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Cooking contest: Arizona kids can win a bike for their recipe

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To inspire more Arizona kids to try healthy foods, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is looking for great-tasting, kid-inspired side dish recipes for the 2014 Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge. Children ages 9–12, living anywhere in Arizona, with a healthy and tasty side dish recipe, are invited to enter the contest.

"There are many benefits to teaching children how to cook," said Cristin Connor, registered nurse, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. "One of the biggest reasons is it encourages them to try healthy foods they might normally say no to. It also builds self-esteem and provides for quality family time."

Children, with the help of their parents, can submit recipes anytime Jan. 1 - 22. For a recipe to be considered, it must be:

An original recipe for a hot or cold side dish
Include at least one fruit and/or vegetable
Able to be cooked within 20 minutes (not including prep time)

The top five recipes will be selected based on nutrition, taste and originality. These finalists will be invited to present their recipes to a panel of judges at a public event on Feb. 1 as part of Arizona's "Walk On! Day" celebration. Following the event the recipes will be posted online at www.walkonaz.com for a public vote.

All finalists will receive fun prizes and the grand prize winner will receive a bike. The winner may also be invited to show their stuff on TV in a local cooking demonstration!

Last year's contest was a lunchbox makeover. The winner was Henry Palmer, age 10, from the REACH Center at Madison Camelview Elementary in Phoenix. His recipe was "Brain-Berry Parfait."

"Eating healthy is helping me perform in my swimming and all the other sports I play," said Henry. "I don't like sandwiches in my lunch, so I came up with some different things I can make and take to school. And my mom makes sure it's healthy."

Visit www.walkonaz.com for complete contest details and to submit a recipe. All entries must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

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