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Services 'cooks up' healthy recipe contest

SAN ANTONIO -- Airman and Family Services officials are sponsoring a healthy recipe contest during March in recognition of National Nutrition Month.

The "Cook it Up" healthy recipe contest is open to total-force Airmen, civilians, families and retiree dependents, and is designed to encourage healthier food choices into their daily lives. The contest runs from March through the end of June.

Participants may submit revamped or original "from scratch" healthy recipes in a variety of categories and meal times through the Air Force's "FitFamily" website at www.usafFitFamily.com. Photos and videos may also be submitted. There's no limit for entries, and officials encourage participants to enter often to increase their chance of winning prizes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the U.S. during the past 20 years. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled.

During the Year of the Air Force Family, officials launched the "FitFamily" website to promote the importance of healthy lifestyle choices and encourage families to be active together. Members can visit the website at any time for healthy recipes, fitness tips and health webinars.

"The 'Cook it Up' healthy recipe contest is a fun way our Air Force community can get involved in making healthier choices and learn what really makes a recipe healthy," said David Brittain, a youth specialist for Air Force Services at the Pentagon. "The greatest prize will be a healthier lifestyle for the individual and families."

Prizes include AAFES movie tickets, iTunes gift cards and iPads. Additionally, one grand prize winner will earn a visit to their installation from celebrity chef and "Next Food Network Star" contestant Herb Mesa.

For more information on "FitFamily," or for contest rules, visit www.usafFitFamily.com.