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Posted by Maya Jacob, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“I'm a first generation-born American and proud to be born and raised in the great state of Oklahoma. I wanted to create a recipe that represents my Pakistani heritage and my lovely state's homegrown products. My inspirations to cook healthy are my precious 14-year-old twin brothers who have cerebral palsy and also a severe seizure disorder. We found out that certain foods or even too many carbs or sugar can trigger seizures. I thought, wow, if we can help reduce their seizures just by what they eat, then I will definitely help prepare recipes for them. I had no idea that food played that big a part in our health. Ever since we decided to start eating healthy we noticed a huge decrease in their seizures and a bonus is I can focus much better at school.” - Maya Jacob, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Oklahoma
Posted by Hannah Conte, Age 12, on July 13, 2016
“This recipe is for hungry kids who like salad and want to make it a meal. In this recipe, I’ve added protein (salmon) and a heartier base (kale) to turn one of my favorite dishes into a satisfying meal. Every year my grandma serves Caesar salad as a starter on Christmas Eve. I request Caesar salads for my special meals and as I’ve grown, I make the salad myself. I was inspired to create All Kale Caesar so that my favorite salad wasn’t just a side dish—it’s a satisfying meal. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do!” - Hannah Conte, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Oregon
Posted by Ava Terosky, Age 9, on July 13, 2016
“My little sister Caitlin was born with a serious heart problem and got a pacemaker at one day old. My mom, dad, and the doctors were worried, especially because she was a very picky eater, even as a baby! So, my dad and I work hard to create healthy, animal-shaped meals that Caitlin will eat—she loves animals! When my mom told me about this contest, my first thought was making a healthy meal that Caitlin would love, which meant a breakfast-at-lunch theme in the shape of Bo and Sunny Obama. A lot of my ingredients are from Pennsylvania, including the eggs, mushrooms, and fruit. It’s shaped like Portuguese Water Dogs because what kid doesn’t like breakfast for lunch in the shape of adorable dogs?“ - Ava Terosky, Age 9, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Pennsylvania
Posted by Victor Junniel Rivera, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“Being raised by my mother, a health teacher, and my father, a disabled veteran, it is not new to me to have a healthy lifestyle. On a Saturday after a basketball game, the most convenient thing to have is a healthy lunch and I would think of making a pizza in a pan. My recipe includes ingredients we picked from our backyard like oregano and spinach. With my parents I learned to make a healthy pizza with a twist, one in which anyone can add the ingredients of their choice. I like the mix of flavors and the idea of me cooking it. I would like to motivate others to learn or keep up healthy food habits.” - Victor Junniel Rivera, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Puerto Rico   
Posted by Pablo Aizenman, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“I think war causes too much suffering in the world. One problem I see is that people often focus on their differences, rather than things they have in common. In the Middle East there have been wars going on for a long time because people often fail to get past their differences. I wanted to create a dish that takes parts of different cultures in the Middle East and shows how they can come together to make a delicious and healthy lunch. The lentil soup brings in many Middle Eastern flavors and is joined by a crunchy Israeli salad stuffed into a pita. My dish highlights things that different regions in the Middle East have in common, and shows that, in the end, everyone is more alike than different.” - Pablo Aizenman, Age10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Rhode Island
Posted by Kiana White, Age 12, on July 13, 2016
“Every fall, shrimp season opens in South Carolina. My grandpa and I always go out and watch the shrimpers head into the ocean on their huge shrimp boats. We always buy shrimp fresh from the ocean and go home to think of creative new ways to cook them. This recipe is a combination of spicy flavors my grandpa likes, complimented by the sweet flavors I like.” - Kiana White, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from South Carolina  
Posted by Josh Weissenberger, Age 11, on July 13, 2016
“Every summer, I go fishing on the Missouri River with my dad and two grandpas. We spend the week catching and eating lots of fresh walleye, the state fish of South Dakota. When you catch a lot of fish, you have to eat a lot of fish, so we come up with new ways to cook walleye. Since tacos are another favorite food, I thought it’d be fun to make fish tacos. Fish is really healthy; my mom says it’s got lots of protein and is low in fat. Lots of people batter and fry fish, but baking it is great. What’s even better is that I can make it since my mom doesn’t want me to get splattered by hot oil. Cooking is fun! I like to eat these tacos with fruit and milk.” - Josh Weissenberger, Age 11, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from South Dakota
Posted by Leya Alani, Age 9, on July 13, 2016
“Leya was inspired to make this dish by her uncle,” says Leya’s mom, Deena. “As a family of Middle Eastern descent, Leya and her uncle love to create traditional dishes with a twist. Falafel and mango salsa are a favorite in the Middle East, so this was an attempt to make a healthier version. Falafels are usually deep fried, whereas in this recipe they are baked and are just as delicious. The salsa includes tomatoes, which is Tennessee’s state fruit. Tennessee is now home to a large Middle Eastern immigrant population, so there are many falafel places opening their doors in the state.” - Leya Alani, Age 9, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Tennessee. 
Posted by Priya Patel, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“I was first inspired to make this recipe by my mom. She always tells us to add vegetables to everything we make and to experiment. I love Tex-Mex food and also lasagna so we thought this was a good way to combine both. My mom also tells us to be flexible so we use canned or frozen vegetables if we're out of fresh. You can substitute any veggies and fruits you like. The possibilities are endless. My mom says not having or liking one ingredient is not an excuse to not try a recipe or to buy fast food!” - Priya Patel, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Texas
Posted by Orin Hayes, Age 12, on July 13, 2016
“I can eat chicken for breakfast, lunch, and supper, all by itself. On St. Thomas you can meet chickens everywhere. We have about two dozen of them now around my house. Also, my grandma grows some fruit and vegetables. We kids are helping her to take care of it. My responsibility is to water them early in the morning and right before dusk. The lettuce and lime I used in my recipe is locally grown.” - Orin Hayes, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from the U.S. Virgin Islands
Posted by Daniela Bergantz, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“I saw a cool way to put designs into pasta and thought I could try to make red stripes for the American Flag. My favorite parts of making this were when I made the nest in the flour to hold the ingredients. I loved mixing the beet dough and seeing the red color pop out! I also really liked to turn the pasta crank. My dad grinds all of our flour. We grow a lot of vegetables used to make the garden sauce for the ravioli.” - Daniela Bergantz, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Utah
Posted by Miranda Gallagher, Age 8, on July 13, 2016
“Miranda works hard helping in our garden and raising our chickens,” says Miranda’s mom, Genevieve. “Last summer we would make entire meals using only foods that we grew or raised ourselves. She came up with this recipe because it includes some of her very favorite foods—our own chicken, apples, maple syrup, and veggies that we can usually find in our own garden or the farmer's market. She's been making wraps for a while now and cooks often with both me and her grandmother. She even has her own cookbook with all of the recipes she's learned to make by herself.” - Miranda Gallagher, Age 8, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Vermont. 
Posted by Kathryn Duvall, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“We are a military family who have lived in many states and countries,” says Kathryn’s dad, Elven. “We have a tradition of trying local foods, then making our own versions and giving them memorable names to remind us of our time living there. While stationed at Langley Air Force Base, in Virginia, we visited the Yorktown Battlefield. That hot summer night we were in the mood for something light; this dish was originally made from local ingredients. The best part was brainstorming name ideas and laughing about all the ideas not chosen because they were too silly. Victory at Yorktown came up. Even though it doesn't really describe the wrap, it does remind of us of the day.” Kathryn serves it with a side of fruit salad. - Kathryn Duvall, Age 10, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Virginia. 
Posted by Lukas Anderson, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“I first tasted Kedgeree, a classic British dish with Indian roots, at a friend's house. We couldn't find smoked haddock. My mom thought our local smoked salmon might work. I love kale, which grows like crazy in Washington, so we added it. Washington is also the perfect climate for mushrooms. We added crimini for their woodsy, creamy taste. Instead of the traditional English peas, we used asparagus. I think wonderful and tasty things can happen when cultures mix together. This Northwest take on a British-Indian dish was a hit with my picky 7-year-old sister. My mom was happy to get my little sister to eat more veggies and said the garlic and spices might strengthen our immune systems. I plan to serve this dish with wild blackberries when they are ready to be picked.” - Lukas Anderson, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Washington
Posted by Elena Sotobashi, Age 8, on July 13, 2016
“My grandfather is Japanese and my family likes to eat sushi. D.I.Y. Sushi has pretty much the same ingredients but everyone gets to make their own rolls. It is good for school lunches because the seaweed is separate and doesn’t get soggy. I like it because it is easy to make and you can choose what you want. In summer we can get the carrots and cucumbers from our garden. It is fun to make.” - Elena Sotobashi, Age 8, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Washington D.C.