The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Let's Move!, a nationwide initiative created by First Lady Michelle Obama to promote making healthy choices and improving food quality in schools, are challenging school nutrition professionals, chefs, students, parents and interested community members to create tasty, healthy, exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus across the country.
Participants will form teams to develop, document and prepare at least one healthy recipe in one of three categories, including whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, or dry beans and peas. Their creations will be served in the school's cafeteria and rated by students.

Fifteen semi-finalist teams will have their recipe evaluated by a judging panel during events held at their school, and the top three teams will compete in a national cook-off to determine the grand prize winner. Semi-finalists' recipes also will be posted for online voting by the public to determine a Popular Choice Winner.

How to enter

Between Sept. 7 and Dec. 30, from 2-5 p.m. EST, interested participants must form teams that include each of the following: a chef, school nutrition professional, at least one student currently enrolled in grades 4-12, and at least one parent or community member. This team will develop, document, perfect and prepare a nutritious and delicious recipe that features one of the three categories. This recipe will be prepared in the school's cafeteria, and served to the majority of those students who participate in the National School Lunch Program.

Teams can register online at www.RecipesforKidsChallenge.com by clicking "Sign Up" at the top of the page at any time. For consideration, interested participants must submit their recipe (measured in standard U.S. measurement units and weights), a statement affirming the recipe's originality, description of the student taste testing on school letterhead (with quotes from some participating students), a nutrient analysis and a photograph of their prepared recipe. Please read the Official Rules and Frequently Asked Questions section for complete details on what is required in your recipe submission.

Important dates

Submission Period: Sept. 7 through Dec. 30

Judging Period: Jan. 1, 2011 through May 15, 2011

Public Voting Period: Mar. 1, 2011 through May 15, 2011

Judges

A panel of expert judges

Judging criteria
Student Involvement
Nutrition
Creativity and Originality
Ease of Use in Schools
Recipe Presentation

Prizes

Grand Prize Winner - $3,000
First Place (Whole Grains) - $1,500
Second Place (Whole Grains) - $1,000
First Place (Dark Green and Orange Vegetables) - $1,500
Second Place (Dark Green and Orange Vegetables) - $1,000
First Place (Dry Beans and Peas) - $1,500
Second Place (Dry Beans and Peas) - $1,000
Popular Choice Award - $1,500