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Meat-free meals scoop awards in Michelle Obama food competition

Meat-free meals have made a strong showing in a US competition to create healthy meals for schoolchildren.

Posted : 20 June 2011

The US Department of Agriculture’s Recipes for Healthy Kids contest was launched last September by Michelle Obama as part of her Let’s Move! initiative.

It challenged pupils, nutritionists and members of the community to come up with healthy lunchtime food that could be included on the National School Lunch Program in the US. The importance of the campaign is underlined by the fact that one in three American children is overweight or obese.

Top place in the Dark Green and Orange Vegetable category was won by Central Valley Harvest Bake, a butternut squash and pepper side dish, created by the Joshua Cowell School in Manteca, California

Members of the public voted Tasty Tots, a sweet potato-based recipe created by Bellingham Memorial Middle School in Bellingham, Massachusetts, the popular choice winner.

Lentils of the Southwest came second in the Dry Beans and Peas category, created by Sweeney Elementary School, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Healthy vegetarian options should be part of the menu at every school in the United States,” said dietician Kathryn Strong. “We need to go the extra mile to help children choose more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy vegetarian foods to combat chronic diseases and set a course for a lifetime of healthy eating.”

Try the winning dishes for yourself – Tasty Tots, Central Valley Harvest Bake, Lentils of the Southwest – or check out all the recipes!

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