Josslyn Michael, a 10-year-old from Houston Elementary School, was the big winner with her Veggie Burrito. Chock full of delicious and nutrition-packed veggies like purple cabbage, bell peppers and carrots, Jossyln was excited to sample her dish at a Phoenix Suns game and to learn she had the favorite dish from an online vote.
“I just love cooking and I even want to be a chef when I get older,” said Josslyn. “I knew the judges would love my dish because it’s a healthy snack and includes all my favorite vegetables, cream cheese and a whole wheat tortilla. I really like trying new combinations and creating my own dishes that taste really good. I especially like making things like fried zucchini and all sorts of muffins.”
This year’s other finalists included:
- Kayla Littler, a 10-year-old from Crimson Elementary School, who combined black beans, cauliflower and corn to concoct her Awesome Mexican Cupcakes.
- Jacob Ohara, a 10-year-old from Hancock Elementary School, who used sweet peppers, lean ground turkey and cream cheese to create his Turkey Poppers dish.
- Cayce Parks, an 11-year-old from Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School, who created the imaginative Beautiful Broccolidish.
- Phoebe Loop, a 10-year-old from Scottsdale Country Day School, for her Carrot Fries with Garlic Aioli rich in Vitamin A and K and beta carotene.
The top five recipes were selected from hundreds of submissions based on inventiveness, taste, nutritional value and ease of preparation. According to Myrna Collins, health and wellness program coordinator for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the contest helps kids and their families prioritize healthy eating.
“When children learn the habit of incorporating vegetables into their daily diet at an early age, they are more likely to continue that habit into adulthood,” said Collins. “Encouraging kids to explore the kinds of vegetables they like and their preferences for how they like their vegetables prepared helps form a foundation of healthy eating that can be carried throughout a lifetime.”
Recipes were received throughout the month of January during a call for entries from kids ages 9 to 12. To be considered, recipes had to be a healthy hot or cold side dish, include at least one fruit and/or vegetable and be able to be cooked in 20 minutes or less. The Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge strives to inspire health among Arizona’s children and their families.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona understands that building healthy eating habits for children helps combat the alarming childhood obesity rate in Arizona. For more information on this year’s kid chefs and their recipes, visit www.WalkOnAZ.com