By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – For the second year in a row, Reed Lindsey will be visiting the White House as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama.
Reed, 10, is one of 54 winners, representing all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, who is being recognized for “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge,” a nationwide recipe contest promoting healthy lunches as part of Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.
The group will join the first lady in Washington, D.C., on July 9 for a kids’ “state dinner,” featuring a healthy lunch using a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House kitchen garden.
Reed calls his winning recipe Pan Seared Mississippi Catfish on a Bed of River Rice.
“I picked catfish because I have it in my lake,” said Reed, the son of Jobie and Lisa Lindsey of Booneville. “I have a lake and a cabin behind the house. And I have a dog.”
Reed’s mother found the recipe contest while surfing the Internet one day.
“Last year, he won the Easter Egg Roll art contest and went to the White House, and Lisa was on the Internet poking around when she found this contest,” said Reed’s father. “It wasn’t a requirement, but it was a suggestion that you use something unique to your state.”
Lisa Lindsey suggested catfish and Reed decided to do a steamboat theme, but they ended up garnishing the dish with steamed zucchini, broccoli and carrots to look like a paddleboat, Jobie Lindsey said.
For the contest, Reed had to prepare an entire healthy meal, including a lean meat, whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables. In addition to the catfish dish, he made a vanilla yogurt fruit parfait; the flag on the paddleboat was made using a fruit skewer of watermelon and cantaloupe. He also had to include the recipes and a short story about his recipes.
The Lindseys will head to Washington on July 7 and return home on July 9 so Reed can head to a church camp in Kentucky.
The White House is paying for a hotel room and plane tickets for Reed and one parent; the family has to pick up the tab for the other parent to make the trip. The contest was organized by Epicurious, the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture and the first lady.
In addition to the state dinner, Reed will be treated to a pizza party, a reception at the Smithsonian Institution and lunch with U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., of Tupelo.
“I’m looking forward to the food,” said Reed who will be a fifth-grader at R.H. Long Booneville Middle School this fall. “I like to cook. I like grilling.”
This will be Reed’s third visit to the nation’s capital: His parents took him there for the first time when he was 3. And while he’s looking forward to the trip, he’s not quite sure if he’s up to entering any more contests.
Unless, perhaps, the prize were a trip to Disney World.
“I’d probably do it then,” he said.
A FREE DOWNLOADABLE AND PRINTABLE E-COOKBOOK of the winning recipes, including nutritional analyses and photos, will be available in July at recipechallenge.epicurious.com, epicurious.com, letsmove.gov, USDA.gov and Ed.gov.