This year more than 1,300 kids submitted their best dishes for the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kid’s “State Dinner”. The dream child of Epicurious magazine, this challenge was created to connect with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign that focuses on fighting obesity and teaching healthy lifestyles to our youth. The kids got busy, creating affordable, delicious and nutritious recipes that follow the USDA MyPlate guidelines.

54 recipes, (one from each state, plus three U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia),were selected as winners. On  July 9, 2013, these junior chefs and their families attended the Kid’s State Dinner event at the White House, where they were celebrated and acknowledged.
The winning recipes are available as a free download cookbook –  Epicurious The 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook
Pizza, chicken nuggets and french fries top the most favorite food list for most children in the US.   One of the aims of the program is to inspire our kids to explore healthy foods and cooking.  I’m not a kid, but I’m inspired and I look forward to making and enjoying some of these kid created recipes with my children. 
“…and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6b KJV
Here is one. Check out the winning recipe from Oregon.
Salmon Fried Rice
Recipe by Audrey Russell, age 10

“We eat a lot of salmon in Oregon because it is a super healthy and delicious local fish,” says Audrey. “Fried rice makes a great lunch because it combines protein, grains, and veggies all in one meal. I can even take it in my lunch box! My favorite thing to make with it is Caprese salad. My mom lets me cut cherry tomatoes in half and mix them with fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil to serve with the fried rice. We don’t have dessert at lunch, but Greek yogurt, honey, and berries would be good.” Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger or garlic
2 medium carrots, diced
1 cup chopped fresh vegetables such as red bell
pepper, broccoli, asparagus, or snow peas
2 cups flaked cooked salmon
3 cups cooked and chilled brown rice
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
In a large nonstick sauté pan over moderately high heat, warm the oil. Add the ginger or garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until sizzling.
Add the carrots and the vegetables of your choice and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the salmon and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and soy sauce and continue to cook until the rice is hot. Top with cilantro, if using, and serve.

552 calories; 34g protein; 41g carbohydrates; 23g fat (5g saturated fat); 750mg sodium

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