On Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2014 Kids State Dinner for 54 children from all over the country, all winners of the First Lady's recipe contest aimed at promoting healthy eating, the Epicurious Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Over 1,500 recipes were submitted.
As they listened to surprise guest President Obama, who admitted he "loses his mind" over guacamole and chips, the kids enjoyed tasty treats, live entertainment, and a walk through the White House Kitchen Garden.
We caught up with the winners from Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, to chat about their recipes, healthy habits, and more.
Maxwell Wix, 10, from Washington, D.C., was inspired by his dad to make a healthy meal of grains, squash, apples, sausage, and kale.
What was your favorite thing about the Kids' State Dinner?
Maxwell Wix: Meeting the First Lady. And watching The Lion King!
How can I get my kids to eat healthier food?
MW: Take foods that they like, like Chipotle, but then substitute healthier ingredients. Sneak a little kale into the burrito, more veggies and protein.
Sophie Haga, 12, from Galax, Virginia, cooked up chia chicken pitas.
How did you come up with your recipe?
Sophie Haga: Mom gave me the bulgar and said do what you want with it. So I added things I like, like cucumbers, peas, corn, and feta cheese.
What would you say to kids who are picky eaters?
SH: It’s good to try new things! You don’t know until you try!
Rajen Dey, 11, just moved to Rockville, Maryland, and he submitted a healthful Indian kati roll recipe.
Rajen Dey and his dad
Tell me about your recipe.
Rajen Dey: It is an Indian dish. It is a wrap with egg, chicken, carrots, and cucumbers in it. Indian food can be spicy. Adding the egg makes it much less spicy and adds more protein.
How can I get my kids to eat more healthy foods?
RD: Get them helping you in the kitchen, cooking, and they will want to try more foods!