Washington, DC -- Families across America will gather to celebrate home cooking this Sunday, Sept. 22, during the nationwide The Big Picnic event hosted by ChopChop: The Fun Cooking Magazine For Families. The Let's Move! campaign has joined the fun, providing tasty recipes from the White House chefs, led by Executive Chef Cris Comerford. (Above, Comerford, second from l, at the White House with her team)
The fun has a serious purpose: ChopChop is devoted to combating obesity by encouraging kids and their families to cook at home. The Big Picnic is a one-of-a-kind event that will happen both in the real world and virtually on social media. In addition to those from the White House chefs, a wide array of picnic recipes are available on ChopChop's dedicated webpages.
"We're thrilled with the delicious and healthy recipes from the White House chefs and our other partners," said Sally Sampson, founder and publisher of ChopChop. "Families will have a terrific time making their meals, and enjoying them during The Big Picnic."
Families can upload photos of their cooking action and completed dishes on social media, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest using the hashtag #BigPicnic. Members of the ChopChop team will live tweet on Sunday @Chopchopmag.
"There's no question that cooking with your kids teaches them essential life skills but it’s also a critical step in reducing and preventing childhood obesity," Sampson said. "After The Big Picnic, our flavorful, easy recipes can be used for school lunches and family dinners."
ChopChop is also offering prizes during the event, including magazine subscriptions and copies of their new cookbook ChopChop: The Kids' Guide to Cooking Real Food With Your Family, published by Simon & Schuster.
Chef Comerford has provided her recipe for White House Simple Soba Noodle Salad, a dish laden with fresh veggies that can be an entree or a side (above). Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses offers a wholesome treat from his extensive repertoire, White House Oatmeal Cookies, and Assistant Pastry Chef Margi Fineran offers her recipe for White House Peanut Butter Granola Bars. The no-cook bars are filled with seeds and grains, with mini chocolate chips and toasted coconut.
The White House chefs have a long association with the magazine, and have graced the covers of two editions. Published quarterly and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, ChopChop was honored in 2013 as "Publication of the Year" by the James Beard Foundation and received the 2013 Parents' Choice Magazine Award. It is available online and in print, in English and Spanish, and reaches more than 200 million families annually.
To join The Big Picnic, from ChopChop:
*Plan a picnic meal for September 22nd. Check out The Big Picnic web pages, ChopChop Magazine, or the new ChopChop cookbook for tips, recipes and other resources.
*Make a dish together and take a picture or video with your kids either cooking or showcasing the final dish. Ask your kids to make the whole meal, make one dish, come up with the idea for your recipe or count out cherry tomatoes for a salad or sauté onions for a frittata. Just as long as they are doing something, we want to see it!
*Post your pictures to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, using our hashtag #BigPicnic
*On September 22nd ChopChop will be tweeting live and will be on hand to answer questions.
*Photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama. At top with Chef Comerford from left are Assistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison, Assistant Chef Adam Adam Colick, and Assistant Chef Tafari Campbell.