners
Alabama: Falcon Wiles, age 9, Alabama's Yummy Summer Soup
Alaska: Aaron Blust, age 9, Alaska Teriyaki Salmon Wrap
Arizona: Haile Thomas, age 11, Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Salad
Arkansas: Trey Sims, age 12, Kickin' Chicken Salad
California: Sean Reichbach, age 9, Sean's 3-Pepper Soup
Colorado: Aidan Gould, age 12, Rainbow Salad with Black Beans, Homegrown Mint, and Lemon
Connecticut: Betsy DaSilva, age 10, Heavenly Lunch
Delaware: Jourdanne Latney, age 12, Stuffed Tomatoes
District of Columbia: Ilianna Gonzales-Evans, age 11, Mexican Delight
Florida: Deborah Goncalves, age 12, "Triple F:" Fake Fast Food
Georgia: Haley Matthews, age 12, Stuffed Zucchini Boat
Hawaii: Stefani Shimomura-Sakamoto, age 11, Scrumptious Salmon Salad Lunch
Idaho: Elena Guylay, age 11, Fiesta Casserole
Illinois: Jonah Schaik, age 12, Jonah's Pesto Pasta
Indiana: Alexander Aylward, age 8, Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Chicken
Iowa: Ajani Patton-Imani, age 8, Yummy Corn Wraps
Kansas: Rori Coyne, age 12, Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes
Kentucky: Myka Smith-Jackson, age 8, Myka's Perfect Curry Chicken Wraps
Louisiana: Michael Prados, age 12, Fish Tacos
Maine: Annalee Carroll, age 12, Dumplings and Veggie Sushi
Maryland: Samuel Hightower, age 10, Sizzling Tofu with Green Onions and Sugar Snap Peas
Massachusetts: Rachel Goldsmith-Levitt, age 11, Tapenade and Goat Cheese Sandwich
Michigan: Avery McNew, age 8, Apple Oat Balls!
Minnesota: Riley Sorensen, age 12, Stuffed Red Peppers and Banana Oat Stacks
Mississippi: Linda Martinez, age 12, Mississippi Tacos
Missouri: Kyle Moore, age 12, Chicken Spinach Pasta
Montana: Kayla Wayman, age 9, Kayla's Garden Chicken Pizza
Nebraska: Aaron Beckman, age 8, Apple Alien
Nevada: Alexea Wagner, age 9, Vegan Sloppy Joes and Kale Salad
New Hampshire: Ella Barrett, age 8, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito with Pineapple Salsa
New Jersey: Tarteel Idais, age 9, The Golden Plate
New Mexico: Emma Kenney, age 9, Baked Chicken Wrap with Nectarine Avocado Salsa
New York: Samuel Wohabe, age 9, Fish Fueled Pepper Rocket with Kale Chips and Quinoa
North Carolina: Sydney Brown, age 11, Sydney's Homerun Meatloaf Burger
North Dakota: Logan Rosene, age 8, Logan's Favorite Turkey Vegetable Soup
Northern Mariana Islands: Esther Huh, age 11, Pitaya Healthy Salad
Ohio: Logan Kendall, age 11, Shredded Veggie Wrap
Oklahoma: Harrison Booker, age 9, Power Pesto Pasta
Oregon: Robert Robinson, age 9, Veggie Pizza
Pennsylvania: Evan Clark, age 9, Falafel Wrap with Apple, Carrot, and Cranberry Slaw
Puerto Rico: Ariana Lugo, age 9, Sushi for Kids
Rhode Island: Caroline Cowart, age 12, Broccoli and Cheese Egg White Omelet
South Carolina: Lauren Kuperman, age 12, Fun with Lunch
South Dakota: Eva Farley, age 8, Miss Kitty's Egg Salad Sensation
Tennessee: Logan Guleff, age 9, Tuna Schooners
Texas: Michael Lakind, age 9, Bunny Bisque and Secret Service Super Salad
Utah: Lahav Ardi, age 9, Lahav's Lentil Veggie Soup
Vermont: Laura Printon, age 9, Backyard Garden Salsa Tortillas
Virgin Islands: Gabriel Reed, age 11, Vegetarian Lasagna
Virginia: Madeleine Steppel, age 9, Fish Chowder with Fruity Salad
Washington: Arla Sutton, age 9, Salad Noodle Wraps
West Virginia: Alexis Nelson, age 10, Golden Moroccan Butternut Stew
Wisconsin: Finwe Wiedenhoeft, age 9, Barbecue Cheddar Chickpea Burgers
Wyoming: Grace Ratchford, age 12, Macaroni Casserole
*Top photo by Lawrence Jackson/White House; second by @LetsMove