Senita Valley Elementary student Addison McCarty says she realized healthy foods can be attractive, too.


A Senita Valley Elementary School student's no-cook creation was one of two state winners of the 2012 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge.

Winning recipe writer Addison McCarty, 10, is a fifth-grader in the Vail School District.

"The cooking contest is based on students' recipes - Addison was chosen by a panel of experts to be a finalist because her recipe demonstrated inventiveness, nutrition and flavor. After that, her recipe was put up for a public vote, along with the other finalists, which she won," Renee Hunt, a public relations manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, wrote in an email.

The other winner is from Phoenix.

The Walk On! Challenge is a free health and fitness challenge implemented in February in classrooms statewide. It is designed to motivate fifth-graders across Arizona to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines.

Although the program's emphasis is on kids who are in fifth grade, the contest is open to children ages 9-12.

For more information about Walk On! and the Kids Cooking Challenge, go to online.

Here's an excerpt of what Addison wrote about her experience.

"Last year I won the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge. My recipe was 'Dippin' Fruity Kabobs.'

"Entering this contest helped me learn to be more confident in what I eat and taught me why it is so important to eat healthy. I also realized that healthy foods can be pretty because if you eat foods that are the colors of the rainbow, your diet will be as good as it can be.

"Since the challenge I've tried several new foods. My new favorite is grilled shrimp. I've also tried yellow peppers, pumpkin, new kinds of yogurt and different apples. Even though some of these foods were not my favorites, I was still glad that I tried them.

"My parents are working harder to eat healthier. … A lot of my friends have started eating healthier.

"I think that I'll keep playing sports and eating as healthy as I can for the rest of my life."

Addison McCarty's "Dippin' Fruity Kabobs"

For smoothie:

• 1 cup each of frozen sliced bananas, raspberries or strawberries

• 2 6-ounce containers of Greek yogurt

• 1/2 cup of milk (cow's, soy or almond milk)

For kabobs:

• 1/4 cup each of oranges, apples, plums, bananas, grapes, grapefruit, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 12 skewers

• Olive oil cooking spray

To prepare smoothie, place the frozen fruit, yogurt and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth.

To prepare kabobs, spray skewers with olive oil cooking spray. Arrange each piece of cut fruit in a pattern according to color on the 12 skewers.

Use the smoothie as a dip for the fruit kabobs.