Healthy Foods

"The contest encourages kids to try new dishes that include healthful ingredients like fruits and vegetables."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s annual “Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge” is open through Jan. 24. Research shows encouraging kids to cook has many benefits. They are more likely to try new foods and it fosters reading and math skills.

The contest encourages kids to try new dishes that include healthful ingredients like fruits and vegetables. Children between the ages of 9 and 12 living anywhere in Arizona can submit healthy and tasty creations online at walkonaz.com.

Recipe submittals must be for a delicious, nutritious and kid-friendly side dish that contains at least one fruit or vegetable and can be cooked within 20 minutes (not including prep time) to be considered for the chance to win great prizes and the title of the state’s top kid chef. Finalists will get the chance to serve their culinary creations at a Phoenix Suns home game on Feb. 7. 

Over the past decade, kids from across the Valley have impressed judges with their creative takes on things like mock pizzas, deviled eggs and low-carb tacos. Last year’s winning entry, “Broccolini Pasta,” was created by a 9-year-old boy. The dish stood out because it was filled with lots of great veggies like sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini and broccolini. It not only looked beautiful with all its rich colors but was full of vitamin A, vitamin C and loads of antioxidants.