President Obama made a surprise visit to the Kids’ “State Dinner” last year at the White House, which was hosted by first lady Michelle Obama. (Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

If eating lunch at the White House sounds like fun, it’s time to get cooking.

First lady Michelle Obama, the cooking Web site Epicurious and federal agencies are teaming again for a third Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ “State Dinner.”

Eight- to 12-year-olds from all 50 states and six U.S. territories are invited to submit an original recipe for a healthful, affordable and tasty lunch. Recipes must follow Agriculture Department guidelines for a healthful meal, and fruits and vegetables must make up about half of the plate or recipe. (Read a Washington chef’s advice for KidsPost readers on healthful cooking at

The contest ends in the summer with a kid from each state and territory invited to a “state dinner” at the White House, with the first lady as host. (This “dinner” will be at lunchtime.) Some of the winning recipes will be served.

Just as with state dinners for grown-ups, there has been entertainment after the kids’ meal. Last year it was 15-year-old singer Rachel Crow; in 2012, the band Big Time Rush performed. There has been no announcement of this year’s entertainment.

Recipes can be submitted through April 5. Find more information and the contest rules at www.recipechallenge.epicurious.
. Always ask a parent before going online.

— Wire and staff reports