Claremore Kids Learn Healthy Habits Under ‘Let's Move' Initiative

Saturday, February 19th 2011, 5:29 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- Almost one in every three children in our nation is overweight or obese.

That's why First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let's Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation.

And one Green Country school district had a creative idea to teach kids healthy habits under that initiative.

Claremore is full of culinary creations. And the masterminds behind the meals can't even reach the spice rack.

Eighteen 3rd through 5th graders were selected to participate in a contest put on by the school district's food service provider.

"We developed this fun nutrition program called Future Chefs and it's a way for kids to roll up their sleeves, get in the kitchen and create healthy, afterschool snacks," said Pamela Watson, Sodexo General Manager.

Snacks like fruit animals, healthy frozen fruit kabob and trail mix. "It's kind of sweet and salty" said 4th grader Tate Christian.

Tate's creation is fish in a pond -- complete with green fishing poles.

"Low-fat cream cheese and mix it with blue food coloring, then put gold fish around it and you use celery to catch the fish," Tate said.

The judges are looking for recipes that are kid-friendly, easy to prepare, tasty and use healthy ingredients.

Isabelle Esau just shrunk her favorite food into a snack. "Because a sandwich is healthy and I just thought of putting it on a stick," she said.

Fourth grader Hudson Williams thinks it's cool to eat healthy. "Because it's good for your body, yeah, your body," he said.

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. Oklahoma is already the sixth fattest state in the nation, the idea behind this program is to teach healthy habits *now.*

"It's easier for them to learn at an earlier age, they haven't really made up their minds too much and so they can carry out those lifestyles," Watson said.

And when parents get involved, the finished product could be healthier eating habits for the whole family.

This is a nationwide competition with 35 school districts participating. So, Saturday's winner goes up against the winners from all of those other districts for the chance to have their recipe published in a national recipe book.

The winner of Saturday's competition is Dezarae Johnson. She made Lady Bug Appetizers.

2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp sour cream
Black paste food coloring
½ tsp minced chives
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp minced fresh parsley
36 butter-flavored crackers
18 cherry tomatoes, quartered
18 large pitted ripe olives
72 fresh chive pieces(about 1-1/2 inches long)

Step 1: In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Remove 1 tbsp to a small bowl and tint black. Place tinted cream cheese mixture in a small plastic bag; set aside.

Step 2: Add the chives, garlic salt and parsley to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Spread over crackers. Arrange two tomato quarters on each for the ladybug wings.

Step 3: For heads, halve the olives widthwise; place one half on each cracker. Insert two chives into olives for antennae. Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots onto wings and enjoy. Makes 36 servings