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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

First Lady Michelle Obama and Epicurious Announce Winning Recipes in Townwide "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge"

54 Kids to Attend "State Dinner" at White House on July 18
To Celebrate Nutritious, Delicious Lunchtime Dishes   

Washington, DC – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama, Epicurious, the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture announced the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy lunches as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.  Winners representing all U.S. states, three territories, and the District of Columbia will attend a Kids' “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama on July 18.  The 54 children will join the First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden.
For the third consecutive year, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" invited a parent or guardian to work with their child ages 8-12 to create a lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, original, and delicious.  In support of Let’s Move!, launched by the First Lady to help address the problem of childhood obesity, each recipe adhered to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal were met.  Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, originated by Epicurious to promote healthy eating among America’s youth, received more than 1,500 entries this year featuring wholesome, tasty ingredients, including salmon, black beans, and ground turkey.  The winners and featured recipes include:

  • ALABAMA : Veggie Spaghetti with Alabama Gulf Shrimp, Jane Battle, 10
  • ALASKA: Maple Pecan Salmon Delight, Michael Halpern, 10
  • ARIZONA: Shrimp Tacos with Watermelon Jicama Salad, Cody Vasquez, 11
  • ARKANSAS: Arkansas meets Asia Catfish Sliders, Hart Irby, 10
  • CALIFORNIA: Ethiopian Kik Alitcha, Genene Savall, 10
  • COLORADO: Grilled Salmon with Farro & Warm Swiss Chard Salad, Kiana Farkash, 8
  • CONNECTICUT: Quinoa Chicken Burger with Kale and Potato Chips, Cecilia Vinas, 10
  • DELAWARE: Chi-Irish Shepherd's Pie, Roisin Liew, 9
  • DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Healthy Grains, Squash, Apples, Sausage, & Kale, Maxwell Lynch, 10
  • FLORIDA: Fish Cartucho Al Gabusho, Gabriel Medina, 10
  • GEORGIA: Grillin' Out Veggie Style, Mira Solomon, 10
  • GUAM: Mo-Rockin' Meatless Monday Special, Lily Vinch, 8
  • HAWAII: 'Aina Holoka'I, Grady Duncan, 9
  • IDAHO: K&T's Amazing Tortilla Chicken Soup, Katie Hebdon, 11
  • ILLINOIS: Lincoln's Inaugural Soup, Tess Boghossian, 11
  • INDIANA: Sophie's Healthy Coconut Chicken, Sophie McKinney Han, 10
  • IOWA: Over the Rainbow Veggie Pancakes, Anabel Bradley, 8
  • KANSAS: Tangy Veggy Springetty, Jasmy Seetala, 8
  • KENTUCKY: Around the World in One Bite, Lucy Fairhead, 8
  • LOUISIANA: Muffin Tin Egg White Frittatas, Moria Doran, 10
  • MAINE: Mexican Haystack, Sienna Mazone, 12
  • MARYLAND: Chesapeake Fish Tacos, Lemon-Basil Sorbet, Esther Matheny, 10
  • MASSACHUSETTS: Quinoa Lentil Burgers with Kale Slaw, Yonah de Graaf, 10
  • MICHIGAN: Barack-oli and Mich-room Obama-lette, Elena Hirsch, 11
  • MINNESOTA: Quinoa and Black Beans, Sophia Webster, 12
  • MISSOURI: Asian Chicken Meatball & Cauliflower Rice Tortilla, Joshua Wittman-Murphy, 10
  • MISSISSIPPI: Quinoa Sweet Potato Boat, Devlyn Davis, 10 
  • MONTANA: “What! You Don't Like Tofu?” Stir Fry, Chloe Long, 10
  • NORTH CAROLINA: Yummy and Healthy Kati Roll, Rajen Dey, 11
  • NORTH DAKOTA: Grilled Veggie Brunch, Tegan Lancaster, 11
  • NEBRASKA: Terrific Turkey Tacos, Zienna Peterson, 10
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: Pan-seared Salmon with Vegetables & Tricolor Salad, Jessica Bakas, 12
  • NEW JERSEY: Sweet Potato Crusted Turkey & Veggie Pizza, Jacob Cook, 9
  • NEW MEXICO: Southwestern Casera, Max Johnson-Jimenez, 11
  • NEVADA: Chicken and Grape Salad Lettuce Wraps, Grace Keating, 11
  • NEW YORK: Mike's Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Cups, Michael Lombardi, 11
  • OHIO: Sunrise Tuscan Chicken, Abigail Messina, 9
  • OKLAHOMA: Smoky Southwestern Vegetable Dip, Ranger Lemaster, 8
  • OREGON: Healthy Stuffed Rainbow Peppers, Grace Wetzler, 12
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Seafood Tacos with Lime Coleslaw and Peachy Salsa, Hannah Foley, 10
  • PUERTO RICO: Salmon and Salad Island Deluxe, Karla Gonzalez, 10
  • RHODE ISLAND: Mediterranean Kebab Wrap with Cilantro Tabbouleh, Kinnan Hammond-Dowie, 12
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Carolina Chicken Chili, Julia Pascoe, 8
  • SOUTH DAKOTA: Hawaiian Kale Wraps, Sabrina Swee, 12
  • TENNESSEE: Tennessee Tabouli, Lily Sahihi, 9
  • TEXAS: Baked Falafel, Ariel Derby, 8
  • UTAH: New Polish Potatoes, Andrew Chardack, 9
  • VERMONT: Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry, Iris Hsiang, 10
  • VIRGINA: Chia Chicken Pitas, Sophie Haga, 12
  • WASHINGTON: This Fish has Gone Nuts!, Maliha Amarsi, 9
  • WEST VIRIGINA: Magnificent Mediterranean Spotlight Peppers, Adrianna Nelson, 9
  • WISCONSIN: Amazing African Sweet Potato Stew, Sarah Ganser, 12
  • WYOMING: Stuffed Pumpkin, KyAnn James, 11
  • VIRGIN ISLANDS: Ahlissa’s Rainbow Caribbean Soup, Ahlissa Pierce, 9 

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included: Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition; Tanya Steel, Epicurious’ Special Projects Contributor and originator of the contest; Jackie Haven M.S., R.D., Deputy Director, USDA; Deborah Friendly, General Attorney Office of the General Counsel, USED; Chef Linton Hopkins, consulting chef for Delta Air Lines, and two Washington, D.C.-based children who are graduates of Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters program.

The full list of winners and recipes can be found online at  Additionally, a free downloadable and printable e-cookbook of the winning recipes, including nutritional analyses and photos, will be available in July at the contest site,,,, and  Travel to Washington D.C. for the winners and their families of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" is provided by Delta Air Lines.

“I am looking forward to hosting the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge here at the White House for the third annual Kids’ ‘State Dinner,’” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “This event gives us the opportunity to showcase healthy creations from talented kid chefs from across our country, and I can’t wait to see—and taste—this year’s selections.”

“Epicurious is proud to work with Mrs. Obama on this program, raising awareness about the importance of healthy eating, and showing kids that cooking is creative and meaningful for their futures,” says Carolyn Kremins, SVP and General Manager of Epicurious.  “It’s clear that kids palates and cooking skills are getting increasingly sophisticated, even at the young age of 8.”

“The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to help kids build healthy habits.  First Lady Michelle Obama, through the Let’s Move! Initiative, offers another shining example of how we can mobilize public and private sector resources to improve the lives of our children,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “The decisions parents make to keep their kids healthy often start with the meals made at home.  Young people who participate in this challenge and are inspired by MyPlate encourage other children to eat healthier and build food preparation skills that will influence their food decisions into adulthood.”