Two Indian-Americans attend Kids State Dinner at White House

Washington: Two Indian-American children have attended the annual state dinner for kids at the White House, an initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama to promote healthy food among children.

While mouthwatering Chicken Tikka Pita with Cucumber Raita landed Shakthi Ramachandran, 8, from Indiana to the White House; Priya Patel, 10, from Texas was invited to attend the Kids State Dinner for her recipe: Tex-Mex Veg-Head Lasagna.

“And since 2012, as part of Let’s Move!, we’ve hosted five of these — five Kids’ State Dinners here at the White House. And altogether, we’ve reviewed over 6,000 recipe submissions. We’ve welcomed more than 270 young people and their families. And, of course, we ate a whole lot of good food,” Michelle said in her address to the kids who were invited from all the States after they competed in a food contests.

The event is not just about eating well today, she said.

“Its setting kids like all of you up for a lifetime of healthy choices. Because here’s what we know:Eating healthy foods can affect how well you do in school. That’s right,” she said.

“I can’t say this enough — the food that you put into your bodies can actually help you get better grades. And it can also affect your performance in sports and other activities too. You see, when you give your body the best possible fuel, you have more energy, you’re stronger, you think more quickly. You just feel better in general all throughout the day, every day,” the First Lady said.

According to Shakthi, one day she asked her father how she can make her favorite food chicken tikka masala into a sandwich.

“I asked my dad how I can make chicken tikka masala and make it like a sandwich. I love chicken and I also like to eat a lot of vegetables,” she said.

“This recipe combines all these things and is very tasty and delicious. In the summer most of the vegetables we eat are from our garden. The cucumber raita dressing makes it delicious,” Shakthi said.

Priya said she was first inspired to make this recipe by her mom.

“She always tells us to add vegetables to everything we make and to experiment,” she said.

“I love Tex-Mex food and also lasagna so we thought this was a good way to combine both. My mom also tells us to be flexible so we use canned or frozen vegetables if we’re out of fresh. You can substitute any veggies and fruits you like. The possibilities are endless. My mom says not having or liking one ingredient is not an excuse to not try a recipe or to buy fast food!” Priya said.