Uncle Ben’s Inspires Parents to Get Kids Cooking

807701776With tall counters, sharp knives and hot stoves, the kitchen can be a scary place for many adult cooks, let alone kids. But it doesn’t have to be.

With this in mind, the Uncle Ben’s Brand, the number-one selling brand of rice in the United States, is launching its annual Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest.

Now in its fourth year, Ben’s Beginners is designed to make the kitchen a welcoming place for the entire family by encouraging parents and kids to cook together. US parents with children in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade can submit a three-minute home video of their family preparing a rice-based dish while discussing their experience cooking together.

“Learning to cook is a crucial life skill that helps build healthy eating habits kids can carry with them for life,” said Lara McCauley, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the Uncle Ben’s Brand. “This year we want to continue to encourage families to cook together and also offer tips and innovative ways to make kitchens more kid-friendly for our young chefs.”

To launch this year’s contest, the Uncle Ben’s Brand is creating the ultimate kid-friendly “Dream Kitchen” and enlisted the help of experts: kids themselves. On September 25 in New York City, the Uncle Ben’s Brand will celebrate the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest by incorporating “Dream Kitchen” ideas submitted by children in Kindergarten through eighth grade from across the United States. In addition to this one-of-a-kind kitchen, the Uncle Ben’s Brand will help parents with tips and tricks on how to invite their kids into the kitchen to cook with them.

Participants in the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest will vie for the chance to win one of five grand prize packages which includes $15,000 cash, a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child’s school and a hometown celebration.

Submissions will be accepted here until 11:59 a.m. EDT on Oct. 12, 2015.

The contest is part of the influential Ben’s Beginners movement to encourage parents and kids to spend time in the kitchen cooking healthy meals. Ben’s Beginners has helped bring the importance of family meal times and its positive effect on children to the forefront nationwide.

Research has shown that children who eat with their family eat healthier as adults, are less likely to resort to quick fixes like fast food and eat more healthy foods including fruit and vegetables. The fourth annual Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest offers an exciting way for parents and kids to make lifelong memories in the kitchen as they cook for the chance to better their community and school with a single dish.

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