Kids State Dinner WH Lets Move54 children from across the country were invited to the White House today for the first ever “Kids’ State Dinner” to celebrate healthy eating and the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.

Baked Zuccini Fries and Cabbage Sloppy Joes were two of the winning recipes chosen to be on the lunch menu from among the hundreds of healthy meal ideas submitted by the kids, aged 8-12 from all 50 states.

Not only is it the first State Dinner where the guests of honor were all under the age of 13, it’s also the first time the White House kitchen has served a formal meal where the entire menu was created by cooks who have no formal training.

”For you guys to actually come up with recipes that are healthy and tasty and to do it in a way that helps to contribute to spreading the word to your peers, that’s a very big deal,” President Obama told the 54 young chefs.

Epicurious, a website that co-sponsored the contest, reports that the President also warned the kids about Bo, the family dog. “Try not to drop any scraps on the floor because Bo is on a diet right now, and he will eat anything that he sees.”

The winners arrived in Washington, D.C. yesterday and toured the new Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

This morning at the White House they were treated like heads of state, dining among elaborate table decorations and using Zucinni fries on White House chinathe red china designed by Nancy Reagan.

You can get a PDF cookbook with the 54 winning lunch recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge at

Winners were selected from among 1,200 recipes, which were evaluated at D.C. Central Kitchen by a panel of judges that included White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass. Watch the White House chefs talk about the menu in the video below.

(READ more in a story with photos from NPR)

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