Posted by Debra Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition, on July 21, 2016
Today, the Obama Administration is announcing four final rules that implement key provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) and build on the tremendous progress schools across the country have already made. Integral to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation, the rules, including Smart Snacks and Local School Wellness Policies, will ensure that children have access to healthy snacks in school, consistent nutrition standards for the foods marketed and served in schools, and integrity across the school meals programs.
Posted by Catherine Oakar, Associate Director, Let’s Move! on July 19, 2016
Last week, the First Lady welcomed 56 incredible young chefs from all over the country to the White House for the fifth annual Kids’ “State Dinner.” Just like any other state dinner, the room was filled with stunning décor, the meal was served on White House china, and "The President's Own" United States Marine Band played in the background. The only difference? The guests of honor were kids!
The East Room of the White House glowed with smiles as kid chefs dined with and heard from the First Lady, enjoyed a menu of their own healthy recipes prepared by White House chefs, and were treated to an electrifying performance from the cast of The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic!
Here are our top five moments from that inspiring, fun and delicious day!
Posted by Denali Schijvens, Age 9, on July 13, 2016
“I thought of this dish because it has a lot of Alaska elements in it, like the blueberries I eat off the bush in summer while hiking, and the halibut we catch while boating. The rest of the components seemed to blend in perfectly with the dish. The tartness of the blueberries goes amazing with the halibut and crunch of the lettuce. I decided to pair this dish with a smoothie, because I’ve seen school lunches served with chocolate milk with so much sugar, and I thought a nice refreshing healthy smoothie made with fruits and a vegetable would be the perfect thing to wash down this meal.”
- Denali Schijvens, Age 9, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Alaska
Posted by Lael Jefferson, Age 11, on July 13, 2016
“I love cooking and I love my vegetables. Avocado and spinach are two of my favorites and they are also good for your body. I have been making this recipe for a while but made it a bit more green. Some of the veggies and fruits were purchased at my local farmers market, along with the honey. I am the daughter of an Air Force member and Air Force veteran. Cooking is one of my many passions.”
- Lael Jefferson, Age 11, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Alabama
“In American Samoa, we eat taro and breadfruit as our starch. We eat it with coconut cream and other food. My recipe has taro and breadfruit, two local foods found in the Pacific. We also have lots of coconut trees and coconut cream. It tastes great together.”
- Amelie Chen, Age 9, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from American Samoa
Posted by Scarlet Summers, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“Much of the food we eat is inspired by southwest flavors, which is why I chose to create a healthy southwest dish loaded with power foods for energy. Due to the beautiful weather in Arizona, we grill outdoors year round, so I wanted to include grilled chicken and corn. Our family is trying to be healthier in our food choices, so I suggested to my mom that we substitute white rice with cauliflower ‘rice,’ and when we mixed it with the quinoa, I couldn't even tell it wasn't white rice!”
- Scarlet Summers, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtme Challenge winner from Arizona
“Lily is small in stature, but big in heart and cooking is a place where she feels especially skilled,” says Lily’s mom, Catherine. “She loves southern cuisine, but enjoys experimenting with recipes from around the world. Lily and I are able to bike to a farmers market every Saturday. Rice and soybeans are huge crops in Arkansas, so Lily decided to showcase these two things in her recipe. She also wanted to feature watermelon in her dish. Lily makes this recipe on the weekends so she can take it to school for lunch.”
- Lily Radtke, Age 11, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Arkansas.
“Cannon created this recipe because he loves eating fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains,” says Cannon’s mom, Amanda. “He couldn't always eat whole grains because of a rare food allergy that he's since outgrown. Cannon also has a very rare genetic disorder called Mosaic Trisomy 14 and Uniparental Disomy 14, so eating healthy and exercising is a top priority for us! Cannon has been making this recipe for a little over a year, changing things along the way. Living in California, we are so lucky to have a variety of fruits and veggies that are easily accessible.”
- Cannon Meiers, Age 8, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from California.
Posted by Hannah Skalicky, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“Every year since I was 4 years old, I have helped my dad at the Rotary Peach Festival. We help sell Palisade peaches, which grow in the foothills of the Rockies. I learned how to make grilled peaches from my Dad who grills a lot. The curried chicken recipe was created because I wanted to make an Indian dish. My friend's mom is Indian and teaches cooking classes that include lots of curry and cumin, which are native to India. She has inspired me to experiment while cooking. These two foods complement each other and make for a delicious Summer lunch.”
- Hannah Skalicky, Age 10, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Colorado
“Thinking of the word spring made Kalaya think of Connecticut’s state bird, the Robin, which tries to make a nest on top of our front door wreath every spring,” says Kalaya’s mom, Beverly. “One year we allowed the Robin to nest there and we enjoyed the upbringing of three baby Robins. It also brought to mind her grandmother’s backyard vegetable garden. Kalaya helps her grandmother to pick the many different types of tomatoes during the summer. While most of Kalaya’s free time for the past three-and-a-half years has been devoted to gymnastics, entering the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is Kalaya’s way of making her dream of becoming a chef a reality.” Kalaya serves this meal with a fruit smoothie.
- Kalaya Moody, Age 10, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Connecticut.
Posted by Jamal Bin-Yusif, Age 11, on July 13, 2016
“Jamal's maternal grandparents are Jamaican and the Caribbean flavors are a normal part of our food,” says Jamal’s mom, Kathy. “He also loves tacos, but the shells can be high in sodium. Jamal found a way to significantly lower the sodium of his favorite dish by using the blue corn tortilla chips and because the dish is open, he adds even more vegetables and beans. Jamal already had a high blood pressure reading and we have a very strong family history of high blood pressure and diabetes on both sides. Jamal is very aware of the health concerns of his family and ethnicity. If he can make his food healthier, then he believes he'll live a more active life where he can keep doing all the fun things he loves to do.” Jamal likes to serve this dish with a fruit salad.
- Jamal Bin-Yusif, Age 11, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Delaware.
Posted by Olivia LaRochelle, Age 12, on July 13, 2016
“My mom and I created this healthy seafood recipe, giving it a Latin twist since my grandparents are from Cuba. We decided to use tropical fruits and vegetables to make the salsa. The avocado and mango grow right in my grandparents’ backyard. We also added orange and lime because fish goes great with citrus. Living in Florida, it is very easy to find the most delicious, sweet oranges. I love oranges and it really helps to brighten the flavors in this dish! My grandparents said the fish cakes were so delicious.”
- Olivia LaRochelle, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Florida
“Jackson heard that a classmate cooks once a week for her family and wanted to try cooking for us,” says Jackson’s mom, Nour. “He loves his dad's traditional spaghetti with sausage but wanted to try to make his own with more of a meat sauce. Since we try not to eat pasta often, we decided to make this with spaghetti squash instead. He added his favorite veggies, which include mushrooms, carrots, and our local staple, Vidalia onions, to a basic Bolognese sauce and substituted ground turkey for beef.” Jackson serves this with whole-wheat toast drizzled with olive oil, and mango for dessert.
- Jackson Kelly, Age 8, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Georgia.
“I love to eat good food and I love to play soccer. It's important for me to be able to run fast so I can help my team and make lots of goals—my favorite part! When I played with the Guam National Academy, I needed lots of energy to feel good at practice. I am part Japanese and one of my favorite meals is Katsu Curry Rice. I decided to make a healthy version of it so I could eat what I love but still have lots of energy to run! I love eating this meal with my family.”
- Grayson Giles, Age 8, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Guam
Posted by Kaira Grace Pan, Age 9, on July 13, 2016
"Poke means to slice, to cut into pieces, in Hawaiian. Traditional poke is made with raw fish, Hawaiian salt, limu (seaweed), inamona (roasted, ground kukui nut), chiles, and onions. It is a favorite Hawaiian dish and my family loves making and sharing poke at family gatherings. I named my dish Poke Me Ke Aloha (poke with love) because I put all the things I love in it. I serve the poke with quinoa because it is healthier than white rice.”
- Kaira Grace Pan, Age 9, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Hawaii