Beetroot Salad With Cottage Cheese

Beetroot salad with cottage cheese, baby spinach and walnuts.

Is your child a culinary wunderkind, whipping up delicious meals with ease for amazed house guests? Or maybe they’re just handy in the kitchen; more than willing to help out when it’s time to make dinner.

Either way, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Southern Arizona is challenging all junior culinarians to submit their healthiest (and most delicious) side dishes for a chance to win plenty of prizes, including the title of Arizona’s Top Kid Chef.

The ninth annual Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge launched on Jan. 1, and runs through Wednesday, Jan. 23. Children between the ages of 9 and 12 years old living anywhere in Arizona can participate.

Recipes should be for “delicious, nutritious and kid-friendly” side dishes, and can be submitted online at walkonaz.com. Finalists will serve their submissions at a Phoenix Suns home game Monday, Feb. 4 and compete to win prizes.

Recipe submissions must be an original recipe for a hot or cold side dish, include at least one fruit and/or vegetable and be cooked within 20 minutes (not including prep time).

“Year after year I am in awe of the creations these kid chefs come up with,” said Myrna Collins, health promotion executive, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, in a release. “The contest inspires participants to try nutrient-rich ingredients like quinoa, cabbage, avocados, beets and zucchini, which are foods many kids shy away from. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to work side by side with their kids in the kitchen, trying fruits and vegetables in new ways.”

The top five recipes will be selected by a panel of experts based on nutritional value, taste and originality. After the cooking demonstrations, recipes will be posted online for a public vote. Voting will be open from Feb. 4 through Feb. 15.

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