Ocean Beach Elementary School fourth-grader Zarai Rosenzweig-Bullard took first place in the K-5 age group and won an amazon Kindle for her “Terrific Turkey Tacos.”
Correia Middle School eighth-grader Ava Marie Bunn also claimed first place in the grades 6-12 category for her “AVAcado salad.”
“This is the second year we had the recipe contest in school district’s Food and Nutrition Services Department,” said Joanne Tucker, the department’s marketing coordinator, noting that the school district had previously always had students “testing new recipes and products” but never before actually creating their own dishes. The district decided to take things to the next level — and it really paid off.
“You can tell there are really some budding chefs out there,” said Tucker. “We loved the creativity of the kids who really stepped up to the plate and drew pictures, took pictures; even some of the older kids sent in videos (of their recipes). We wanted recipes that kids would like, that were different and that we could put on our menu. That’s what we got.”
The winning AVAcado salad recipe includes tortilla strips and red peppers as well as garbanzo and pinto beans. Rosenzweig-Bullard’s culinary delight featured not only ground turkey but Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheeses along with avocado, sour cream, lettuce and tomato.
The second annual Kid’s Create Recipe Contest was open to individuals and small groups of up to three students. The younger kindergarten to fifth-grade students were charged with creating a personal recipe for the district’s new Taco Tuesdays menu, coming next fall. Students were asked to list ingredients and provide step-by-step instructions.
The task for culinary aspirants in grades six to 12 was to create an entrée salad containing greens, fruit and whole grain pasta or whole grain rice.
Tucker added all student contest recipes submitted had to meet the school district’s new nutritional guidelines.
“They had to contain some kind of whole grain and some protein source giving options and other ingredients,” she said. “They had to be fresh, healthy ingredients.”
The first-year contest recipe winner had its creator’s name immortalized on the district’s menu for this year as “Jacob’s Veggie Rice.”
“We use the student’s name in some fashion,” said Tucker.
Noting the district is “always looking for simple, fresh, healthy recipes to add to student menus,” Tucker added the kid’s recipe contest has proven to be a great way for the district to share its message with both students and the community that “it serves fresh and wholesome food daily at every school throughout the school district.”