Last week I got one of the biggest surprises of my life. I won the ninth annual Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Walk On!Kids Cooking Challenge with my creation “Broccolini Pasta.” This was the first time I ever entered a contest, and when I found out I was the winner, I was shocked and so excited!
I am a very competitive person and I love food. I mean, what kid doesn’t love food, right? But this contest was challenging because all the recipes had to be healthy, too. Before this contest, my favorite after school snack was goldfish crackers, but I didn’t think that was going to cut it for the contest. I knew my recipe had to be creative, and I had to think outside the box.
As I thought about what types of healthy foods I liked, I thought about the Broccolini Pasta dish. It is a yummy combination of whole grain spaghetti, broccolini, zucchini, onions and my favorite – sun dried tomatoes. I figured this was a dish other kids would like too because it is fun to eat, colorful and tasty.
I submitted it online at www.WalkOnAZ.com and crossed my fingers. A few weeks later I was notified that I was one of five finalists. This meant I got to go to a Phoenix Suns game and sample my dish to 100 fans.
Before the game, the four other finalists and I got to talk to lots of people, answer questions about our dishes and meet other kids who like to cook. People tasted our creations and voted for the most flavorful one. This was a great experience, and I was very happy to be acknowledged by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for my dish.
Being part of this contest was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and I think I gained a lot of confidence, composure and public speaking experience. Who would have guessed these skills would be part of a cooking contest?
At home, my parents try to teach me and my brother, Tristan, how to eat healthfully. Every day we eat fresh fruits and veggies and cook lots of different healthy meals. We drink plenty of water and stay active with things like playing baseball, going on walks, bowling and riding bikes. Even as a kid, I know my parents are trying to teach me healthy habits that will serve me well my whole life.
The Walk On!Kids Cooking Challenge has been a great experience and I would encourage other kids to try creating dishes of their own. And, even if my 5-year-old brother isn’t willing to try my winning recipe because it has veggies in it, I know that when he is a little older, he will be open to trying new foods, just like I am!
By: David Hummert
David Hummert is a fourth-grade student at Sonoran Sky Elementary School in Scottsdale, Ariz. His Broccolini Pasta won first prize in the 2019 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge. In his free time, Hummert likes playing video games, cooking with his family and riding the new bike he won thanks to the Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge.