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January 24, 2013

Culinary Creations: 3rd annual Future Chef Competition promotes healthy lifelong eating habits

CLAREMORE — Claremore elementary students will test their culinary skills during Sodexo’s annual Future Chefs: Healthy Eating Challenge. The competition begins at 10 a.m., March 9 in the Catalayah Elementary cafeteria.

The program was created three years ago to get students thinking about making healthy food choices in life while also encouraging them to become active and creative in the kitchen, according to Sodexo’s recent press release. More than 1,750 students will participate at 943 Sodexo-served school sites across 28 states nationally.
“This year we had 27 students submit healthy salad recipes,” said Sodexo General Manager Pamela Watson, Claremore Schools Child Nutrition. “The 12 best were selected to participate in the district-wide finals.”
Finalists will prepare and present their creation before being assessed on originality, taste, presentation, child friendliness and use of healthy ingredients. Claremore’s winning student will be considered for 27 regional finalist awards. From the 27 regional finalists, five national finalists are chosen to compete for the public’s favorite recipe on a special Future Chefs YouTube channel April 22.
The day of the Claremore competition, students arrive at 9 a.m. before kitchen prep at 10. Judging begins at noon and will follow with an awards ceremonyat 1 p.m. Past Future Chef competitions included healthy snack and breakfast preparation.
“Since the event began, elementary students have just loved it,” said Watson. “It’s nice to see children get recognized for this type of skill focus.” 
As a partner in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move intiative to end childhood obesity, Sodexo supports student well-being not only through nutrition, but also achievement, environmental stewardship and community development.
Watson said the Healthy Salad Challenge is a fun way to get students thinking about the importance of eating healthy, including trying and enjoying more salads.
For more information on Future Chef competition, call 918-341-0705.

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