State of play: Kids have fun with food at White House

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed kid chefs who don't pass on peas and other leafy greens to the White House for the annual Kids' "State Dinner" on Friday.

The 55 kids were the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

President Barack Obama joked he crashed the party, entering for a few moments to congratulate the kids and talk about his favorite vegetable: broccoli

"You didn't believe me? I love broccoli. I eat it all the time," the president said.

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He also mentioned his favorite winning recipe, because it included a play on guacamole, Barack-a-mole.

"Save me a little sampling," he asked the kids just before shaking hands and meeting the children and their escorts.

A huge "Give me five" symbol made of yellow bell peppers ringed by red chrysanthemums hung in the White House East Room. The kids sat at festive tables covered by red, blue and yellow checkered table clothes and adorned with healthy and creative centerpieces made from green Brussels sprouts, orange kumquats and red grape tomatoes.

However, the table settings remained formal, the kids used real White House china, and each had a tiny gold eagle place card with a handwritten name.

The 2015 Kids' "State Dinner" Recipe Book was featured at each table, just behind the salad plates and giant foam hands were placed on each child's seat, in the spirit of the foam fingers given out at sporting events.

"We want you guys to be ambassadors and to talk about healthy eating in your schools and your communities," the First Lady told the kids

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It's exactly what last year's winner, Abby Cornwell did, by creating a program for her school where she delivered apples to serve as breakfast or healthy snacks for kids who might be hungry.

"This is an event you'll never forget, meeting the first lady and having a once in a lifetime opportunity," Cornwell told the group.

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