11:04 AM

Kid Chef from Scottsdale Wins Annual Healthy Cooking Contest

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) just announced the grand-prize winner of its 2019 Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge. David Hummert, a 9-year-old from Sonoran Sky Elementary School in Scottsdale, was crowned the big winner for his Broccolini Pasta, a pasta side dish featuring zucchini and broccolini.

“I entered the Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge because I have a really good pasta, and I wanted to win a new bike,” David said. “My Broccolini Pasta is filled with lots of good veggies, and it still tastes good! I can’t wait for everyone to try it.”

As part of its effort to inspire kids to make healthier choices, in January, BCBSAZ invited kids between the ages of 9 and 12 across the state to submit ideas for healthy side dish recipes. Recipes had to be original, include at least one fruit or vegetable, and be able to be prepared in 20 minutes or less.

“This year’s recipe submissions were so diverse and creative, from deviled eggs stuffed with guacamole to carrots sautéed with dill and thyme, we just couldn’t get over them,” said Myrna Collins, health promotion executive at BCBSAZ. “What I really like about David’s Broccolini Pasta is that when it is made with whole-grain pasta, this is a yummy and nutrition-dense dish comprised of low glycemic veggies and whole-grain.”

As the grand-prize winner, Hummert received a new bike and accompanying safety gear.

Recipe submissions underwent a three-part scoring process. First, a nutrition specialist reviewed all the recipe submissions and chose the top five finalists based on each recipe’s nutritional balance between vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients. Then, the top five finalists participated in a public event at a Phoenix Suns home game, where game attendees had a chance to taste and vote for their favorite recipe. For the third part of the scoring process, videos of contestants discussing what makes their recipe so good were posted online for a public vote. The recipe that received the most points from all three scoring categories was declared the winner.

This year’s other four finalists included:

  • Marion Colum – a 10-year-old from Paseo Pointe Elementary School in Laveen, for his Healthy Salad, chock-full of delicious and nutrition-packed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and carrots.
  • Katherine Tirrito – a 10-year-old from St. Michael's School in Tucson, who created the imaginative Portobello Pizza.
  • Nate Walker – a 10-year-old from Imagine Rosefield in Surprise, for his creation Carrots Galore, complete with flavorful ingredients such as carrots, green onions, and dill.
  • Hannah White – a 12-year-old from Abeka Academy in Wittmann, who invented the protein-rich Hannah's Deviled-guac Eggs.

The Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge is part of the 14th annual Walk On! Challenge, a free month-long health and fitness challenge for schools held each year in February.

With childhood obesity rates reaching epidemic proportions, BCBSAZ designed this program to motivate fourth- and fifth-grade students across Arizona to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines for now and in the future. The Kids Cooking Challenge is a way to extend the Walk On! message outside the classroom.

For more information about Walk On!, visit


About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committed to helping Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. With a focus on connecting people with the care they need, BCBSAZ offers health insurance and related services to nearly 1.5 million customers.

BCBSAZ, a not-for-profit company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company employs nearly 1,500 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff, and Tucson offices.

Through advanced clinical programs and community outreach, BCBSAZ is inspiring health. To learn more, visit