Last Week to Enter Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner"

Last Week to Enter Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner"

Just over three years ago, I wrote an email that would change my life. I contacted Michelle Obama's office and told them I and a colleague had an idea: What better way to galvanize kids and their parents to eat and cook healthy than to create a national healthy recipe contest, whereby one kid from each state (and U.S. Territory) would win a priceless prize—that child and his parent/guardian would board Delta Air Lines, and head to Washington D.C., for the opportunity to attend a Kids' "State Dinner" at the White House.

Lo and behold, sometimes dreams come true, and thus in 2012 the first Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' State Dinner was born.

Michelle Obama Tanya SteelMichelle Obama and me at the Kids' State Dinner

Fifty-four kids were announced like Heads of Their State, so to speak; ran, I mean, ambled about the public rooms of the White House; had their photos taken with Mrs. Obama; dined on a menu composed of their own creations in the elegant East Room; and shook the hand of the President of the United States.

I had the surreal opportunity that year and again in 2013, to speak at the event, introducing an inspiring child and the extraordinary Mrs. Obama. This contest forever changed my life. So, I'd like to change yours.

If you know a kid, aged 8 to 12, who likes to cook and eat healthfully, enter his or her creative, original, affordable MyPlate-inspired lunch recipe before midnight, Saturday, April 5th. Who knows? We might just toast each other with smoothies in the East Room this summer at the White House! Go to recipechallenge.epicurious.com to enter!

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