SARTELL - For six-year-old Kaitlyn Reichel and her Mom Cindy, cooking has become a chance to bond and spend time together.

It's also given them a unique chance to give back to the community.

The 1st grade Pine Meadow Elementary student has been creating cooking videos with her Mom for the last few months and recently entered a national contest in hopes of winning $30,000 for her school.


For the Uncle Ben’s Rice Beginners contest, Kaitlyn cooks one of her favorite dishes-a Mexican style stuffed poblano peppers dish. Families can win $15,000 plus $30,000 for a school cafeteria makeover in the contest.

One of Kaitlyn's favorite parts of cooking is the learning process and adding the finishing touches to the peppers.

"Putting the cheese on it," Kaitlyn says. "and she puts lots of cheese on it," Cindy adds.

During my visit, Kaitlyn showed off her cooking skills by whipping up some Mexican rice. While her Mom helps her along with the process, Kaitlyn does most of the work and seemed confident about her chances of winning the cooking contest.

"My favorite part (of cooking) is learning new things. I feel really good about it."

The contest encourages kids to learn about healthy cooking habits. Cindy says Kaitlyn has even shared recipes with her teachers recently.

"Lots of people like her friends have even asked her to cook stuff for them. She's also shared a few recipes with some of her teachers who've asked for them."

You can help Kaitlyn by voting for her today by clicking here. The top 25 will be announced and then there will be a second round of voting.


Dan DeBaun, WJON
Dan DeBaun, WJON

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