3/26/2014 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) wants Rhode Island kids to show off their culinary skills and win a trip to the second annual White House Kids’ “State Dinner.”  Reed is urging Rhode Islanders ages 8-12 and their parents or guardians to submit their favorite lunch recipes to First Lady Michelle Obama’s third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge nationwide recipe challenge.  The deadline for entries is next Wednesday, April 5.

First Lady Michelle Obama, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Epicurious.com are offering kids a chance to participate in a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy school lunches, and the winner from each state will be invited to a White House Kids’ “State Dinner” this summer.  

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” invites kids between the ages of 8 and 12 to work with their parents or legal guardian to create an original, nutritious lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty.  Entries should represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and low-fat dairy foods.  Details may be found at: http://www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com/

Entrants are encouraged to reference the nutritional guidelines of the USDA’s site, ChooseMyPlate.gov, to ensure recipes meet the primary criterion of being healthier. 

“This is a great opportunity for kids and their parents to work together to promote healthy living and to win a chance to attend the third annual Kids’ “State Dinner.”  The contest is a fun way for kids and their parents to share recipes for good food and healthy eating habits,” said Reed, who helped increase federal funding for school breakfast and lunch programs through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act so more kids will have access to a stable source of nutritious food.

Last year, Samantha Mastrati, a 12-year-old from Cranston, was selected as the winner from Rhode Island for her recipe for Italian garden salsa with crunchy chicken tenders.  This marks the second time in a row a Cranston resident won the right to represent Rhode Island.  Then-twelve year old Cranston resident Caroline Cowart was the inaugural winner for her recipe for a broccoli and cheese egg white omelet.

The winning recipes from last year’s challenge are available free online in a downloadable cookbook named the Healthy Lunch Challenge Cookbook that also features nutritional analysis, and photos and drawings of the recipes.

Recipes may be submitted now through April 5, either online at or via mail at:

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner”

c/o Epicurious.com

1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor

New York, NY 10036

Winners will receive free round-trip flights and hotel accommodations for the winning child and parent or legal guardian.  For more information and contest rules, visit: http://www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com/