Kid chef from Scottsdale wins annual healthy cooking contest

David Hummert, 9, recently won the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s annual healthy cooking contest. (Submitted photo)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona announces nine-year-old David Hummert as the grand-prize winner of its 2019 Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge.

According to a press release, Scottsdale’s Sonoran Sky Elementary School student was crowned the big winner for his “Broccolini Pasta,” which is a pasta side dish featuring zucchini and broccolini.

“I entered the Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge because I have a really good pasta, and I wanted to win a new bike,” the young chef said in a prepared statement. “My Broccolini Pasta is filled with lots of good veggies, and it still tastes good! I can’t wait for everyone to try it.”

As part efforts to inspire kids to make healthier choices, in January, BCBSAZ invited kids between the ages of nine and 12 statewide to submit ideas for a healthy side dish, original recipes including at least one fruit or vegetable, and able to be prepared in 20 minutes or less, according to the release.

“This year’s recipe submissions were so diverse and creative, from deviled eggs stuffed with guacamole to carrots sautéed with dill and thyme, we just couldn’t get over them,” said Myrna Collins, health promotion executive at BCBSAZ, in a prepared statement.

“What I really like about David’s Broccolini Pasta is that when it is made with whole-grain pasta, this is a yummy and nutrition dense dish comprised of a low glycemic veggies and whole-grain.”

As the grand-prize winner, young Hummert received a new bike and accompanying safety gear, the release noted.

Recipe submissions underwent a three-part scoring process, according to the release.

After a nutrition specialist reviewed recipe submissions and chose the top five finalists based on its nutritional balance between vegetables, fruits and other ingredients, the top five finalists participated in a public event at a Phoenix Suns home game, where game attendees tasted and voted for their favorite recipe.

For the third part of the scoring process, videos of contestants discussing what makes their recipe so good were posted online for a public vote, the release added of how the recipe with the most points from all three scoring categories won.

The Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge is part of the 14th annual Walk On! Challenge, a free month-long health and fitness challenge for schools held each year in February, the release said.

With childhood obesity rates rising, BCBSAZ designed the program to motivate fourth- and fifth-grade students across Arizona to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines now and in the future.

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