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Wed, Jan. 22

Guest column: Next great kid chef sought for Kids Cooking Challenge

Last year’s contest winner 11-year-old Katie Cafferelli from Scottsdale, Arizona.
Photos courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Last year’s contest winner 11-year-old Katie Cafferelli from Scottsdale, Arizona.


Know a kid who loves to cook? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is searching for the next great kid chef to create a delicious and healthy side dish recipe for its eighth annual Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge. Finalists will sample their culinary creations at a Phoenix Suns home game on Feb. 10 and compete to win great prizes including a new bike.

“Every year of the Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge, we are so amazed with the sophisticated palates participants have demonstrated – from quinoa and avocado to mango, beets and zucchini, the participants always impress us with their use of nutrition-rich ingredients,” said Myrna Collins, health promotion executive, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “I love that the contest provides a great platform for parents to impress upon kids that nutritious food can also be great tasting.”

Children ages 9–12, living anywhere in the state of Arizona, are encouraged to submit their healthy and tasty side dish creations online at anytime between Jan. 1–24, 2018. Submittals must be:

• An original recipe for a hot or cold side dish

• Include at least one fruit and/or vegetable

• Be able to be cooked within 20 minutes (not including prep time)

The top five recipes will be selected by a panel of experts based on nutritional value, taste and originality. Finalists will be invited to present their creations at a Phoenix Suns home game Feb. 10, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. After the cooking demonstrations, recipes will be posted online at for a public vote. Voting will be open from Feb. 10-21.

Last year’s contest winner was Katie Cafferelli, an 11-year-old from Scottsdale. Her winning dish was called Totally Ave-Some and combined many colorful and healthy ingredients including avocado, red peppers, black beans and mangos.

“I love to cook and eating healthy is really important because that’s how you stay healthy when you’re older and it makes you happier,” said Katie. “One of my favorite things is avocado and the rest of the ingredients are colorful and full of antioxidants.”

More information and complete contest details is available at Contestants can submit a recipe — all entries must be submitted no later than Jan. 24.

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