Yum-o! & the 2016 Kids’ “State Dinner”

July 21, 2016  • 

Together with First Lady Michelle Obama, PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, and Newman’s Own Foundation, Yum-o! was proud to be a partner of the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.

More than 1,200 kids from all U.S. states, five territories, and the District of Columbia entered their healthy, local, delicious, affordable lunch recipes for a chance to attend the event.

(Video provided courtesy of the Rachael Ray Show)

Rachael Ray takes a trip to D.C. for the 2016 White House Kids’ “State Dinner” – and has a special one-on-one sit down interview with First Lady Michelle Obama! (Video courtesy of the Rachael Ray Show)

After a thorough judging process, one winner from each state and territory got to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House.

(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

On to the party… 

Rach and the Director of Yum-o!, Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan, had front row seats to the event and reported back to us with all the happenings.

It was a beautiful lunch that took place in the East Room of the White House, where all State Dinners are held. The kids all got to have their pics taken with the First Lady. The decor was bright and garden-themed and Rach fell in love with the centerpiece on her table.

#KidsStateDinner underway. What a clever centerpiece idea…it’s a garden hose!

A photo posted by Rachael Ray (@rachaelray) on

Some of the 56 finalists’ recipes were featured on the menu for the lunch and Rach sat next to Chef Lael from Alabama who had one of the featured dishes.

Rachael was super excited to meet all of the young chefs and hear their stories of their road to the White House, as were they excited to see her, too.

One of last year’s winners gave a hilarious speech – he has been a champion in his community! The First Lady gave an inspiring speech sharing how the kids in that very room  will be the ones to make a difference in their community, and there was also a fun performance from Walt Disney World Resort’s “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic!”

(Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

(Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Needless to say, it was a fun-filled day! To check out the winning recipes, download a free copy of the White House Kids’ “State Dinner” Cookbook here (links to a .pdf).

And don’t forget to show us what you’re cookin’! Tag your photos with #yumomoment or share on our Facebook page!

Lead photo: Official White House Photo by David Lienemann