Imagine you are a budding young chef, with one chance to impress the First Lady of the United States with you cooking talent. It bears the killer question: what recipe am I going to choose?

Now over halfway through the International Year of Pulses, an impressive 35% of youngsters decided beans, chickpeas and lentils were their go-to ingredient of choice, as they showed off their culinary creations to Michelle Obama at the famous White House in Washington DC last month.

The fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge (#KidsStateDinner on social media) was a massive hit, as 8-12 year-old winners from across the country.

The children were asked to draw inspiration from local cuisine in their own state.

Below are just some of our favourite dishes on a mouth-watering menu:

5 healthy lentil tacos fanned out on a wood board, with a spoon of sauce placed beside them
Figure 1: The #LovePulses healthy lentil tacos - our version of the winning recipe from Kansas

Lentil Tacos with Cilantro-Avocado Drizzle by Joey from Kansas, who took included lentils for their high-protein content.

Red Potato Boat with 3 Bean Bison Chili by Stella from North Dakota - one of the largest dry bean producing regions in the world.

Veggie-Packed Indian Lentils by Skylar from Nevada, who recreated her favourite 'store-bought' boxed Indian lentils.

Korean Lentil Patties by Mena from North Carolina, who drew on her Mom’s Korean culinary roots to create this dish.

The initiative, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the Let's Move campaign, aims to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation, as children were challenged to team up with a parent or guardian, to create an original, healthy, affordable, and delicious lunch recipe.

All the recipes can be found in one neat cook book on the Let’s Move website here.

If you have been inspired by what was on show at the White House, why not have a look at the hundreds of bean, pea, chickpea and lentil recipes who can be found at