Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is launching its 2016 kids cooking contest aimed at motivating Arizona kids to incorporate healthy options into their daily food choices.

For the sixth year, the company is looking for original, great-tasting and kid-inspired side dish recipes for the Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge.

Children ages 9–12, living anywhere in the state of Arizona, are encouraged to submit their healthy, and tasty side dish creations for a chance to win a new bike. Finalists will also have an opportunity to prepare and share their masterpiece at a Phoenix Suns home game.

“One of the best ways to nurture healthy eating choices in kids is to encourage them to help prepare food using nutrition-rich ingredients,” said Myrna Collins, health promotion executive, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “Over the course of the last five years we have been in awe of the creative and nutritious side dishes that kid chefs in Arizona have developed. We’re looking forward to seeing the creativity of our contestants this year.”

Contestants can submit recipes anytime between Jan. 1–27, 2016. Recipes must be:

  • An original recipe for a hot or cold side dish
  • Include at least one fruit and/or vegetable
  • Be able to be cooked within 20 minutes (not including prep time)

The top five recipes will be selected based on nutritional value, taste and originality. Finalists will be invited to present their creations at a Phoenix Suns home game Feb. 6 at the US Airways Center. After the cooking demonstrations, recipe details will be posted online at for a public vote. Voting will be open from Feb. 6 through Feb. 17.

Each of the five finalists will earn fun prizes and the grand prize winner will receive a new bike. The winner may also be asked to participate in local TV and newspaper interviews.

Last year’s contest winner was 10-year-old Isabella Buoscio from El Mirage. Her winning dish was called “Fruity Kale Salad.”

“I wanted to enter to see what I could do and see how good a chef I was,” said Isabella, who has been cooking since she was six.

Visit for complete contest details and to submit a recipe. All entries must be submitted no later than Wednesday, January 27, 2016.