The White House Kids’ State Dinner 2016: Washington D.C.

On July 14, 2016, 56 talented chefs journeyed to the White House, but these were no ordinary Chefs.  56 young and talented chefs between the ages of 8-12, representing the 5 territories, 50 U.S. States, and the District of Columbia, joined First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington D.C. for the Kids’ State Dinner. The fifth Kids’ State Dinner will be the final Kids’ State Dinner of Mrs. Obama’s tenure as First Lady.

In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted a garden filled with fruits, vegetables, and herbs on the White House’s South Lawn for the White House’s Kitchen. Fast forward to 2016 and the White House’s Kitchen Garden has not only sparked a conversation, it has sparked a revolution, a revolution that encourages clean eating and becoming conscious of what we eat and what we feed our children, not only at home, but in our schools.

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education, WGBH, and PBS, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for the 5th year in a row as part of the Let’s Move Campaign.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge invited kids and their parents across the nation to unleash their inner chef and create a mouth-watering recipe for, you guess it, lunchtime. But this couldn’t be just any average lunch recipe, it had to be healthy, original, affordable, and include ingredients from each of the four major food group.

The challenge also encouraged children to use local ingredients grown in their territory, community, or state.  Celebrating the bounty of our beautiful and splendid gardens in our respective territories, states, and communities, it came as no surprise, that some of the ingredients used in the dinner came from the White House Kitchen Garden. The menu consisted of watermelon salad, sweet and savory chicken and peaches, cauliflower rice, zucchini panini, fruit salad, and spinach smoothie.

The 56 winners, along with their parent or guardian, was flown to Washington D.C courtesy of United Airlines and accommodations were provided by Westin Georgetown. “We are doing everything that we do at all of our official State Dinners” said First Lady Michelle Obama to a crowd of very excited and proud parents, guardians, and winners. And of course, what is a State Dinner without entertainment. Guest was treated to a live performance by Walt Disney World Resort’s The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge! You can download a free eBook of the 2016 winning recipes here. Below are the names of winning chefs for this year’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

ALABAMA: Green Chicken Wrap and Fruit-tacular Salad, Lael Jefferson, Age 11

ALASKA: Wrapped Alaska Denali Style and Spinach Smoothie, Denali Schijvens, Age 9

AMERICAN SAMOA: Breadfruit, Taro, and Garlic Chicken Trio, Amelie Chen, Age 9

ARIZONA: Scarlet’s Southwest Barack-A-Bowl, Scarlet Summers, Age 10

ARKANSAS: Asian in Arkansas, Lily Radtke, Age 11

CALIFORNIA: Cannon’s California Rolls, Cannon Meiers, Age 8

COLORADO: Hannah’s Sweet and Savory Chicken and Peaches, Hannah Skalicky, Age 10

CONNECTICUT: Springtime Lunchtime, Kalaya Moody, Age 10

DELAWARE: Caribbean Fiesta!, Jamal Bin-Yusif, Age 11

FLORIDA: Bountiful Florida Fish “BFF” Cakes, Olivia LaRochelle, Age 12

GEORGIA: Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese, Jackson Kelly, Age 8

GUAM: Quinoa-Crusted Katsu Curry with Cauliflower Rice, Grayson Giles, Age 8

HAWAII: Poke Me Ke Aloha, Kaira Grace Pan, Age 9

IDAHO: Super Stars and Stripes Salmon Patty, Jacob Russell, Age 8

ILLINOIS: West Wing Chicken with Secret Service Noodles, Maggie Smith, Age 11

INDIANA: Chicken Tikka Pita with Cucumber Raita, Shakthi Ramachandran, Age 8

IOWA: American Gothic Calzones, Lola Shorney, Age 11

KANSAS: Lentil Tacos with Cilantro-Avocado Drizzle, Joey Heidari, Age 12

KENTUCKY: One Bag Bluegrass Bake!, Will Bingham, Age 10

LOUISIANA: Sweet Savory Dip-tastic Louisiana Power Lunch, Owen Osborne, Age 8

MAINE: Quinoa Chickpea Salmon Rolls with Salad, Scout Bookham, Age 8

MARYLAND: Maryland Crab Lettuce Cups, Colby Trenor, Age 9

MASSACHUSETTS: Fit to Run Boston Marathon Cod-Potato Cake, Abby Newman, Age 10

MICHIGAN: Super Stuffed Squash, Ethan Yodzevicis, Age 10

MINNESOTA: Alexandra’s Refreshing Watermelon Salad, Alexandra Steele, Age 9

MISSISSIPPI: Kickin’ Cauliflower Shrimp and Grits, Aniya Madkin, Age 10

MISSOURI: Tropical Vacation with Catfish and Quinoa, Abhijith Jenkins, Age 11

MONTANA: Bison in a Field, Brooke DuCharme, Age 8

NEBRASKA: Tasty Veggie Tacos, Lauren Hinrichs, Age 10

NEVADA: Veggie-Packed Indian Lentils, Skylar McGough, Age 8

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Teeny Zucchini Triangular Panini, Jude VanderHooven, Age 8

NEW JERSEY: Gianna’s Salmon Paradise, Gianna Malecki, Age 8

NEW MEXICO: Green Chili Cheese Roll and Lime Jicama Fries, McLean Knight, Age 10

NEW YORK: Chicken Cheeseball Kabobs on Veggie Spaghetti, Danielle Mazlish, Age 10

NORTH CAROLINA: Korean Lentil Patties, Mena Choi, Age 10

NORTH DAKOTA: Red Potato Boat with 3 Bean Bison Chili, Stella Halverson, Age 8

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS: Chicken Kebab Lettuce Wraps, Fanai Staffler, Age 9

OHIO: Chicken Sausage Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Wyatt Rosengarten, Age 9

OKLAHOMA: Okie Pride Brown Rice with Chicken and Vegetables, Maya Jacob, Age 10

OREGON: All Kale Caesar!, Hannah Conte, Age 12

PENNSYLVANIA: Sunny’s Omelette and Bo’s Patriotic Parfait, Ava Terosky, Age 9

PUERTO RICO: Oat! My Tropical Pizza, Victor Junniel Rivera, Age 10

RHODE ISLAND: Peace in the Middle East Soup and Salad, Pablo Aizenman, Age 10

SOUTH CAROLINA: Carolina Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, Kiana White, Age 12

SOUTH DAKOTA: Catch of the Day Fish Tacos, Josh Weissenberger, Age 11

TENNESSEE: Awesome Baked Falafel with Mango Salsa, Leya Alani, Age 9

TEXAS: Tex-Mex Veg-Head Lasagna, Priya Patel, Age 10

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: Healthy Chicken, Orin Hayes, Age 12

UTAH: American Flag Ravioli in Creamy Garden Sauce, Daniela Bergantz, Age 10

VERMONT: Go Local Lunch!, Miranda Gallagher, Age 8

VIRGINIA: Victory at Yorktown, Kathryn Duvall, Age 10

WASHINGTON: Salish Sea Kedgeree, Lukas Anderson, Age 10

WASHINGTON, D.C.: D.I.Y. Sushi, Elena Sotobashi, Age 8

WEST VIRGINIA: Grace’s Supermeal: Cool Couscous and Berry Healthy Dessert, Grace Landini, Age 12

WISCONSIN: Wisconsin Cranberry Chickpea Salad, Raya El-Hajjar, Age 8

WYOMING: Chicken and Veggie Salad, Hannah Andreen, Age 11

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