Young chefs honored at White House for healthy recipe creations

Kids took over the East Room of the White House on Tuesday as they were honored for coming up with healthful recipes as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. We're talking Alaskan Ceviche with Mango, Pork and Tofu Lettuce Cups, a Vegan Powerhouse Pesto Pasta, and Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, just to name a few! And yes, these mouth-watering dishes were created by 9, 10 and 11-year-olds.

The second annual kids state dinner — which actually took place at lunchtime — featured 54 kids whose recipes were chosen from more than 1,300 entries from across the United States and its territories. The guidelines for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge were simple: the recipe had to be inherently nutritious, follow the USDA healthy-plate guidelines, and be tasty and 100 percent original.

Tanya Steel, editor-in-chief of Epicurious and creator of the competition, told The Daily Beast that she was struck by the submissions:

“What I was impressed by was the freshness of foods and the imaginativeness of them,” she says. “I was so excited to see that kids really have gotten this message about healthy eating. The recipes were sophisticated and efficient and they even knew what lactose-free meant.”

Even President Obama dropped by to congratulate the young chefs:

"For you guys to actually come up with recipes that are healthy and tasty and to do it in a way that helps to contribute to spreading the word about healthy eating among your peers, that's a really big deal. We are very proud of you. We're very impressed with everything you've done."

According to a recap of the event by Epicurious, Obama also reminded all of the attendees that they should not drop any scraps on the floor "because Bo is on a diet right now."

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