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Posted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on July 16, 2014
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the United States Department of Agriculture. See the original post here. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 enabled the U.S Department of Agriculture to make historic changes to the meals served in our nation’s schools. Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks sold during the school day are now more nutritious than ever, with less fat and sodium and more whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. For many kids, the meals they get at school may be the only nutritious meals they receive that day — and when children receive proper nourishment, they are not only healthier, but they also have better school attendance and perform better academically. It’s not enough, though, to make the meals healthier — we must ensure that children have access to those healthier foods.
Posted by Andrew Chardack, Utah on July 15, 2014
"This recipe has its origins from Grandma’s Polish heritage,” says Andrew. “It’s a delicious mix of cucumbers, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt. Our recipe eliminates the high-fat sausage and adds protein-rich toasted quinoa and melted Muenster cheese. We added a fresh vegetable mix including the traditional beets, but also added red onion, asparagus, corn, and peas." - Andrew Chardack, age 9, Utah
Posted by Tegan Lancaster, North Dakota on July 15, 2014
"Tegan loves grilled food and she’s a vegetarian, so grilling gets creative at our house,” says Tegan’s mom, Kathryn. “She also loves breakfast, so she decided that she would like to share our grilled veggies egg-white omelet recipe. With the omelet, she likes something sweet so we added a side of fruit and Greek yogurt with our toasted honey/cinnamon tortilla chips." - Tegan Lancaster, age 11, North Dakota
Posted by Ariel Derby, Texas on July 15, 2014
"We chose to make falafel because of our heritage. It is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern staple,” noted Ariel. “This version is baked and not fried, making it lower in fat. I choose to top it with low-fat Greek yogurt, but you could choose any dairy-free yogurt that you want. I serve it with a Tomato Cucumber Salad on the side, which is very refreshing in the summer." - Ariel Derby, age 8, Texas
Posted by Lily Sahihi, Tennessee on July 15, 2014
"I live in a three-generation home, and I love watching my grandma and mom cook,” says Lily. “I've learned so much from them about using fresh ingredients. We grow our own herbs and some fruits and veggies too. I call this dish Tennessee Tabbouleh because it’s a Mediterranean recipe.
Posted by Rajen Dey, North Carolina on July 15, 2014
"One summer, my family and I went to India. We went to a restaurant and ordered some rolls. When we got them, they were way too spicy. I drank almost a gallon of water! When we came back to the U.S., I was trying to make a roll that was healthy, delicious, and not spicy. When I was finished with experimenting, I cooked it for my family, and they all loved it. But, I wanted it to be even better.
Posted by Sabrina Swee, South Dakota on July 15, 2014
"A year ago we traveled to Maui for a family vacation and enjoyed many Hawaiian dishes, which inspired us to create this wrap,” says Sabrina. “We wanted to incorporate many ingredients that we can grow locally and/or purchase locally at our small town grocery store. This recipe is very versatile, as you can use a kale leaf or other lettuce for the wrap." - Sabrina Swee, age 12, South Dakota
Posted by Julia Pascoe, South Carolina on July 15, 2014
"About every two weeks, we go buy a rotisserie chicken from wherever it’s on sale. On that night we eat chicken breast with two veggies and a fruit,” says Julia. “The next afternoon is my favorite, because we make Carolina Chicken Chili, which is a recipe I helped my mom make up.
Posted by Chloe Long, Montana on July 15, 2014
"Mealtimes in my house are always a debate. My dad eats meat, and my mom is a vegetarian,” says Chloe. “One day, my mom bought tofu and my dad said, ‘But, I do not like tofu.’ So my mom and I created a tofu meal that he liked. Tofu is very bland when eaten alone, but it absorbs all the flavors that you add to it. We serve it over brown rice to add a whole grain." - Chloe Long, age 10, Montana
Posted by Devlyn Williams, Mississippi on July 15, 2014
"I came up with this because my family and I decided to give up meat for Lent, but we needed protein,” says Devlyn. “I studied black beans in health class along with quinoa. My mom had some sweet potatoes left over, so I thought I should experiment. And I love South American food mixed with my heritage, and I channeled that." - Devlyn Williams, age 10, Mississippi
Posted by Kinnan Hammond-Dowie, Rhode Island on July 15, 2014
"I’ve always enjoyed learning to cook with my grandmother, who is of Middle Eastern heritage,” notes Kinnan. “I like to experiment with our family recipes and try to make them healthier and still delicious. I decided to make the kebabs out of ground turkey rather than the traditional lamb. Since ground turkey can sometimes be bland, I tried adding some healthy herbs to boost the flavor. I serve this meal with a Refreshing Cucumber Salad.
Posted by Joshua Murphy, Missouri on July 15, 2014
"I love Chinese food and tortillas like at Chipotle, so I decided to create my own with two of my favorite types of foods,” says Joshua. “My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, so she is trying to teach me about using healthy ingredients and why it is important to know what I put in my body. She said that vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli have a lot of cancer-fighting power.
Posted by Sophia Webster, Minnesota on July 15, 2014
"My family loves quinoa, and I love black beans, so we mixed the two together and voilà,” notes Sophia. “We serve it with a fresh fruit salad. It is gluten-free and nut-free, and you can make it lactose-free by omitting the cheese." - Sophia Webster, age 12, Minnesota Makes 4 servings
Posted by Elena Hirsch, Michigan on July 15, 2014
"We love to eat omelets, and we love to try new vegetable combinations in our omelets,” says Elena. “We decided to create an omelet for the First Family to enjoy, using veggies to represent each of them—BARACKoli, MICHrooms, CarMALIAized Onions, and Butternut SquASHA. We hope they enjoy this creation as much as we do!" - Elena Hirsch, age 11, Michigan
Posted by Karla Gonzalez, Puerto Rico on July 15, 2014
"At science class, we did an awesome project. We had to keep record for a week of all the food we ate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also the snacks,” says Karla. “That made me more aware of the importance of eating healthy. Since I am a fan of salmon with white rice, I am making a variation and replacing the rice with salad. The salmon is so easy to prepare that I do it myself.