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Twelve Canby School District elementary school students will compete in the 2017 Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge March 21

Twelve students from elementary schools throughout the Canby School District will converge on Baker Prairie Middle School later this month to put their best culinary feet forward.

These students will use their creativity and culinary skills to make healthy comfort food recipes in the 2017 Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge on Tuesday, March 21, at 4 p.m. at Baker Prairie Middle School. Plate presentation and judging begin at 6 p.m.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Twelve Canby elementary school students will put their culinary skills to the test March 21 in the Future Chefs Challenge at Baker Prairie Middle School.

The young chefs are: Carus Elementary School – Hanna Rue (mini zucchini pizza bites) and Gracie Dodd (rai-cinn-apple oat-ilicious). Eccles Elementary School – Connor Adams (cauliflower man n' casserole) and Reagan Robinson (cloud pancakes). Knight Elementary School – Riley Stewart (Riley's turkey burger) and Mollie Moore (veggie rice bowl). Lee Elementary School – Chris Tejefano (big boy breakfast burrito) and Maren Bowlsby (berry nutty bars). Ninety-One School – Madi Bigej (cauliflower tots) and Hallie Knutson (stuffed sweet potatoes). Trost Elementary School – Adriana Mendoza (fish tacos) and Sarah Tishendorf (chunky chili).

"This will be the fourth time that the Canby School District has held a Future Chefs competition. This event is about helping students feel comfortable in the kitchen while using healthy ingredients to make food that they will truly be excited to eat," said Galina Dobson, director of nutrition for the Canby School District. "Each year there is a different theme and this year it is healthy comfort foods."

The competition is open to all fourth, fifth and sixth grade students throughout the school district.

"The students were really excited to participate and during our initial recipe collection phase we received nearly 70 entries," said Dobson. "An esteemed volunteer panel of nurses, nutritionists, nutrition services staff and chefs narrowed all those entries down to twelve final competitors. These students now have the opportunity to recreate their recipes for a panel of judges and spectators to taste.

"One student will be crowned as the winner of our district competition. Everyone involved is getting really excited for this culinary showdown and the opportunity to help these students recreate their recipes," she added.

The national initiative, now in its seventh year, was created to get students thinking about making healthy food choices while also encouraging them to be active and creative in the kitchen. Canby School District students are joining more than 2,600 other students representing more than 1,300 Sodexo-served school sites in 30 states nationally.

Finalists will prepare and present their creations before being assessed on criteria including originality, taste, ease of presentation, kid friendliness and use of healthy ingredients. Canby School District joins 256 other school districts across the country holding Future Chefs events

throughout February and March. The winning student from each participating district will be considered for regional finalist awards, and the selected regional finalists will vie to become one of five national finalists competing for the public's vote on SodexoUSA.com.

"At the end of the day this is about hosting a fun event for our students," said Dobson. "Sodexo and the Canby School District are both very passionate about guiding students to create healthy habits that will last them for a lifetime. Future Chefs is one of our favorite events that to help accomplish that goal."

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