Students challenged to improve school meals
Agriculture Secretar y Tom Vilsack today announced the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition, part of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, will draw on the talents of chefs, students, food service professionals, and parents or other communit y members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods.
“The Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge is an important contribution to our overall efforts to combat childhood obesity,” the First Lady said. “It’s vital t hat we prov ide our children with healthy and nutr it ious food in school and help them learn healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.”
Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge teams will have the opportunity to submit original recipes that meet nutritional requirements in three categories: whole grain foods, dark green and/or orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas (legumes). Submissions must be taste tested by at least 30 students who par ticipate in the National School Lunch Program.
“Improving the nutrition and health of kids across the nation is a national priority and the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge is a great way to engage the creativity of talents of chefs, students, food service professionals, and parents or other community members,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Through the challenge website, families can vote with their forks and help introduce exciting new recipes into the National School Lunch Program and beyond.”
There will be a grand prize chosen by the judging panel as well as a Popular Choice winner based on public voting. The judges will also choose award winners for the top two recipes in each category.
Winning teams will be invited to prepare their nutrition-packed meals alongside White House chefs. To recognize and share the culinary creativi nationwide the top ten recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to share with students and families.
Strengtheni ng the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes USDA’s child nutrition programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. This legislation will serve as a down payment in battling hunger and food insecurity while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children.
FNS oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, which touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. More information about FNS and its nutrition assistance programs is available at www.fns.usda.gov.
The deadline for recipe submissions is Dec. 30. For further information about the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge, please visit the contest Web site at recipesforkidschallenge.com.