Marshall County, Kentucky student headed to the White House

A local student has turned her personal favorite lunch recipe into a trip to our nation’s capitol.

Fourth grade Central Elementary student Izzy Washburn has been selected to represent Kentucky at the Kids’ State Dinner, which will be held at the White House. She recently entered the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and is one of 53 children chosen to attend the dinner. She says the experience is sure to be one she won’t forget.

“It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity I can’t miss,” Washburn says. “It makes me really excited I get to go to the White House.”

Her winning recipe is for her Shake It Up Turkey Roll-up.

It all started with her third grade science project —a project that she calls Bought vs. Brought. She looked at the difference in the lunches provided by the school cafeteria and the lunches that students brought from home. Izzy looked at five school day lunches over three weeks, recording 364 lunches of her entire third grade class.

“I looked to see if they had a junk food, a grain, a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy and a protein,” Washburn says.

She found that schools are providing healthier lunches than those that students are bringing, but students tend to throw away the healthiest portions of the meal.

Washburn also noted that lunches brought from home included some not-so-healthy choices.

“In other people’s lunches I saw they had chips, fruit roll ups, and Cheetos,” she says.

She never imagined that her school experiment would lead her to a dinner with the first lady.

After her trip concludes, she hopes to return home and begin educating her classmates and their parents on the importance of a healthier lunch.

“The kids need to know that healthy lunch is important,” she says. “I think of it as gas for your car. If you put in the wrong gas, the car is not going to go, just like if you put too much sugar in your body, you are not going to be able to think as well or concentrate.”

Washburn is working on a way to educate kids and parents about healthier options. She says parents especially need to know about healthy foods because kids can't buy them.

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