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Tucson girl earns dinner at White House

Haile Thomas as The Westin Georgetown, Washington D.C. (Facebook: Healthy Girl Adventure's Club)

An 11-year-old Tucson girl is garnering a ton of attention. Haile Thomas is smart, articulate and she can really cook.

Thomas, 11, has been picked to represent Arizona at a State Dinner with the first lady for winning epicurious.com's Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

Her winning recipe -- all are available for download at the site -- is Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad.

"I make a lot of different things really good, but this salad and shrimp lettuce wrap are my favorite and my specialties. I can pretty much make anything," Thomas said.

Thomas is a staunch advocate against childhood obesity and her dedication has given her the chance to meet Michelle Obama two other times.

She does admit she is excited to meet the other children who also won an opportunity to participate in the dinner.

During down time, Thomas keeps herself busy by creating fun, fresh and healthy recipes for kids. She also is actively working with Hyatt Hotels to help develop a Healthy Kids menu.

Thomas also has an online cooking show and started the Healthy Girl Adventures Club. The club is also on Facebook.

"I don't think I'd like to run a restaurant when I grow up. I think I'd like to have my own cooking show on TV," she said.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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