By Makenzie O'Keefe

BOULDER, Colo (CBS4) – Six teams of middle school students in Boulder are vying for the title of “Iron Chef.”

Twice a year, Boulder Valley School District holds a competition to challenge young chefs to come up with a nutritious meal. The meals must include all five food groups and meet USDA guidelines for fat and sugar intake.

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The district says it’s fun, and the goal is the change how kids think about food.

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“If kids are eating fast food all the time, then that’s what they want to eat,” Ann Cooper with the Boulder Valley School District told CBS4. “So it’s really important for kids to eat a healthy delicious meal from the youngest age.”

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(credit: CBS)

This year’s competition has students cooking plant-based meals that must all cost less than $1.25 a plate.

Makenzie O'Keefe