DoDEA Pacific student wins spot in White House Kids’ State Dinner

DoDEA Pacific student wins spot in White House Kids’ State Dinner

by Lawrence Torres III, Department of Defense Education Activity - Pacific

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam — Andersen Elementary School 2nd grade student Lily Vinch will attend the third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids' State Dinner in Washington D.C. next month for her “Mo-Rockin’ Meatless Monday Special” recipe – one of 54 selected from more than 1,500 contestants.

The First Lady’s Office sent a congratulatory note stating Vinch’s recipe of couscous and spinach salad with Moroccan spices and dried fruits “was particularly impressive, as it was creative, tasted great, and most importantly, was healthy, so that's why in a recent judging, we picked yours as the best from your state.”

Vinch will be among 54 students attending the event July 17-18. She decided to participate in the contest because she thought “we had a good chance of winning with a recipe for a meal that we love to eat. I’m really looking forward to meeting the First Lady and hopefully the President of the United States.”

Each contestant was required to include the title of an original recipe for one healthy lunchtime meal incorporating the United States Department of Agriculture nutrition guidance supporting “MyPlate” at, particularly filling half the plate or recipe with fruits and vegetables. A brief essay had to provide some details about their recipe including how all or most of the major food groups would be served with their dish.

“We had a few healthy, tried and true recipes our family enjoys, so we tested a few, and I let Lily choose which one she thought would be our best chance at winning,” said Sarah Vinch, Lily’s mom. “I’m so proud of her for wanting to enter the contest, and just plain ecstatic that we are going to the White House. Sometimes a little effort, like entering a contest, can have a huge reward! It’s a great lesson for life.”

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