54 Kids to Attend "State Dinner" at White House on July 9
To Celebrate Nutritious, Delicious Lunchtime Dishes
Washington, DC – First Lady Michelle Obama, Epicurious, the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture today announced the winners of a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy lunches as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” will recognize 54 winners, representing all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia, who will attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama on July 9. The group will join The First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House kitchen garden.
“Our Kids’ State Dinner is one of my favorite events of the year, and the kid chefs who come from around the country never cease to impress and inspire me with their creativity and ingenuity. I’m counting down the days until the winners join me at the White House to celebrate these healthy and delicious meals that kids everywhere will love,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.
For the second consecutive year, The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” invited a parent or guardian to work with their child ages 8-12 to create a lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, original and delicious. In support of Let’s Move!, launched by the First Lady to help solve the problem of childhood obesity, each recipe adhered to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal were met. Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe.
The second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, originated by Epicurious to promote healthy eating among America’s youth, received more than 1,300 entries featuring wholesome, tasty ingredients, including salmon, black beans and ground turkey. The winners and featured recipes include:
The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included: Tanya Steel, Epicurious editor-in-chief; Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition; Dr. Robert C. Post, Associate Executive Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA; Susan Winchell, Assistant General Counsel for Ethics, USED; Sam Myers, Jr., White House Liaison, USED; Mike Curtain, CEO of DC Central Kitchen and The Campus Kitchens Project; and two Washington, D.C.-based children who are graduates of Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters program. For a behind the scenes look at this year’s judging, click HERE.
The full list of winners and recipes can be found online at recipechallenge.epicurious.com. Additionally, a free downloadable and printable e-cookbook of the winning recipes, including nutritional analyses and photos, will be available in July at the contest site, epicurious.com, letsmove.gov, USDA.gov, and Ed.gov.
“This year, we received very sophisticated recipe entries from all over the country that featured healthy ingredients like salmon, Greek yogurt, and ground turkey, which made it a delicious challenge to select the finalists,” said Tanya Steel. “Each recipe also included anecdotes explaining the importance of healthy eating. The insight from the kids who entered the challenge demonstrates that today’s youth understands the need to strengthen their bodies and minds with the most wholesome ingredients available. We are, once again, incredibly thankful to Mrs. Obama for joining Epicurious to continue to raise awareness for the importance of healthy eating for future generations.”
“Healthy eating can help spur academic success,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “And it’s exciting that our young people have harnessed their creativity to come up with fresh, new recipes that are nutritious and healthy. This competition is just another example of how kids can rise to any occasion—whether inside or outside the classroom—when challenged.”
“The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge makes healthy eating fun and educational, and I am inspired every year by the creative efforts of these kids to create healthy recipes,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By taking steps today to help our young people adopt healthy eating habits, we’re not just improving their health in the short term – we’re giving them important tools that will last a lifetime.”
The children’s arrivals on July 9 through the East Wing/Booksellers will be pooled press and the First Lady’s remarks at the lunch will be open press. Members of the media interested in covering this event must RSVP to FirstLadyPress@who.eop.gov with their full name, date of birth, social security number, gender, city and state of residence and citizenship by Wednesday, July 3, at noon ET.