Tipton Girl's Recipe Takes Her To The White House - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Tipton Girl's Recipe Takes Her To The White House


      One area girl now has quite the summer vacation story to tell. On Tuesday, winners of first Lady Michelle Obama's nationwide recipe challenge had a big day at the Kids' "State Dinner." Representing Iowa, 9-year-old Corrine VanderGaast from Tipton.
     On Thursday she was busy making banana french toast for an afternoon snack. But it was Corrine's special recipe of  "stone curry and brown rice" that took her all the way to the White House.
     "It has chickpeas, I know there's spinach, I know there's tomatoes," said Corrine.
     As a childcare provider Corrine's mother encouraged her to enter the contest as a fun exercise for all the kids.
     "Shock. It was exciting to find out in May that we were finalists for Iowa. I thought it was just some fun silly activity we'd done," said Deborah VanderGaast.
     The contest is all part of Michelle Obama's mission to fight obesity among children. Corrine was among 54 kid chefs from across the country with yummy, healthy meals invited for the experience of the lifetime.
     "We got to look around for a few minutes, get a balloon, and eat," she said. There was a tour of the White House and the gardens outside. At the luncheon, Corrine and her mother sat next to fellow Iowan and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack who passed along something very special. "A challenge coin. It's the ninth ranked coin."
     "I knew Corrine was excited I could hear her but when I looked at the video later she was just bouncing," said her mother.
     After meeting President Obama and the first lady too, Corrine's dish and story appear in a book and on its own recipe card. She's now an ambassador for healthy eating.
     "Every parent hopes their child can have some great moment like this in their life." said VanderGaast.
     There were more than 1,300 entries for the healthy lunchtime challenge. The winning recipes might be used at the Julia Child's kitchen exhibit at the Smithsonian this fall.


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