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Posted by Phoebe Garrett on July 7, 2015
“My inspiration for this is also my favorite story. I was at a barbecue while on vacation and set my eyes on my first suckling pig,” says Phoebe. “The sight convinced me to become a vegetarian. After studying with my parents about vegetarianism and how much protein my body needs, I decided that I would eat fish and chicken, but not mammals. Making this choice has forced us to find creative protein options. Fish is both high in protein and the good types of fats we need.” - Phoebe Garrett, Age 11, Oregon
Posted by Riley Higgins on July 7, 2015
“I tried different recipes out and let my family be my taste testers and decide which one would be best,” says Riley. “My mom and dad like our family to eat healthy most of the time, but I don't always like some of the vegetables, so I hid them in the quesadilla so everyone is happy! This dish uses all of the food groups in one dish, but we added some mini fruit kabobs for extra vitamins. I hope you enjoy it!” - Riley Higgins, Age 9, Oklahoma
Posted by Sydney Mazik on July 7, 2015
“My mom and I created this recipe five years ago while having to live in Florida (my surgeon is there) for five months due to my surgery,” says Sydney. “We were always trying new recipes and cooking a lot because I was in a wheelchair then. We have always eaten spaghetti squash in our house and I had asked my doctors, nurses, and therapists if they had ever tried it, but most of them had not even heard of it. We decided to come up with a dish for them to try and they loved it! It was so popular that I made it at least once a week as well as every surgery since. My nickname is now S.S. Sydney.” (S.S. stands for spaghetti squash.) - Sydney Mazik, Age 12, Ohio
Posted by Claire Park on July 7, 2015
“My parents grew up in Korea. My father said many Koreans believe eating five colored foods a day is the best way to maintain our general health,” says Claire. “I like colored food also. The best purple food is purple potatoes, especially the ones grown on Rota, one of the Northern Mariana Islands. They are really pretty and yummy. I think I am pretty healthy because of colored foods.” - Claire Park, Age 9, Northern Mariana Islands
Posted by Carter Cassola on July 7, 2015
“This is one of my favorite dishes because there is so much color, and it's also a very healthy dish,” says Carter. “My mom is a licensed registered dietitian and always encourages healthy colorful plates. Also, in this dish you can easily get three servings of fruits and vegetables. These are the reasons and my inspiration for creating this flavorful, delicious dish.“ - Carter Cassola, Age 11, North Dakota
Posted by Alexander Tschegg on July 7, 2015
“My mom used to make white rice with curry for dinner, but I thought it would be good to make it more healthy, so I used brown rice instead and added chickpeas to the curry,” says Alexander. “I like tofu, so I decided to add baked tofu to the top layer. We usually have a salad with most of our dinners, and I think that is healthy.” - Alexander Tschegg, Age 8, North Carolina
Posted by Julia Rissberger on July 7, 2015
“I make Cheese Pennies that are a hit with everyone, but are very high in fat,” says Julia. “I decided to make a modified version of the recipe, decreasing the amount of fat and including healthy whole grains without sacrificing the delicious taste of the New York extra-sharp cheddar cheese. I love the taste of sharp cheese with fruit, so I paired them with a salad featuring apples and blueberry dressing topped with homemade cinnamon almonds.” - Julia Rissberger, Age 11, New York
Posted by Hannah Torres on July 7, 2015
“A tostada is a very popular and versatile dish! Usually served on a corn tortilla, we substituted that for a gluten-free option: a cauliflower tortilla,” says Hannah. “They are easy to make, and everyone can make their own! By replacing the corn tortilla with a cauliflower tortilla, we add more veggies to our plate. For some extra flavor, we included a red chile–turkey sauce for an authentic New Mexico taste.” - Hannah Torres, Age 10, New Mexico
Posted by Emma Schramm on July 7, 2015
“I made this recipe because I L-O-V-E, love, pasta, and salmon is my favorite fish,” says Emma. “I made the garbanzo bean sauce because my dad used to make garbanzo beans frequently when I was four. I am always open to trying new things.” Emma serves this with a banana-strawberry smoothie. - Emma Schramm, Age 9, New Jersey
Posted by Ana Bernazzani on July 7, 2015
“When my mom immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela with her parents, they had little money and making healthy meals for not too much money was hard. So my mom told me that they always ate beans—black beans and lentils were her favorites. And that is why I want to show you how to make our own special lentil soup—it is one of my favorite ones to make with my mom and it has a special meaning to me as well. It reminds me (and my mom) of all we, as a family, have accomplished in the U.S. and it tastes yummy too!" - Ana Bernazzani, Age 8, New Hampshire
Posted by Jack Newkirk on July 7, 2015
“My dad is my favorite person in the world. This year he is not only my dad but also my 4th grade teacher,” says Jack. “A few years ago my dad was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Since then we have tried to change our eating habits and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Before his diagnosis, one of his favorite dishes was always Eggplant Parmesan. My mom and I decided to try to make a healthier version of this dish that we all could enjoy without feeling an ounce of guilt.” - Jack Newkirk, Age 9, Nevada
Posted by Grace Brown on July 7, 2015
“My family loves spending time together outdoors camping and fishing. We have lots of fresh produce in our garden and our dad is a really good fisherman,” says Grace. “The best thing about these fabulous fish tacos is they use all the food groups. We use whole-wheat tortillas as a grain, the fruit and vegetables add lots of nutrients, and the Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium. We've tried the recipe many times, adjusting the peppers to suit everyone.” - Grace Brown, Age 8, Nebraska
Posted by Colton Kuka on July 7, 2015
“My grandma told me about this contest and I thought it would be fun to create a recipe and to have the opportunity to dine with the First Lady at the Kids' "State Dinner,” says Colton. “I read a story about the Native American “Three Sisters.” I liked how the boy in the story came and picked the “Three Sisters” and how the corn supports the beans, and the squash helps support and protect the corn and beans, just like a family. We altered this recipe to match My Plate requirements. I first made this recipe with my grandma at my grandparents’ house.” - Colton Kuka, Age 9, Montana
Posted by Blake Koehr on July 7, 2015
“I like to be creative with combinations of ingredients and sauces and try different tastes together to see what goes best,” says Blake. “My first idea for a fun lunch recipe included wontons. My mom and I tried several different combinations and determined we needed a bigger shell. We replaced the wontons with whole-wheat tortillas. I tried various ingredients on the inside and decided on this recipe. Add a side of nectarines or peaches and you have a meal following My Plate guidelines.” - Blake Koehr, Age 12, Missouri
Posted by Bre Donald on July 7, 2015
“I was inspired to create something that was healthy, creative, and attractive,” says Bre. “There are too many people in my state, who are overweight. I want my school to start making meals that children like to eat and that are healthy so that we will not grow up to be overweight and unhealthy.” - Bre Donald, Age 11, Mississippi