"This is an all-time go-to dish for our family. My mom learned to make it from my grandma as a kid and would make it for her family," says Bence. "As a quick, family favorite on a weeknight, it's always requested. It includes items we have in our pantry and costs very little to make. We serve it with baby carrots, apple slices, and a glass of milk for wholesome comfort food." - Bence Brown, age 9, Nebraska
Posted by Alexandra Nickle, Arizona on July 8, 2013
"My nickname is Banana. My mom has called me Banana ever since I was a baby because I always ate bananas. Shh... Don't tell any other kids in Arizona that this is my nickname," say Alexandra. "Kids in Arizona love bean burritos. My version is healthier than you can find in most restaurants. I love mangoes. A good mango is a great food for any day of the year.
"Like many kids, Jacob is a very picky eater! Pizza is one of his favorite foods, but he's well aware that the pizza we buy is generally not a nutritionally wise choice. Together we discussed ways to make a healthier version of pizza that he could enjoy for lunch," says Karen Ann, Jacob's mom. "We decided on using whole wheat pita pockets; a healthy, veggie-filled tomato sauce; chicken for protein; and mozzarella cheese.
Posted by Kaitlyn Kirchner, Minnesota on July 8, 2013
"This is my favorite recipe because it tastes great and it is fun to make! My mom, sisters, and I grow all the vegetables in our garden," says Kaitlyn. "We pick the vegetables in the morning, wash and cut them, and have them ready for our dad to stir-fry when he arrives home for lunch. We serve the recipe with cooked quinoa and a glass of soy milk." - Kaitlyn Kirchner, age 9, Minnesota
Posted by Reed Lindsey, Mississippi on July 8, 2013
"My favorite thing to do is go to the catfish pond behind my house. I feed the fish, the ducks, and make sure all is in order at my little cabin," says Reed. "The next stop is usually through the pine trees and to my aunt and uncle's garden. I have a bucket of fresh vegetables when I arrive home. Fishing and gardening in our own backyard inspired our recipe.
"My Nani (grandmother) cooks healthy and delicious Indian food for us whenever we visit. (I am Indian-American.) She inspires me to try different flavors, spices, and herbs in the food I eat," says Emma. "Many of the ingredients found in Indian cooking are very healthy for our bodies, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cumin. Also, Indian cooking uses a lot of vegetables that are good for you, such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
Posted by Shefali Singh, Massachusetts on July 8, 2013
"My mom really loves noodles and she is always looking for different things to go with them," Shefali recalls. "So when we found the recipe for spring rolls, we decided to give it a try. They turned out better than we expected, and were very easy to make as well. The peanut sauce was also an experiment that went the right way. Now we have spring rolls with peanut sauce all the time for lunch and dinner.
"My mom and I came up with this recipe last year when we had lots of fresh vegetables in our garden," notes Henry. "She has a summer Garden Day Camp and we were looking to cook but had no stove. So, she made the pasta in the morning and took it to camp. All of us kids harvested veggies from our garden, chopped them up, blended the sauce, and had a picnic.
Posted by Vijay Dey, North Carolina on July 8, 2013
“This delicious recipe is inspired by my grandfather, who is a great person, and my role model,” says Vijay. “He is very smart and strong. He is also a great chef, and he makes the best food I have ever eaten! Another reason I like this recipe is that it reflects my Chinese heritage. When I eat spring rolls, I think about the wonderful springtime, and I feel like the meal replenishes and refreshes me.
Posted by Braeden Mannering, Delaware on July 8, 2013
"I like tacos, but they are messy and don't hold a lot, so I chose a corn tortilla bowl," notes Braeden. "That way you can eat the bowl, too. Grilled chicken is good and it's healthy. To add color and vegetables I picked avocado because I don't like lettuce and wanted it to have some green. I also picked orange sweet peppers and tomatoes.
“We started out with a basic Spanish tortilla (boiled potatoes and eggs) and added a lot of veggies to it," says Louis’ father, Gabriele. “We like the spinach version, but any combination of vegetables will work. We usually serve it with salsa on the side.
“One of my favorite foods is shrimp and we eat a lot of tacos,” says Ogden. “We like to eat it with corn tortillas because they are gluten-free. My other favorite food is broccoli and I like that I can heat it up all by myself. Pico de gallo is what my dad always makes with tacos and I love the fresh cilantro from our garden. He leaves the jalapeños out of mine.
“In April 2012 I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Followed along with that, I have been diagnosed with celiac, so I am working on a gluten-free diet,” says Isabella. “When my mom told me about this challenge, I thought, why not make something sweet, and gluten-free So I came up with the nutty Chex Chicken.
Posted by Olivia Beauchesne, New Hampshire on July 8, 2013
“I wanted to make a dish that is healthy, delicious, and inspires children all around the country to have healthy eating habits,” says Olivia. “I am including a strawberry and banana smoothie with low-fat yogurt to add dairy to my recipe. My recipe has slivered almonds in it for texture, but the almonds can be taken out for a nut-free family.” - Olivia Beauchesne, age 12, New Hampshire
Posted by Ganesh Selvakumar, Pennsylvania on July 8, 2013
“When I was younger, I would love to play with lentils until I realized from my mom that they are very nutritious,” says Ganesh. “I love green vegetables and decided to make a new recipe with vegetables and lentils. Last summer my mom and I planted a few mint plants in our garden. I loved to eat the fresh leaves. I don’t want to waste those precious leaves and came up with a mint recipe with lentils.