SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Students from San Francisco have entered a nationwide competition to create a healthier lunch menu, with the winners getting flown to Washington D.C. where they will prepare their recipes at the White House.

The Department of Food and Agriculture and first lady Michelle Obama challenged school children to develop their own, nutritious recipes.

KCBS Bob Butler Reporting:

“Use olive oil and put a bunch of cheese on it,” Francisco Middle School 8th grader Richard Meza said of his lasagna dish. “Whole wheat, that would be good.”

Meza’s peers also suggested healthy versions of pizza and noodle dishes.

Some would-be cooks got their culinary inspiration from home. “My mom makes this really good sauce that has a lot of tomatoes in it and real carrots, she mixes it up with the spaghetti and it comes out like a healthy plate,” said fellow Francisco Middle School 8th grader Luz Rioja.

Perhaps one of the tougher elements of the contest is that the recipes will need to pass muster with a hard-to-please audience: kids.

“They have to be taste-tested by the students and then the students in the school will make a judgment as to whether this is a recipe that they want to submit on behalf of their school, into the contest,” explained USDA deputy administrator for nutrition programs, Audrey Rowe.

“Receive their agreement, their concurrence that this is a really good meal, that it tastes good and it meets all the nutritional requirements,” Rowe said.

The deadline to submit an entry is December 30, 2010.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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