Welcome Friends!  So Glad You’re Here…

Have you joined the Kids in the Kitchen movement yet?  Teaching your kids to cook is one of the best ways to promote healthy eating, leadership and creativity.  My little chef and I are big advocates of the Kids in the Kitchen movement and we are here to make cooking empowering for kids and easier for parents.  

Kids in the Kitchen is gaining so much momentum that it has even reached the White House.  Did you know that the White House hosts an annual Kids’ State Dinner that celebrates young chef throughout the country?  

As part of the Let’s Move campaign, the White House partners with various organizations to create the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe contest that invites kids 8-12 to create an original recipe that is healthy, affordable and tasty.

We first found out about the campaign last year.  My then 7-year-old chef was too young to apply but decided to do the next best thing… recreate one of the winning recipes.  This recipe for Fabulous Fish Tacos packs all the food groups into one amazing lunchtime dish and won an 8 year old girl from Nebraska a coveted spot to the dinner.

Fabulous Fish Tacos

After looking at all of the recipes from last year’s winners, this one caught both me and my little chef’s attention.  It caught his attention because it was submitted by someone close to his age and it caught mine well…because I love anything called “fabulous”.

Fish Tacos Ingredients2

Not only did this include a recipe for fish tacos but also for an orange-mango salsa and included lots of fresh fruits & vegetables.  My little chef and I had a ball going through the produce section looking for all of these wonderful ingredients.

Fish Tacos_Cut

Making the salsa was the most fun part for us.  First my little chef rough cut the veggies, herbs and mango then placed them in a food processor.  We followed most of the original recipe except we omitted the jalapeño and avocado as a personal preference.  Fish Tacos_Blend

After blending and tasting the first batch, my little chef was not enthusiastic about the taste.  We took 3 small cups with a small batch of the salsa so that my little chef could experiment with different ingredients and flavors that he thought would make it more yummier (his words…not mine). 

In one cup, he added cinnamon.  In the second other cup, he added a pinch of salt.  In the third cup, he added more mango and orange juice.  

Experimenting with flavors is one of my little chef’s favorite thing about cooking.  


Encourage your kids to experiment with flavors in the kitchen.  It promotes creative problem solving and decision making as well as builds an instinct for cooking.

Fish Tacos_Juice

Adding the extra mango and orange juice seemed to be the winning combination. Now our version of the recipe includes 1 whole mango (chopped) and 1 whole orange (juiced).  It got a little messy after a while but one big rule in our kitchen is to “Remember Your ABCs (Always Be Cleaning)”.


Fish Tacos_Cook

After all of the experimenting and cleaning, my little chef needed a break so I gladly cooked the fish.  I made one small adjustment to the original recipe and added salt and pepper in addition to the cumin to season the fish. Assemble Fab Fish Tacos_2

My little chef came back to assemble the fish tacos.  Simply spread the Garlic-Lime Sauce on warm whole wheat tortilla then place spinach and the quinoa and fish mixture in the middle of the tortilla.  Wrap and serve with Mango Orange Salsa.

Fish Tacos_Salsa

Congratulations to all the winners of the last year’s Kids’ State Dinner!  We were excited to remake this winning recipe and even more excited to be old enough to enter this year’s contest with our own healthy recipe.  What is it? Shhh! It’s a secret.  Wish us luck!!!!

Want to see our updated version of the winning recipe?

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  • Trackback from Helping Your Kids Overcome BIG Disappointments - Step Stool Chef
    Thursday, 16 June, 2016

    […] So years later when we learned about kids having an chance to go to the White House, we were all over it.  Each year, PBS hosts a Healthy Lunchtime Challenge where kids ages 8-13 can submit a healthy recipe for a chance to attend a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.  We first learned about it last year when my little chef was just 7 years old.  He was so motivated that we recreated one of the winning recipes from 2015: […]

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About the Chef!

Chef Julian has had a love for cooking since the age of 3. Now as the CEO and Head Kid Chef of The Step Stool Chef, he is focused on empowering kids to be leaders in the kitchen. Chef Julian has been featured on the covers of magazines, newspapers as well as made guest appearances on all major TV networks, conferences and food festivals and is known for his fun & easy approach to cooking.

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