Area students share favorite ingredients in Top Healthy Chef Pizza competition

An area middle school student mocks up his pizza during the final round of the Top Healthy Chef Pizza competition.

The Kane County Health Department launched The Making Kane County Fit for Kids campaign in 2008 resulting in the Fit Kids 2020 plan several years later.  This call to action was in response to some alarming news about the poor health of our young people Nationwide.

Many community partners, including Aurora University, have been active in fighting childhood obesity with several initiatives. The Top Chef competition was established to make learning about healthy eating fun and interactive. This year, a Top Healthy Chef Pizza competition was held for more than 500 area middle school students participating in Communities In Schools’ citywide MyTime after school program.

The competition was launched in October and nutrition presentations were provided by Aurora University School of Nursing students. Following the presentations, more than 150 pizza recipe entries were submitted by local middle school students and those recipes were narrowed down to the top five students from each participating district by the Top Health Chef Pizza committee members.

Each school then featured a pizza tasting contest and the students in the MyTime program sampled the top pizzas from their district and selected the winning pizza for the final competition. Pizzas for these competitions were provided by local sponsors, including Ach-n-Lou’s Pizza, Luigi’s Pizza and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza sponsored pizzas for District 204.

The final round took place on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at the Prisco Center where the final contestants mocked up their winning pizza and explained why their ingredients made their pizza a healthy choice. Judges were then provided with a sample of each pizza and Christy Kenworthy from Bednarcik Junior High School was chosen as the Top Healthy Chef Pizza winner.

Committee Members:
Aurora University:
Dr. Sherry Eagle, Institute for Collaboration
Shawn Green, School of Business
Sandy Hipp, American Association of University Women
Deanna Sommers, School of Nursing

Boy Scouts of America, Amy Seyller
Buchar Family Chiropractic, Angie Marchand
City of Aurora, Dan Barreiro
Communities In Schools of Aurora, Karen Harkness
Fox Valley Park District, Debbie Smith
Indian Prairie School District 204, Jason Altenbern
Rush Copley Medical Center, Zaida Rodriguez