Michelle Obama hosts first 'Kids' State Dinner'

Michelle Obama welcomes youth and their parents to the East Room for an 'original lunch' they designed themselves.

Quentin Bacon Photography

First lady Michelle Obama is hosting more than 50 children from all over the United States today for the first-ever Kids' State Dinner.

The youths worked with their parents to create "an original lunch recipe," Ms. Obama stated in a letter announcing the dinner. The luncheon is Ms. Obama's latest public effort to serve up healthy eating and healthy lifestyles as an example Americans – particularly children – should strive to adopt. Her first book released this spring, American Grown, aimed to inspire children to dig in the dirt and grow vegetables as it chronicled the transformation of the White House's South Lawn into a working kitchen garden.

Now America's future is coming to the White House for lunch with a meal they have dreamed up using fresh ingredients.

The Kids' State Dinner, served on historic china from the Regan administration, is being broadcast live on the Web site for Let's Move!, Ms. Obama's initiative to combat childhood obesity.The children will be cooking under the guidance of White House Chef Sam Kass.

The Kids' State Dinner came out of a contest where children were invited to submit original, healthy recipes. A panel of judges from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, and the food-focused website Epicurious selected 54 of their favorite recipes. The winners of the more than 1,100 entries are the guests in the East Room of the White House with their parents today.

The White House plans to make a free printable and downloadable cookbook with the winning recipes.

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