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Make a New Year's Resolution to Get Kids into the Kitchen

9th Annual Kids' Healthy Cooking Contest Now Open

It’s that time of year again—time to make New Year’s resolutions. This year, why not resolve to get kids in the kitchen to cook as a family? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s ninth annual Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge is a great way to make it happen. The contest opens for entries on Jan. 1. Recipes should be delicious, nutritious, and kid-friendly side dish recipes for the chance to win great prizes and the title of the state’s top kid chef!

Children between the ages of 9 and 12 living anywhere in the state of Arizona can submit their healthy and tasty side dish creations online at from Jan. 1–23, 2019. Finalists will serve their culinary creations at a Phoenix Suns home game Feb. 4 and compete to win great prizes, including a new bike.

Recipe submittals must be:

  • An original recipe for a hot or cold side dish
  • Include at least one fruit and/or vegetable
  • Be able to 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. “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.”

After the online submittal process, the top five recipes will be selected by a panel of experts based on nutritional value, taste, and originality. Finalists will then be invited to present their creations at a Phoenix Suns home game Feb. 4 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. After the cooking demonstrations, recipes will be posted online at for a public vote. Voting will be open from Feb. 4–15.

Gabe Bandera, a 12-year old from Goodyear, Ariz., was the 2018 contest winner. He was motivated to create his winning dish—Purple Explosion—because of his future career goal of being on a Food Network show like Chopped.

“I think being in this contest was a great step toward my goal of being a television chef,” said Gabe. “The dish I created came to me when I thought about the freshest and healthiest veggies that I could roast. I thought of slaw and then voila, Purple Explosion!”

Visit for complete contest details and to submit a recipe. All entries must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.

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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 moving health forward. To learn more, visit