“I wanted to use Idaho potatoes, as well as create a recipe using super foods for the brain that helps kids with focus and memory. My mom and I researched the top foods for your brain health. Salmon, found in Idaho's rivers, is one of the best. I came up with an idea to represent the American flag with star-shaped salmon patties and stripes made from vegetables. My parents call me 'The Berry Monster' since I love to pick berries and eat them straight from the vine! Blueberries are also great for the brain. I learned the importance of eating fruits and veggies of all colors.”
- Jacob Russell, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Idaho
“Last fall, I started to cook different recipes and would change ingredients and measurements to make them healthier and tastier. My aunt told me that I should enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge because I am so interested in cooking. With this recipe, I cooked it three times in order to get it just right. My family enjoyed the meal and commented how yummy and filling it was. My dish includes all food groups, and ingredients that are grown locally. Enjoy!”
-Maggie Smith, Age 11, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Illinois
Posted by Shakthi Ramachandran, Age 8, on July 13, 2016
“My dad is from India and I like Indian food, especially chicken tikka masala. I asked my dad how I can make chicken tikka masala and make it like a sandwich. I love chicken and I also like to eat a lot of vegetables. This recipe combines all these things and is very tasty and delicious. In the summer most of the vegetables we eat are from our garden. The cucumber raita dressing makes it delicious.”
- Shakthi Ramachandran, Age 8, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Indiana
“My goal is to be a veterinarian and because I love animals and healthy food, I enjoy inventing recipes that are plant based. Iowa is known for Grant Wood's painting American Gothic. My calzones include Iowa grown ingredients. During World War I when Hoover was appointed U.S. Food Administrator, his slogan was ‘Food Will Win the War.’ In order to feed our American army overseas, his food conservation campaign successfully reduced domestic food consumption by 15 percent. With calzones, I serve a ‘Food Will Win the War’ vegetable medley. Applying Hoover's ‘Food Will Win the War’ approach to obesity, I vow to be part of the solution.”
- Lola Shorney, Age 11, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Iowa
“This recipe includes a number of colorful ingredients such as corn, lentils, peaches, cabbage, cilantro, and garlic, all of which are grown in Kansas. My recipe has many healthy ingredients from each food group on MyPlate, such as whole grains in the tortillas; vegetables like purple cabbage and garlic; fruits like pineapple tidbits and avocado; lentils, for protein; and dairy from the Greek yogurt. I also made a Mango-Peach Smoothie to add more fruit and dairy. My family enjoyed eating this meal, so I hope you enjoy it, too."
- Joey Heidari, Age 12, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Kansas
“My family likes to go camping and hiking a lot. My mom and I were trying to think of some healthy choices for lunch instead of hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill. So we came up with this one-bag bake that included seasonal veggies and local fish. We used an aluminum foil pouch and placed it in our campfire. It was a hit with our whole family! All we needed was our one bag and a fork! Now we make it at home all the time! Super yummy!!!”
- Will Bingham, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Kentucky
“Owen's severe food allergies mean that he will never be able to eat from his school cafeteria menu, or from most prepackaged lunch meals,” says Owen’s mom, Jeanae. “He, like most kids, loves fun lunches, with loads of colors, and ways to dip them. He picked his favorite foods and created this meal to rival all prepackaged and cafeteria offerings. The ingredients are all locally sourced, and the dessert was inspired by the Louisiana Peach Festival.”
- Owen Osborne, Age 8, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Louisiana.
“Scout began her brainstorming session by listing ingredients native to Maine,” says Scout’s mom, Jessie. “Her list included lobster, blueberries and potatoes. Given the health and affordability requirements of the challenge, she chose to highlight our delicious Maine blueberries in her side salad! We had so much fun collaborating on this project, and it was great to see how enthusiastic she was while fine-tuning her recipe, especially as she worked to get the salad dressing's oil-to-vinegar ratio.”
- Scout Bookham, Age 8, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Maine.
“Feeling blue or crabby? This tasty pick-me-up highlights Maryland blue crab meat, which is with other ingredients in a Bibb lettuce cup that can be rolled up for fun eating. Working with my mom, we nixed some ingredients and reduced others. We also reworked proportions and used fresh-frozen foods in place of some items not in season right now, to save money. I then presented two options to three tough critics: my preschool siblings, including a very picky eater. This dish got smiles and clean plates all around, so it’s a hands-down winner.”
- Colby Trenor, Age 9, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Maryland
“We live at the start of the Boston Marathon. Our school and community become one soul during marathon season as we are a runners’ town. We used local ingredients in our recipe plus what our state is known for. We created a healthy and balanced dish packed with protein and fresh ingredients that will bring the marathon spirit to the schools during lunch time. Our town is still healing after the Boston Marathon bombing, and this project gave us an opportunity to see the goodness and unity of our town. Eating healthy helps us stay alert and participate in school activities and extracurricular events as well.”
- Abby Newman, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Massachusetts
Posted by Ethan Yodzevicis, Age 10, on July 13, 2016
“Ethan created this recipe specifically for this contest,” says Ethan’s mom, Shannon. “Since Ethan recently discovered he liked acorn squash and is not a big fan of the purple carrots, he decided to make the squash the star of his dish. He also knew he wanted to use one of his favorite seasonings, smoked paprika. He thought about how his ingredients would go together, brainstormed ideas with his mom and grandma, and shopped for ideas and locally available ingredients that would go with the squash and pork.” He serves his Squash with a Maple-Granola Yogurt Parfait on the side.
- Ethan Yodzevicis, Age 10, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Michigan.
Posted by Alexandra Steele, Age 9, on July 13, 2016
“Alexandra was given a gift of a cast iron skillet,” says Alexandra’s mom, Brianna. “Upon the realization that anything is possible with cooking and understanding the limitless potential of creating healthy foods that are fulfilling to the senses and the soul, she has expanded her cooking talents to include the artistic, nutritious creation of salads! Alexandra's salad was created the day that her grandmother gave her a fresh watermelon. She quickly got busy creating this tantalizing salad that got rave reviews from her family!”
- Alexandra Steele, Age 9, is the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Minnesota.
"I was inspired to make Kickin’ Cauliflower Shrimp and Grits, because a lot of the people in Mississippi love shrimp and grits. Sadly, some of my fellow Mississippians add pounds of butter and salt to their shrimp and grits. So this is my version of healthy shrimp and grits, dedicated to the state of Mississippi."
- Aniya Madkin, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Mississippi
Posted by Abhijith Jenkins, Age 11, on July 13, 2016
"I was inspired to make this dish because I love the beach! I used mangoes, pineapple, and home-grown papaya to make it feel tropical. I wanted to keep the recipe simple and healthy, so I chose the quinoa, something my mom likes, especially since she is a cardiac patient. Lastly, I used fresh, local farm-raised catfish because you don't always have to be at the beach to feel like you're there!"
- Abhijith Jenkins, Age 11, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Missouri
Posted by Brooke DuCharme, Age 8, on July 13, 2016
“I love to go hunting with my dad. One of my favorite meals to help make is mini meat loaves with ground venison. For this recipe, we decided to use ground bison, which is raised here in Montana, and is healthy. I had an image of a mini bison in a field of green. If you don’t have a bison cookie cutter like we do, you can use any shape—we also like to use heart shapes. I also used cherries, goat cheese, sage, and whole wheat, which are all ingredients from Montana.”
- Brooke DuCharme, Age 8, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Montana