Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona's Walk On! Challenge and Kids Cooking Challenge

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living Live

Packing school lunches can be a challenge for even the most creative parent. But how many have thought to involve their kids and enable them to make healthy, fun decisions about their food?

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has launched a Kids Cooking Challenge, in conjunction with their annual kids' health and fitness program, Walk On!

More specifically, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is looking for healthy lunchbox recipes, and they've invited Arizona kids to submit fresh ideas on take-to-school lunches.

Kids can enter the Cooking Challenge online at through Jan. 23. The contest is open to any Arizona youth, ages 9-12, even if their class isn't participating in the Walk On! Challenge.

Finalists will be paired with a professional chef from Fox Restaurant Concepts to help prepare their recipes on film, after which the public will be able to view these film clips online for voting. To be considered, each submission must:
·    Be inventive, delicious and nutritious
·    Be a recipe for a hot or cold main dish lunch item
·    Include at least one fruit and/or vegetable
·    Be able to be packed to take to school

Now in its eighth year, the Walk On! program is a consistent component for many fifth-grade classrooms around Arizona, supporting schools' efforts to teach the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. The Walk On! Challenge is a free health and fitness challenge implemented in classrooms each February. This program is designed to motivate fifth-grade students across Arizona to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines for a healthier future.

Between 2003 and 2007, Arizona had the greatest increase of childhood obesity in the nation. Walk On! and the Kids Cooking Challenge will develop help healthy kids who will grow to healthy adults, while giving children the chance to get creative and be a part of the family's food decision-making process.

Cheesy Rainbow Awesomeness
Submitted by Peyton, age 9, Phoenix

1 each of red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers  
1 small red onion  
2 crushed cloves garlic
1 portobello mushroom  
1 tablespoon olive oil  
1/2 cup chicken stock  
2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 8.5 oz pkg pre-cooked Quinoa
5 oz of shredded mozzarella, parmesan, and/or asiagio cheese  
Dash salt and pepper      

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil water in a large pot.

Wash and then cut each bell pepper into quarters lengthwise; remove the seeds and membranes. Blanch (cook briefly in boiling water) pepper pieces for 5 min. Carefully remove from water with tongs and immerse in a bowl of cool water

Cut onion and mushroom into small pieces.

Heat olive oil in pan on medium high heat and sauté the onion and mushroom pieces until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chicken stock, Bragg Liquid Aminos, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat on high until reduced, about 3 min.  

Combine sautéed veggie/broth mixture in a bowl with the pre-cooked Quinoa. Add most of the cheese but save some for sprinkling on top later. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix!  

Lay the pieces of pepper out on the foil lined baking pan face up so they form little cups.   Place a scoop of the Quinoa mixture in each pepper piece. Carefully put into oven. Cook for 8 minutes. Then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the pepper pieces and cook until melted, about 2 min. (Hint: you can also sprinkle ground toasted flaxseeds along with the cheese for a nice nutty flavor addition.)  

Share with your family (serves 4-6). Yummo!

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living Live

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