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Local girl’s recipe wins her a plate at the Kids’ State Dinner

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A Tipton, Iowa girl is among 54 kids who got a seat at the Kids’ State Dinner held at the White House.

At the kitchen sink of a house in Tipton is a 9-year-old and her signature meal is fit for a state dinner.

It all started when Corrine VanderGaast’s mom, a day care provider, was looking for a new way to make curry that would meet the nutritional standards for her kids.

“I wanted to make it something that a kid could make,” said Deborah VanderGaast.

“We looked online and changed a few things,” added Corrine.

They came up with Stone Curry with Brown Rice, a vegetable curry that qualified for the Let’s Move Healthy Lunchtime Challenge put on by the First Lady. So Corrine and her mom entered.

“Not thinking much of it. It’s not a gourmet meal. It’s not the fanciest thing, but it is healthy and it is kid friendly,” said Deborah VanderGaast.

A few weeks went by and then the family received an email.

“She’s struggling through you’re congratulations, you’re a and then she sounded out the word winner and she’s like, dad, we won, we won!” said Deborah VanderGaast.

What she won was a trip to the White House for the Kids’ State Dinner on Tuesday.

“You get in and you’re lining up and they introduced us like foreign dignitaries,” said Deborah Vandergaast.

Giving them a chance to meet Mrs. Obama,

“Not really a chance to have a conversation but to say hi,” said Deborah VanderGaast.

And even getting a surprise visit from President Obama,

“He was a lot of fun to talk to and came around shook all our hands,” she said.

“It was cool I guess,” added Corrine VanderGaast.

Corrine was more impressed by the challenge coin she received from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“Next time I see you if you have my challenge coin I will buy you a milk shake and if you don’t, you will buy me a milkshake,” said Corrine VanderGaast.

But thanking this meal for taking her from her own house to the White House.

The Illinois winner was Taddy Petit from Oakwood. His winning recipe was a Black Bean Wrap.