The White House Challenge for Young Chef-[News]

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White House Lunch Features Healthy Recipes by Young Chefs…

Nearly 1,000 entries from children between the ages of 8 and 12. They were challenged to do the unthinkable. Maybe not the unthinkable but pretty close.

They were challenged to come up with original recipes that were affordable, delicious and met the nutritional guidelines of the United State Department of Agriculture

CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

 

WASHINGTON — Four years ago, a longtime food editor hatched an idea she thought might catch the fancy of Michelle Obama, the nation’s nutritionist in chief, who has spent a good deal of her tenure as first lady trying to encourage American children to improve their diets.

How about a healthy recipe contest for students, with the winners honored at a “state” dinner featuring some of their dishes? The idea came from Tanya Steel, the chief executive of Cooking Up Big Dreams, a company that creates culinary television and videos. The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge caught on and the results reflect a youthful spin on food trends that have engulfed America.

In: quinoa, chickpeas, Indian and Japanese flavors, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Out: Greek yogurt, packaged foods and red meat. Ground turkey was the lean protein of choice. Gluten free was on the rise. Kale? It just won’t go away.

The winners were culled from nearly 1,000 entries from children between the ages of 8 and 12 who were challenged to come up with original recipes that were affordable, delicious and met the nutritional guidelines of the United State Department of Agriculture, which provided one of the judges who tasted the finalists’ dishes last month in Washington.

“For some of you, cooking is a way to bond with your families and relive happy memories,” Mrs. Obama said at the lunch, where cherry tomatoes and brussels sprouts served as centerpieces for the children’s tables.

Like budding food writers, many children turned to their family experiences for the headnotes of their recipes, commenting on their ethnic heritages and the hours they had clocked in the kitchen with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Gracie Giles, for instance, who is 9 and from Guam, came up with Y’obama Yakisoba, a noodle dish inspired by her father, who is Japanese.

Always remember to Enjoy and Share.

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