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First Lady Michelle Obama and Epicurious Announce Winning Recipes in Nationwide "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge"

Press Release

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Location: New York, NY

Epicurious and First Lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the winners of a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy lunches as part of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative. The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" will recognize 54 winners, representing all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia, who will attend a Kids' "State Dinner" at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama on July 9. The group 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 second consecutive year, The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" invited a parent or guardian to work with their child ages 8-12 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 solve 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 second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, originated by Epicurious to promote healthy eating among America's youth, received more than 1,300 entries featuring wholesome, tasty ingredients, including salmon, black beans and ground turkey. The winners, ages and featured recipes include:

Rowan Bean, 9, (Seward, AK) -- "Alaskan Ceviche with Mango"
Kindall Sewell-Murphy, 10, (Selma, AL) -- "Kale Broccoli Chicken and Apple Salad"
Emma-Kate Schaefer, 8, (Fayetteville, AR) -- "Confetti Spring Rolls-Orange-Cilantro Sauce"
Alexandra Nickle, 10, (Phoenix, AZ) -- "Banana's Black Bean Burritos"
Rose Scott, 12, Menlo (Park, CA) -- "Pork and Tofu Lettuce Cups"
Nicholas Hornbostel, 8, (Edwards, CO) -- "Sushi Salad"
John Breitfelder, 9, (New Canaan, CT) -- "Quinoa Risotto" with Shrimp and Kale"
Braeden Mannering, 9, (Bear, DE) -- "Tortilla Bowl Deluxe"
Nicole Medina, 10, (Miami, FL) -- "Summer Salmon"
Regan Matthews, 12, (Atlanta, GA) -- "Sweet Potato Turkey Sliders"
Eleanor Cowell, 8, (Honolulu, HI) -- "Curried Chicken Salad & Taste of the Tropics"
Corrine VanderGaast, 9, (Tipton, IA) -- "Stone Curry with Brown Rice"
Adam Wirth, 8, (Boise, ID) -- "Veggie Barley Salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette"
Taddy Pettit, 10, (Oakwood, IL) -- "Black Bean Wrap with Jicama--Grilled Corn Salsa"
Lydia Graham, 9, (Carmel, IN) -- "Sneaky Chili Surprise"
Olivia Neely, 10, (Lenexa, KS) -- "Fun Mini Pizzas with Veggies & Cauliflower Crust"
Regan Strehl, 11, (Lexington, KY) -- "Raisin Bran Muffins"
Brynna Robert, 12, (Metairie, LA) -- "Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry"
Shefali Singh, 12, (Falmouth, MA) -- "Shefali's Scrumptious Spring Rolls"
Emma Scielzo. 10, (Chevy Chase, MD) -- "Chicken Masala Wrap"
Noah Koch, 9, (Waterville, ME) -- "Vegan Powerhouse Pesto Pasta"
Jacob Hirsch, 8, (West Bloomfield, MI) -- "Picky Eater Pita Pizza Pockets"
Kaitlyn Kirchner, 9, (Madelia, MN) -- "Garden Stir-Fry"
Henry Oates, 8, (Adrian, MO) -- "Confetti Peanut Ginger Party Pasta"
Reed Lindsey, 10, (Booneville, MS) -- "Pan Seared Mississippi Catfish on a Bed of River Rice"
Joshua Garrigues, 8, (Bozeman, MT) -- "Healthy Vegetable Fried Quinoa"
Vijay Dey, 12, (Chapel Hill, NC) -- "Spring Rolls"
Charli McQuillan, 8, (Oxbow, ND) -- "Asian Fajitas"
Bence Brown, 9, (Omaha, NE) -- "Terrific Tuna Casserole"
Olivia Beauchesne, 12, (Nottingham, NH) -- "Liv's Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich"
Goldie Siegel, 8, (Clifton, NJ) -- "Hawaiian Turkey Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa"
Louis Teich, 10, (Las Cruces, NM) -- "Spinach Frittata"
Isabella Gross, 11, (Henderson, NV) -- "Chex Chicken and Bellaberry Smoothie"
Peter Murphy, 8, (Manhasset, NY) -- "Super Rescue Soup"
Anisha Patel, 11, (Blacklick, OH) -- "Kickin, Colorful, Bell Peppers stuffed with Quinoa"
Ogden Johnson, 10, (Tulsa, OK) -- "Taco De Camaron"
Audrey Russell, 10, (Portland, OR) -- "Salmon Fried Rice"
Ganesh Selvakumar, 9, (Broomall, PA) -- "Lentil Spinach Soup and Mint Chutney"
Samantha Mastrati, 12, (Cranston, RI) -- "Italian Garden Salsa with Crunchy Chicken Tenders"
Corbin Jackson, 9, (Mount Pleasant, SC) -- "Bring it On, Brussels Sprout Wrap!"
Owen Kerkvliet, 9, (Huron, SD) -- "Hidden Veggie Lasagna"
Makenna Hurd, 9, (Mascot, TN) -- "Makenna's Bodacious Banana Muffins"
Devanshi Udeshi, 12, (Sugar Land, TX) -- "Slam Dunk Veggie Burger"
Cecily Asplund, 10, (Provo, UT) -- "Lucky Lettuce Cups"
Campbell Kielb, 8, (Sterling, VA) -- "Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps"
Colin Hurliman, 9, (Burlington, VT) -- "Champ's Maple BBQ Turkey Burgers"
Amber Kelley, 10, (Woodinville, WA) -- "Nummy No-Noodle Lasagna"
Liam Kivirist, 11, (Browntown, WI) -- "Wisconsin Solar Oven-Simmered Chili"
Jessica Wolfe, 9, (Shepherdstown, WV) -- "Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups"
Breeze Petty, 11, (Thermopolis, WY) -- "Scrumptious Chili with Zucchini Cornbread"
Ingrid Lamberg, 9, (Washington, DC) -- "Inga Binga's Salmon Salad"
Genzo Gonzales, 11, (Saipan, MP) -- "Kangkong Pomegranate Salad"
Aliana Piñero, 9, (San Juan, PR) -- "Yummy Eggplant Lasagna Rolls"
Sakari Clendinen, 8, (St. Thomas, VI) -- "Zucchini Pancakes & Passion Fruit Banana Smoothie"

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included: Tanya Steel, Epicurious editor-in-chief; Sam Kass, executive director of Let's Move! and senior policy advisor on nutrition; Dr. Robert C. Post, associate executive director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA; Susan Winchell, assistant general counsel for ethics, USED; Sam Myers Jr., White House liaison, USED; Michael F. Curtin, Jr., CEO of D.C. Central Kitchen and the Campus Kitchens Project; 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. Transportation and accommodations for the winners and their families of The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" is provided by Delta Air Lines and The Westin Alexandria.

"Our Kids' State Dinner is one of my favorite events of the year, and the kid chefs who come from around the country never cease to impress and inspire me with their creativity and ingenuity. I'm counting down the days until the winners join me at the White House to celebrate these healthy and delicious meals that kids everywhere will love," said First Lady Michelle Obama.

"This year, we received very sophisticated recipe entries from all over the country that featured healthy ingredients like salmon, Greek yogurt, and ground turkey, which made it a delicious challenge to select the finalists," said Tanya Steel. "Each recipe also included anecdotes explaining the importance of healthy eating. The insight from the kids who entered the challenge demonstrates that today's youth understands the need to strengthen their bodies and minds with the most wholesome ingredients available. We are, once again, incredibly thankful to Mrs. Obama for joining Epicurious to continue to raise awareness for the importance of healthy eating for future generations."

"Healthy eating can help spur academic success," said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. "And it's exciting that our young people have harnessed their creativity to come up with fresh, new recipes that are nutritious and healthy. This competition is just another example of how kids can rise to any occasion--whether inside or outside the classroom--when challenged."

"The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge makes healthy eating fun and educational, and I am inspired every year by the creative efforts of these kids to create healthy recipes," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "By taking steps today to help our young people adopt healthy eating habits, we're not just improving their health in the short term -- we're giving them important tools that will last a lifetime."

The children's arrivals on July 9 through the East Wing/Booksellers will be pooled press and the First Lady's remarks at the lunch will be open press. Members of the media interested in covering this event must RSVP to FirstLadyPress@who.eop.gov with their full name, date of birth, social security number, gender, city and state of residence, and citizenship by Wednesday, July 3, at noon EDT.


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