It’s becoming apparent through research that kids who eat and cook with family tend to be healthier, happier and have higher academic achievement. But, it’s also true that parents are pressed for time to do this, especially entering a new school year. To help families overcome this barrier and experience the benefits of cooking together, the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand created the annual BEN’S BEGINNERS™ program and cooking contest, launching today. Parents can use the tools and recipes on the UNCLE BEN’S® website to help create an easy, rice-based dish with their child for a chance to win cash and a school cafeteria makeover.
Since launching in 2012, the BEN’S BEGINNERS™ program has driven a nationwide movement to help kids learn how to cook as well as they learn how to read and write. The contest has motivated thousands of families to cook together and has donated more than $1,000,000 to children and schools across the country to help create healthier communities.
“The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand is all about inspiring shared meals and spending time together in the kitchen,” said UNCLE BEN’S® Senior Brand Manager Ashley Findlay. “The BEN’S BEGINNERS™ program is our way of bringing this mission to life. It’s our goal to help kids learn the essential life skill of cooking and provide convenient products – like our READY RICE® – and family-friendly recipes to make it easy for parents.”
To enter the UNCLE BEN’S® BEN’S BEGINNERS™ cooking contest, parents with kids in kindergarten through eighth grade can submit a photo of their family cooking a rice-based dish to beginners.unclebens.com. Participants will have the chance to win one of five grand prizes, which includes $15,000 cash for the family and $30,000 for a cafeteria makeover for the child’s school. Submissions will be accepted through October 7, 2018 at 11:59p.m. ET. A full set of terms and conditions to which the UNCLE BEN’S® BEN’S BEGINNERS™ cooking contest is subject can be found at beginners.unclebens.com.
“We’re proud of the impact we’ve made through the BEN’S BEGINNERS™ program,” said Findlay. “We really hope participating families and those who they inspire remember that spending time together in the kitchen and around the dinner table is an important part of busy evenings.”
About this year’s contest, she adds, “Rice is the base for many global cuisines so we’re excited to see all the tasty, creative submissions!”
For more kitchen inspiration and guidance, families can check out the BEN’S BEGINNERS™ Digital Hub for interactive step-by-step cooking lessons and kid-friendly recipes like One-Pot Chili and Rice, Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kebabs and Rice, and Mini BBQ Rice Meatloaves. Along the way, parents can take a family photo of their creations and share on social media using #BensBeginners.