Kids Create Healthy Dishes in Cohen’s, Kohl’s Cares Cook-Off

NEW HYDE PARK, NY–  Eight-year-old Brandon DiMaggio of Maspeth, Queens, recently won the grand prize in the Kohl’s Cares Keeping Kids Healthy cooking competition at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

This competition inspired families to develop creative, nutritious and kid-friendly recipes. To participate in the cooking competition, recipes and a photo of the completed dish were submitted online. Each entry was then reviewed by the Kohl’s Cares/Cohen’s nutritionist and the dish was approved if all of the ingredients met the program’s healthy recipe guidelines. There were three categories for the dishes: appetizers/side dishes, entrees and desserts/snacks.

Seven recipes were chosen and the semi-finalists (who ranged in age from 8 to 15-years-old), along with their family members, were invited to participate in the cook-off at Cohen’s. Contestants brought all of their ingredients and created each of their dishes within 90 minutes.

Top Chef contestant Danny Gagnon, who was joined by two Cohen’s chefs and the two winners of this year’s North Shore-LIJ “Ultimate Chef Healthy Entrée Challenge,” helped judge. Following the June 8 competition, one winner from each category was selected. Chef Gagnon then selected Brandon to receive the Apple iPad as the grand prize winner for his “Fun Wheel Soup,” which includes broccoli, celery, carrots, pasta wheels and a boullion cube. The two other finalists, Ted Colter, 13, from Middle Village and Madison Louise Honore, 11, of Jamaica, got children’s cookbooks for their achievements.

Each of the children who participated in the cook-off received a gift basket with cooking items and four tickets to the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center.

“Cooking with children can be a fun way to promote healthy eating habits and offers both short-term and long-term benefits,” said Debora Riccardi, DNP, Cohen’s director of community outreach. “Along with helping to build self-confidence, cooking with family members encourages children to try healthy foods while involving them in the planning, shopping and preparation of healthy meals.”

Dr. Riccardi added, “We are so grateful for the support of Kohl’s and Top Chef Danny Gagnon. And, of course, we can’t wait to see what interesting, new recipes our participants come up with next year.”
About Kohl’s
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty departmentstore offering moderately priced national, exclusive and private brand apparel, shoes, accessories, home products and beauty in an exciting shopping environment.  Kohl’s operates 749 stores in 43 states. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit Kohl’s Web site at
About the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of NY 
Cohen Children’s Medical Center, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, opened in 1983. Designed for children only, this 154-bed hospital is a regional, tertiary care facility that includes Long Island’s only pediatric trauma unit. The hospital is recognized by US News & World Report magazine as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals.

Focus onHealth TV

Watch Focus onHealth, Northwell Health's TV show. It's the healthy way to stay informed!