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Healthy Kids Challenge “Stirring Up Health” Recipe Contest

Here is a wonderful opportunity to get your seventh and eighth grade students excited and thinking about healthy food. Healthy Kids Challenge, a nonprofit organization of dietitians, is sponsoring a contest that will engage your students and develop their skills in food preparation, recipe development and healthy food selection. The challenge is for students either individually or as a group to develop a recipe from one of the MyPlate food group categories. The recipe must incorporate the USDA Dietary Guidelines, such as lowering sugar, fat, and salt. The recipe can either be an existing recipe that has been revised by the students to make it healthier or a brand new recipe they create from scratch. If it is a revised recipe, the original recipe and its origin must be provided.

Students will submit their recipe, an entry form, a photograph and an essay. The essay is two pages in length and addresses questions such as how the students came up with the idea, what they did to make the recipe healthier, how the recipe incorporates MyPlate and the dietary guidelines, the impact healthy eating will have in the students’ lives and how the recipe helps to achieve the MyPlate goals.

The judging will be based upon creativity and originality, the incorporation of the MyPlate food groups, healthy ingredients that reflect the USDA Dietary Guidelines, presentation and a quality essay. All entries must be submitted by March 2, 2012 and the winners will be notified on March 30, 2012.

There will be 5 national winners. Each winner will have a Johnson & Wales University chef visit their school and prepare the winning recipe with the winning student(s)!

Go to and click on the “Stirring Up Health” box to learn more and to register for this great contest. You will also find creative ideas to help you get started, a sample recipe and comments from the previous year’s winners. You can also check out the website for educator’s tools, nutrition education and signing up for their e-newsletter.

Michele’s personal notes:
I think this would be amazing PR for your foods classes whether your school wins or not. If your school wins, call the paper and your local television station. Have someone in your school tape the event and place it on YouTube.

For those schools who implement “The Snack Shop” or the “Food Innovations” Learning ZoneXpress curriculums in your foods classes, you may want to have each of your lab groups complete the contest as part of the class requirement or for extra credit.

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