Announcing the Winners of the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!

Congratulations to the contest winners listed below! Winners were selected from over 1,300 delicious entries, which were evaluated in Washington, D.C., by a panel of judges that included Let’s Move! executive director and assistant White House chef Sam Kass; Epicurious editor-in-chief Tanya Steel; representatives from the USDA and the Department of Education; two children who recently graduated from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters program; and D.C. Central Kitchen’s Michael F. Curtin, Jr., whose organization prepared the food for tasting.

All the winners have been contacted, and we’re excited to meet everyone at the White House July 9th at the second annual Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Thanks to all of the talented junior chefs who participated in the contest! Watch this space for a free downloadable ecookbook with the winning recipes, coming soon, plus pictures from the 2013 Kids’ “State Dinner.”

The Winners:

  • Alabama: Kindall Sewell-Murphy, age 10, Kale, Broccoli, Chicken, and Apple Salad
  • Alaska: Rowan Bean, age 9, Alaskan Ceviche with Mango
  • Arizona: Alexandra Nickle, age 10, Banana’s Black Bean Burritos
  • Arkansas: Emma-Kate Schaefer, age 8, Confetti Spring Rolls with Orange-Cilantro Sauce
  • California: Rose Scott, age 12, Pork and Tofu Lettuce Cups
  • Colorado: Nicholas Hornbostel, age 8, Sushi Salad
  • Connecticut: John Breitfelder, age 9, Quinoa “Risotto” with Shrimp and Kale
  • Delaware: Braeden Mannering, age 9, Tortilla Bowl Deluxe
  • District of Columbia: Ingrid Gruber, age 9, Inga Binga’s Salmon Salad
  • Florida: Nicole Medina, age 10, Summer Salmon
  • Georgia: Regan Matthews, age 12, Sweet Potato Turkey Sliders
  • Hawaii: Eleanor Cowell, age 8, Curried Chicken Salad and Taste of the Tropics Fruit Bowl
  • Idaho: Mac Wirth, age 8, Veggie Barley Salad with Orange-Honey Vinaigrette
  • Illinois: Taddy Pettit, age 10, Black Bean Wrap with Jicama-Grilled Corn Salsa
  • Indiana: Lydia Finkbeiner, age 9, Sneaky Chili Surprise
  • Iowa: Corrine VanderGaast, age 9, Stone Curry with Brown Rice
  • Kansas: Olivia Neely, age 10, Fun Mini Pizzas with Veggies & Cauliflower Crust
  • Kentucky: Regan Strehl, age 11, Raisin Bran Muffins
  • Louisiana: Brynna Robert, age 12, Sweet and Spicy Stir-Fry
  • Maine: Noah Koch, age 9, Vegan Powerhouse Pesto Pasta
  • Maryland: Emma Scielzo, age 10, Chicken Masala Wrap
  • Massachusetts: Shefali Singh, age 12, Shefali’s Scrumptious Spring Rolls
  • Michigan: Jacob Hirsch, age 8, Picky-Eater Pita Pizza Pockets
  • Minnesota: Kaitlyn Kirchner, age 9, Garden Stir-Fry
  • Mississippi: Reed Lindsey, age 10, Pan-Seared Mississippi Catfish on a Bed of River Rice
  • Missouri: Henry Oates, age 8, Confetti Peanut-Ginger Party Pasta
  • Montana: Joshua Garrigues, age 8, Healthy Vegetable Fried Quinoa
  • Nebraska: Bence Brown, age 9, Terrific Tuna Casserole
  • Nevada: Isabella Gross, age 11, Chex Chicken and Bellaberry Smoothie
  • New Hampshire: Olivia Beauchesne, age 12, Liv’s Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • New Jersey: Goldie Siegel, age 8, Hawaiian Turkey Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa
  • New Mexico: Louis Teich, age 10, Spinach Frittata
  • New York: Peter Murphy, age 9, Super Rescue Soup
  • North Carolina: Vijay Dey, age 12, Spring Rolls
  • North Dakota: Charli McQuillan, age 8, Asian Fajitas
  • Northern Mariana Islands: Genzo Gonzales, age 11, Kangkong Pomegranate Salad
  • Ohio: Anisha Patel, age 11, Kickin’, Colorful Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa
  • Oklahoma: Ogden Johnson, age 10, Taco de Camarón
  • Oregon: Audrey Russell, age 10, Salmon Fried Rice
  • Pennsylvania: Ganesh Selvakumar, age 9, Lentil-Spinach Soup and Mint Chutney
  • Puerto Rico: Aliana Arzola-Piñero, age 9, Yummy Eggplant Lasagna Rolls
  • Rhode Island: Samantha Mastrati, age 12, Italian Garden Salsa with Crunchy Chicken Tenders
  • South Carolina: Corbin Jackson, age 9, Bring It On Brussels Sprout Wrap!
  • South Dakota: Owen Kerkvliet, age 9, Hidden Veggie Lasagna
  • Tennessee: Makenna Hurd, age 9, Makenna’s Bodacious Banana Muffins
  • Texas: Devanshi Udeshi, age 12, Slam Dunk Veggie Burger
  • Utah: Cecily Asplund, age 10, Lucky Lettuce Cups
  • Vermont: Colin Hurliman, age 9, Champ’s Maple BBQ Turkey Burgers
  • Virgin Islands: Sakari Clendinen, age 8, Zucchini Pancakes & Passion Fruit Banana Smoothie
  • Virginia: Campbell Kielb, age 8, Orange-Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Washington: Amber Kelley, age 10, Nummy No-Noodle Lasagna
  • West Virginia: Jessica Wolfe, age 9, Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups
  • Wisconsin: Liam Kivirist, age 11, Wisconsin Solar Oven–Simmered Chili
  • Wyoming: Breeze Petty, age 11, Scrumptious Chili with Zucchini Cornbread





Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

Indeed, some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair — you can learn positive thinking skills. Here’s how.

Understanding positive thinking and self-talk

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.


Hot and Cheesy Crab and Artichoke Dip

Hot and cheesy imitation crab and artichoke dip, serve this with baked chips and you have the perfect appetizer for a party.

My husband was craving an imitation crab meat salad and we made the mistake of going food shopping hungry… at a wholesale store no less, so we came home with 3 lbs of imitation crab meat!

What to do with all that imitation crab? I decided to make a hot dip with it using ingredients I had on hand.

I can see using a good light Swiss, such as Jarlsburg or a light mozzarella instead of cheddar, but all I had was cheddar and I thought it was fine.

This is large enough to feed a crowd. If you don’t want as much, you can certainly make half or freeze half for later. Make this a day ahead, then pop it in the oven before you are ready to serve. Let me remind you, this is a dip, so the serving size is 1/4 cup which I think is pretty average knowing people will pick on other stuff. Only 2 points plus per serving, I had to double check and see if I was wrong!

I tried this with pretzel thins, baked lentil chips (pictured here), baked corn chips.. it was great with all. Use what you like, and if you prefer to use real lump crab, go for it! You can even sprinkle some panko on top before baking… I would have but didn’t have any.

Hot and Cheesy Crab and Artichoke Dip
Servings: 16 • Size: 1/4 cup dip • Old Pts: 2 pts • WW Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 78 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 4 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 6 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 427 mg


  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained (8.5 oz dry wt)
  • 1 lb crab meat, imitation or lump
  • 2 tbsp chives
  • 6 tbsp reduced fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 6 tbsp light mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cups shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 – 2 tsp tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 400°.

Drain the artichoke hearts and chop fine. Chop the crab meat fine. Add them to a medium bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well using a rubber spatula, thentransfer into a shallow baking dish.

Bake until the cheese is melted and the top becomes golden, about 30 minutes.Serve hot with baked chips.


4 servings
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Meal Type:

Chocolate Banana Souffles

These are little bowls of heaven, so creamy and rich.



  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F (205° C). Coat 4, 6 oz ramekins with butter flavored cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash bananas and vanilla together.
  3. Sift cornstarch and cocoa powder over bananas and stir well.
  4. In another medium bowl, beat egg whites with sugar until they form soft peaks.
  5. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into banana mixture. When incorporated, fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  6. Spoon mixture into ramekins. Wipe the top 1/4 inch “collar” of the ramekin to remove any excess batter so that the souffle will rise straight. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
270 members have added this recipe to their cookbook.



Banana-Chocolate Sipper

When you crave something sweet, cold and chocolatey.



  1. In a blender combine milk, frozen banana, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth and frothy.
  3. Makes 4 (8 fl oz) servings.
  4. Note: for frozen banana, peel and slice banana. Place banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Freeze about 1 hour or until firm.
  5. Note: for better drink thickness, add less milk.


8 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Light and flavorful salad dressing for Mexican style salads.



  1. Blend the dressing until smooth.
  2. Let the flavors settle together for at least 30 minutes before using (to taste).