El Segundo High School

California kid stars at state dinner with Michelle Obama and President Obama

Today the White House hosted a very excited event. It hosted the 2015 kids’ state dinner. Many have heard of the state dinners at the White House, which often feature Nobel laureates, heads of state, dignitaries and royalty. But, today the featured guests were not adults, but kids from all across the United States!

55 amazing American Kids, ages 8-12, were invited to attend the White House kids’ state dinner. They were invited because they are inventive young chefs whose recipes won the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The 55 winning recipes were selected based on their healthfulness, taste, originality, affordability, and if they followed the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations. So, as you can tell. These chefs sound like some kids you would surely want in your life when it comes to your diet!

These young chefs joined the wonderful, inspiring First Lady, Michelle Obama, for the kids’ state dinner, featuring a selection of the winning recipes. It was preceded by a red carpet at the White House, and featured a special performance by the cast of “Aladdin”. Lunch was followed by a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden.

Introducing the first lady was the former winner, 11 year-old Abby Cornell. Last year at the kids’ state dinner, the first lady asked the winning kids to work as ambassadors and “pay it forward.” Abby learned the upsetting fact that some kids do not have breakfast at all, thus leading to a poor performance in school. So, since the state dinner last year, she came up with “Apples from Abby”- a basket of apples on each teacher’s desk to have for breakfast or as a healthy snack. In one year, 9,000 apples were delivered to kids in need of the nutrition.

Michelle Obama greeted the kids with opening remarks that complimented the winners on having the healthiest, tastiest, and most fun recipes. She asked the winners to work as ambassadors to their friends at home and explained that “food is fuel”- an essential proverb to the health of people around the world. Much to the delight of the attendees, the first lady was joined with an incredibly amazing surprise visit. President Barack Obama appeared and shared that “his favorite vegetable is broccoli!” He was particularly impressed with the winner from California’s recipe that included “Barack-amole” – clever. I want to give a shout out to the winner from California Aria Pelaez, who is only 9 years old, for her recipe California Rainbow Taco with Mic-Kale Obama Slaw and Barack-amole.

This program is supported by Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, which is “dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping kids become more physically active.”

A huge congratulations to all of the winners! You are all truly inspirational and I look forward to seeing more from each of you as you work as child ambassadors across America spreading the word to “eat healthy.” Bon Appetit!