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54 kids to attend "State Dinner" at the White House

7/10/2014, 1:53 p.m.
For the third consecutive year, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" invited a parent or guardian to work ...
The First Lady's "State Dinner" will take place July 18.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Epicurious, the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture announced the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy lunches as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Winners representing all U.S. states, three territories, and the District of Columbia will attend a Kids' “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Obama on July 18. The 54 children will join the First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden.

For the third consecutive year, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" invited a parent or guardian to work with their child ages eight-12 to create a lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, original, and delicious. In support of Let’s Move!, launched by the First Lady to help address the problem of childhood obesity, each recipe adhered to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal were met. Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, originated by Epicurious to promote healthy eating among America’s youth, received more than 1,500 entries this year featuring wholesome, tasty ingredients, including salmon, black beans, and ground turkey. The winners and featured recipes include VIRGINA’s Chia Chicken Pitas from Sophie Haga, 12

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included: Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition; Tanya Steel, Epicurious’ Special Projects Contributor and originator of the contest; Jackie Haven M.S., R.D., Deputy Director, USDA; Deborah Friendly, General Attorney Office of the General Counsel, USED; Chef Linton Hopkins, consulting chef for Delta Air Lines, and two Washington, D.C.-based children who are graduates of Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters program.

The full list of winners and recipes can be found online at recipechallenge.epicurious.com.

Additionally, a free downloadable and printable e-cookbook of the winning recipes, including nutritional analyses and photos, will be available in July at the contest site, epicurious.com, letsmove.gov, USDA.gov, and Ed.gov.

“I am looking forward to hosting the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge here at the White House for the third annual Kids’ ‘State Dinner,’” said Obama. “This event gives us the opportunity to showcase healthy creations from talented kid chefs from across our country, and I can’t wait to see—and taste—this year’s selections.”