DALLAS, July 26, 2011 – USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Audrey Rowe yesterday announced the winner of First Lady Michelle Obama's Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. The contest launched last year to challenge students, parents and other interested community members to create tasty and healthy new recipes for America's school cafeteria menus.
Intermediate District 287, South Education Center Alternative in Richfield, Minn. captured the Grand Prize with its Porcupine Sliders, in a national cook-off held during the American Culinary Federation National Convention, from among 340 recipes originally submitted by schools across the country. White House chef Sam Kass acted as master of ceremonies for the cook-off.
"Intermediate District 287, South Education Center Alternative and all of the schools that participated in the competition have demonstrated once again that school meals can be healthy – and taste great too," said Rowe. "This is an outstanding achievement for our kids and for our efforts to bring healthier meals and healthier lifestyles to schools across the nation."
Finalists in today's recipe cook-off also included Central Valley Harvest Bake, submitted by Joshua Cowell School in Manteca, Calif.; and Tuscan Smoked Turkey & Bean Soup submitted by Ira B. Jones Elementary School in Asheville, N.C. Competing teams submitted recipes in three categories: Dry Beans, Dark Green-Orange Vegetables, and Whole Grains. The top 10 recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids cookbook to share with schools, students and families.
USDA and the First Lady launched the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition last September, challenging teams of school nutrition professionals, chefs, students, and community members to develop creative, nutritious, and kid-approved recipes that schools can easily incorporate into National School Lunch Program menus. The contest is a component of the First Lady's broader Let's Move! initiative that also includes Chefs Move to Schools, which encourages chefs to work with schools in their communities.
The National School Lunch Program is one of 15 nutrition assistance programs administered by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. Together these programs, which also include the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, comprise a national safety net against hunger.