Health Team

Chapel Hill school is semi-finalist for healthy recipe

Posted May 17, 2011

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— School lunches are getting healthier to fight childhood obesity.

The “Let’s Move” initiative from First Lady Michelle Obama invites schools to compete in creating the most tasty and nutritious options. The contest has attracted 340 entries.

McDougle Elementary School in Chapel Hill is among 15 semi-finalists across the country in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge. The grand prize-winning school wins $3,000, but there are also cash prizes in specific categories including those for use of dark green and orange vegetables, dry peas and beans and whole grains. 

Chef Andrea Reusing worked with the school system and students to come up with a recipe students will like that also includes health ingredients.

They found inspiration in Dr. Seuss' classic story of a character who actually liked something he thought he would hate – green eggs and ham.

“It’s called stir-fried green rice, eggs and ham,” Reusing said of the school’s entry.

Stir-Fried Green rice, Eggs and Ham Stir-Fried Green Rice, Eggs and Ham recipe

“When we told them there was spinach in the recipe, they were like, ‘No,’” principal Amanda Hartness said. “But as soon as they tried, it they loved it.”

Fans can vote for their favorite recipes online until May 31. A U.S. Department of Agriculture judging panel is traveling to each school to sample the recipes. They visited McDougle this week.

Stir-Fried Green rice, Eggs and Ham Chapel Hill school is semi-finalist for healthy recipe

The field will be narrowed to five finalists next month.

Many of the children at the McDougle haven't tried the recipe yet. 

Reusing said the ultimate victory isn't necessarily national honors. 

"We're hoping the kids will make this recipe at home for their parents as well," she said. 


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