Sharing Stories of Everyday Good

These Minnesota kids dreamed up healthy snacks for the Big Game

Hosting the Super Bowl in 2017 gave Minnesota a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase its homegrown talent and rich culture. More importantly, it was an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for Minnesota’s kids.

With support from Newman’s Own Foundation, the Super Snack Challenge was launched as a way to engage all of Minnesota’s kids in making healthy food choices and being part of the Super Bowl excitement. The initiative invited kids aged 8-14 to create a healthy snack recipe that they could enjoy with their family on Super Bowl Sunday.

Also joining in on the fun was Andrew Zimmern, TV personality and chef (and lover of all things Minnesota). In addition to promoting the Super Snack Challenge, he also enlisted other celebrity chefs to help judge the challenge.

Andrew Zimmern with group of kid winners Celebrity chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern judged the Super Snack Challenge. (Photo: steffenhagenphotography.com

More than 400 young people submitted recipes as part of the challenge, and 52 winners were recognized and invited to attend the Kids Tailgate Party during Super Bowl week. From the 52 winners, ten “All-Pro Chefs” were named and served their snacks to the judges at a special event.

The top ten chefs were also recognized by directing $60,000 in grants to their favorite charities in Minnesota, thanks to Newman’s Own Foundation. And finally, one “MVP Chef” was crowned at the Kids Tailgate Party during Super Bowl week: ten-year-old Kingston Brooks of Minneapolis won for his Bold Broccoli and Cheese Skins.

Naimah Muhammed was named a finalist for her recipe “Spicy Pumpkin Hummus.” Muhammed, a seventh-grader at Marcy Open School in Minneapolis, served her hummus recipe with toasted pita bread and red peppers for dipping. She shared that she created the hummus dish with pumpkin because she loves hummus and wanted to “spice it up” with pumpkin.

Muhammed encouraged family members to taste test the recipe before entering the contest. She was both thrilled and nervous when she received the phone call from her mom at school that she was selected as one of the Top 10 finalists.

Muhammed prepares her award-winning pumpkin hummus dish. Muhammed prepares her award-winning pumpkin hummus dish. (Photo: steffenhagenphotography.com)

The Super Snack Challenge was a phenomenal opportunity for young people to showcase healthy eating, engage with celebrity chefs, and create lifelong healthy habits. According to Muhammed, she’s realized that “I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. I love to cook and compete and when I grow up, I want to be a chef!”

The Legacy Fund is a 501C3, community advised fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation. Working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and based on the recommendations of SHIP’s community heath boards, the Legacy Fund provided 52 grants to 52 community projects across the state over the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII.

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