Disney Consumer Products and Institute of Food Technologists Student Association Announce Winners of the ‘Nutritious Food for Kids’ Competition - University of Minnesota and Kansas State University Students Win Grand Prize for Their Nutritious Food Creations

June 25, 2009


Anaheim, CA – University of Minnesota and Kansas State University students receive their first taste of success by winning the Nutritious Food for Kids Competition sponsored by Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA). This Competition gave students the opportunity to apply food science skills through the creation of nutritious, fun, kid-friendly food products.  Each team received a check for $2,500, a Disney trophy and a VIP tour of Disneyland Resort.

The University of Minnesota won in the graduate student category for creating Mighty Mickeys.  Mighty Mickeys, shaped in the form of Mickey Mouse heads, are a bakeable finger food similar to French fries that are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. They come in three vegetable “colors” and contain carrots, squash, cauliflower, corn, broccoli, and peas.  Found bagged in the frozen food aisle, they contain over a full serving of vegetables, are high in Vitamins A and C and are a good source of fiber. The University of Minnesota team members consist of Catherine Lee, Katie Baures, Hetvi Damodhar and Melinda Murray.

The Kansas State University Team won in the undergraduate student category for creating Peelables, a fun, tasty and easy way to sneak vegetables into kids' diets.  Peelables are a naturally-sweetened fruit and vegetable leather fusion formed into the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. Each 21 gram Peelable product provides a 2/3 serving of vegetable and Vitamins A and C.  The Kansas State team members consist of Elyse Buckley and Kathryn Goddard.

Students from across the country sent in their submissions but only six teams made the final round of the Competition to present their proposals to a panel of judges at the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Food Expo® in Anaheim, which was held from June 6-10, 2009.

Teams made up of two to five food science students (current IFTSA members only) were tasked with creating a retail or foodservice product for children under the age of 12 that incorporates a fruit and/or vegetable into the product or formulation. Student teams were evaluated on three major criteria including the following:

  • Product description – use, formulation, ingredient/component functionality, nutritional benefit, sensory tests, shelf life estimate, price/cost evaluation, and nutrition label
  • Process description – basis for selection, process flow diagram, hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP), and operating costs
  • Safety/regulations – focusing on formulations, functionality, and processing, legal implications of the product, good manufacturing processes (GMPs), and state and federal regulations

Listed below are the finalists’ product submissions:

  • University of California at Davis: (First Prize Winner)
    Winnie the Pooh’s Hunny Clusters is a combination of oats, brown rice, barley, spelt, flax, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and dried plums mixed into bite-sized clusters. It is high in fiber, a good source of protein, and contains several essential vitamins including Vitamins A and E. Because it’s made with whole grain brown rice syrup, it contains less sugar but has the sweet honey taste that kids enjoy.
  • Ohio State University: (Second Prize Winner)
    Buzz Lightyear Star Command Snacks is a nutritious alternative to snacks high in salt and sugar.  Each snack pack contains crispy crackers made with beets and sweet potato plus fruit and vegetable dips. The product is low in sodium and a good source of protein, fiber and Vitamins A and C.  One 85 gram package provides one-half serving of fruits and vegetables.
  • University of Wisconsin:
    Mickioli is a twist on the traditional ravioli by filling a waffle cone with creamy vanilla yogurt and a strawberry filling. The hand-held snack adds an extra layer of fun because it is shaped like Mickey Mouse's head. This snack is a good source of vitamin C, contains fiber and protein, and is made with quinoa flour so it is gluten-free.
  • North Carolina State University:
    Squeezzies is a gel-based snack that provide a full of serving of fruits and vegetables. Squeezzies come in a squeezable, easy-open and no-mess pouch, where each colored layer is a different flavor and fruit/vegetable combination such kiwi and yellow carrot concentrates or raspberry and red beet juices. Squeezzies are a source of antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

The Walt Disney Company introduced nutritious food guidelines in 2006 which limit the use of the Disney name and its characters to only those kid-focused products that meet specific limits on calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar. DCP’s food portfolio offers nutritious options in key meal categories including, bread, pasta, dairy, and baked goods. Additionally, its fresh produce category continues to grow globally with more than 600 million servings of Disney-branded produce served to date.

Since its official beginning in 1975, the IFT Student Association has grown to over 2,000 student members from around the world. As the premiere food science and technology student organization, IFTSA prepares its members for advancement in food-related disciplines by providing a community for valuable connections and enhancing professional and technical skills. This Competition seamlessly integrates with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the Student Association’s commitment to health and wellness and the organization’s long term vision of “healthier people everywhere.”


About IFT
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is a nonprofit scientific society with more than 20,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT serves as a conduit for multidisciplinary science thought leadership, championing the use of sound science through knowledge sharing, education, and advocacy.
For more information on IFT, visit www.ift.org.

About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home décor and books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationery, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through DCP's various lines of business which include: Disney Toys, Disney Fashion & Home, Disney Food, Health & Beauty, and Disney Stationery. Other businesses involved in Disney's consumer products sales are Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, and DisneyStore.com, the company's official shopping portal. The Disney Stores retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America and Europe. The Disney Stores chain in Japan is operated under a license agreement with Disney. For more information, please visit www.disneyconsumerproducts.com.


Jeannie Houchins, MA, RD

Shawn Turner