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Colorado kid's nutrition website leads charge in Michelle Obama's contest

Karen Laszlo started this past November to encourage kids to make better choices when it came to deciding what to eat. Six months later, she found her Boulder-based company in Michelle Obama's contest, competing against 90 other kids' nutrition technology applications from across the country for a $10,000 prize.

The contest, which is based on votes by visitors to Obama's site who vote for their favorite application, is almost over-- August 14 is the last day to vote -- and is in the running for first place.

On the Zisboombah website, which has plenty of kid friendly imagery, kids can build their own meals from hundreds of different foods. When they're done, they can send an e-mail to parents, which is generated with recipes attached.

"The idea is that by empowering kids to choose their own food, they'll make healthier choices," says Brandon Saranik, who does marketing for "We've found that kids make better food choices when it's not parent-mandated."

The website also gives kids access to chef-created healthy recipes and parents access to blog posts by doctors, nutritionists, and other experts.

If wins the grand prize, the team will continue to build out the site and develop a national nutrition curriculum for use in elementary schools.

You can vote for in Michelle Obama's contest here.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk