Today, the First Lady welcomed fifty-four young chefs from all over the country to the East Room for the 2014 Kids’ State Dinner. These 54 kids were selected from more than 1,500 recipes that were submitted for the Epicurious Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. From the décor to the talent, food, and big smiles, the White House was bustling with our next generation of kids encouraging healthy habits.
The 2014 Kids’ State Dinner is here! Today, First Lady Michelle Obama will host the 54 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and their parent or guardian for the third annual Kids’ State Dinner at the White House.
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.
"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
"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
"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
"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.
"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.
"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
"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.