Students Meet a Healthy Challenge


Middle School Class Writes Winning Recipe in Nationwide Contest

Robert Frost Middle School Family and Consumer Science students were recently named the winners of the Stirring Up Health recipe contest sponsored by the Healthy Kids Challenge organization. The goal of this national effort is to encourage students to enjoy healthy eating and physical activity as part of their overall lifestyle.

Healthy Kids Challenge is a nationally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization led by registered licensed dietitians with years of school, program and community wellness experience. For over 10 years, the organization has pioneered the path of onsite and distance assistance.

Robert Frost students applied their culinary curriculum to create the “Deer Park Paco,” an innovative combination of a pizza and a taco using all natural ingredients. In class, students prepared different versions of their recipe and conducted taste tests voting for the school recipe winner. Students then submitted that recipe to an esteemed panel of Healthy Kids Challenge judges who selected the winning chefs. Recipes were judged on originality, creativity and taste and contestants also were required to submit essays explaining how they planned to make positive changes in their lives and the lives of others by making and encouraging better nutrition decisions.

In reward for their winning entry, Frost students were visited by Chef Thomas J. Delle Donne of Johnson and Wales University who worked in the kitchen with the young chefs to teach them about kitchen tools and techniques. Slicing and dicing during a live demonstration, Chef Thomas introduced students to the latest technologies in food science, creating edible molecular based snacks and using the students winning recipe to recreate the Deer Park Paco with them.     

 “I truly believe that it is imperative to educate students on healthy eating and cooking habits,” said Chef Thomas. “While they are young we need to empower them with proper ways to prepare and eat as opposed to commercial advertising, exposing them to snack foods and sugar loaded treats. One of the ways we can do this is to show them the best practices and provide reasons why good health and moderation are keys to a happy life.”

Deer Park’s Home and Career Skills winning recipe can be viewed at