While school is out for most kids around America, three groups of students are getting tested for their culinary skills.
Last September, First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the “Healthy Kids Competition” which promotes healthy eating among children. The competition challenges school nutrition professionals, chefs, students and community members to create new, healthy dishes for kids. Participants submitted entries in the categories of Whole Grains, Dark Green and Orange Vegetables,and Dry Beans and Peas.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the winners of the competition last month.
“Creating and consuming nutritious meals provides a foundation for health lives among America’s children. The Obama administration supports the many innovative strategies in place that enable our schoolchildren to learn, thrive, grow-and ultimately win the future. We congratulate these teams on their hard work, creativity, and dedication to improving the health and nutrition of kids across the country.”
Winners in each category will have their recipes included on National School Lunch Program menus, and will demonstrate their abilities in a national cook-off in Texas on the 25th of this month.
Child nutrition has been a strong focus of the Obama Administration. The Health Hungry Kids act of 2010 was signed in December of 2010 and stated that no children will go hungry. The USDA’s nutrition programs for children have been designed to accommodate approximately 32 million children each day. With all of the programs available to the USDA they have made actual reform within the school lunch and breakfast programs and the hunger safety for children.
The first place, second place, and runner-up winners for schools with the best recipes are:
Dark Green and Orange Vegetables
• First Place: Central Valley Harvest Bake, Joshua Cowell School, Manteca, Calif.
• Second Place: Stir-Fry Fajita Chicken, Squash, and Corn, Monument Valley High School, Kayenta Unified School District, Kayenta, Ariz.
• Runner-up: Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap, Mount Lebanon Elementary School, Pendleton, S.C.
• First Place: Porcupine Sliders, Intermediate District 287, South Education Center Alternative, Richfield, Minn.
• Second Place: Chic’ Penne, Harold S. Winograd K-8 School Mission, Greeley, Colo.
• Runner-up: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Bellingham Memorial Middle School, Bellingham, Mass.
Dry Beans and Peas
• First Place: Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup, Ira B. Jones Elementary School, Asheville, N.C.
• Second Place: Lentils of the Southwest, Sweeney Elementary School, Santa Fe Public Schools, Santa Fe, N.M.
• Runner-up: Confetti Soup, Burke Middle and High School, Charleston County School District, Charleston, S.C.
The winners of the contest will also be recognized and published in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to distribute to families and students around America.