WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded teams participating in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition to submit their recipes by 5:00 PM EST on December 30, 2010. Teams across the country are working to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition - part of the First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative - will draw on the talents of chefs, students, school nutrition professionals, and parents or other community members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods.
"We welcome the excitement and engagement from chefs, students, food service professionals, and parents as teams across the country work to improve the nutrition and health of our kids through the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "There is still time left to join the competition and through the web site, families can vote with their forks and help introduce exciting new recipes into the National School Lunch Program and beyond."
Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition teams will have the opportunity to submit original recipes that meet nutritional requirements in three categories: whole grain foods, dark green and/or orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas (legumes). Submissions must be taste tested by at least 30 students who participate in the National School Lunch Program.
There will be a grand prize chosen by the judging panel as well as a Popular Choice winner based on public voting. The judges will also choose award winners for the top two recipes in each category. To recognize and share the culinary creativity nationwide the top ten recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to share with students and families.
Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that recently passed Congress and was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. This legislation authorizes USDA'S child nutrition programs, including Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Initiative.
FNS oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, which touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year.