Vijay Dey, a 12-year-old resident of Chapel Hill, is headed to attend lunch on July 9 at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama, thanks to his healthful culinary talents.
Vijay won a nationwide recipe challenge to promote healthy lunches among America’s youth as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative. His recipe, inspired by his grandfather, Junhui Zhong, was among 54 chosen (one from each U.S. state, three territories and the District of Columbia). For the second consecutive year, The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” invited a parent or guardian to work with their child ages 8 to 12 to create a lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, original and delicious. Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe. Vijay’s winning recipe for spring rolls has both ethnic and fresh appeal, while paying tribute to his grandfather, whom he describes as “really patient and kind to others and really good at crafting things.”