Collister Elementary School second-grader Mac Wirth is scheduled to join 53 other winners at a “State Dinner” on July 9 after his veggie barley salad, topped with an orange-honey vinaigrette, was selected as Idaho’s winner for the “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge,” a competition promoted by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! contest, as well as the U.S. departments of agriculture and education.
The Kids’ State Dinner will be streamed live at 9:25 a.m. MDT on this website. For updates, follow @LetsMove and @FLOTUS on Twitter, and join the conversation using the hashtag #KidsStateDinner.
The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge invited a parent or guardian to work with their child age 8-12 to create a lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, original and delicious. In support of Let’s Move!, each recipe adhered to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal were met.
Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe. More than 1,300 entries were submitted to the competition. The full list of winners and recipes can be found online at recipechallenge.epicurious.com.
Mac and his mom, Kellie Wirth, an employee wellness consultant, created the recipe together with ingredients found regularly in their kitchen.
“My mom and I make this to have something ready fast when we have busy mornings,” Mac said. “We change it up all the time depending on what vegetables we have. We use rice or pasta, too, if it’s left over. Sometimes we add basil, pesto, and cheese. We could also add some beans or cut-up chicken. We make a bigger recipe and have some for dinner and pack the rest in our lunches. To fill up my lunch box, I like to add an apple, grapes, or a banana.”
Kellie recommends resources available through choosemyplate.gov.
Let’s Move Boise, a local organization affiliated with the First Lady’s nationwide campaign to combat childhood obesity, will help promote the competition by distributing Mac’s award-winning recipe to other elementary-age kids in Boise. The recipe will be reprinted in the Boise Parks & Recreation fall Activity Guide, handed out at wellness fairs and posted on Facebook and websites.