Sarah Ralston, 11, of New Albany, Ohio, and Elayna Saley, 8, of Salt Lake City, Utah, recently submitted winning stories about nutritious family mealtime to become McDonald's two Happy Meal Chefs, as part of the company's new marketing campaign and contest.
In their new honorary roles, the winners will work alongside McDonald's executive chef Dan Coudreaut, helping in the creation and testing of new, nutrition-minded Happy Meal choices in an apprenticeship this fall.
"I've always loved mealtime with my family, whether we're cooking at home or picking up Chicken McNuggets after my gymnastic meets," Ralston said. "For me, it's all about having choices and I already have some ideas for the Happy Meal."
The contest, which launched in March as part of McDonald's new Happy Meal campaign that aims to help make nutrition fun for kids, also awarded the winning parent and child teams a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Ralston, Saley and eight Happy Meal Chefs contest finalists will join kids from around the world as part of McDonald's Global Champions of Play program. All Champions of Play will have the opportunity to meet with Olympic athletes, in addition to attending sporting events and participating in cooking activities that promote balanced eating.
"I loved how Sarah and Elayna uniquely illustrated their passion for cooking balanced meals with their families," Coudreaut said. "I can't wait to collaborate with them and see how they'll inspire our Happy Meal innovation."
McDonald's encouraged participants to learn about and feature recommended food groups from the USDA's MyPlate. A panel of experts specializing in food, nutrition and physical activity, including five-time U.S. Olympic swimmer and Global Champions of Play Ambassador Dara Torres, judged the contest entries.
365Black Award honorees also named
McDonald's also has announced its list of honorees for the 2012 McDonald's 365Black Awards, which includes multi-platinum and 10-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Chaka Khan; global humanitarian, best-selling author/entrepreneur Bishop T.D. Jakes; Grammy-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Tamia and husband, professional NBA basketball player, Grant Hill; teenage inventor Tony Hansberry II; youth empowerment activist Mary-Pat Hector; and McDonald's Owner/Operators, Tina and Harold Lewis.
The McDonald's 365Black Awards will be held July 6 at 11 a.m. (CDT) at New Orleans' Mahalia Jackson Theater and are given annually to recognize individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community.
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