The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand Inspires Healthier Futures with Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest

The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand Inspires Healthier Futures with Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest

The NRN editorial department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Healthy habits begin at home and at school, which is why the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand, the number-one global rice brand, is encouraging families to cook together in the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest. The contest offers an exciting way for parents and kids to make lifelong memories in the kitchen as well as a chance to better their community and school with a single dish.

Families who participate in the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest will vie for the chance to win one of five Grand Prize packages, which includes $15,000 cash, a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child’s school and a hometown celebration!

In addition to getting $30,000 towards a school cafeteria makeover, the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand is also offering school foodservice operators a chance to win $1,000 toward cafeteria supplies or attendance at the School Nutrition Association Annual Conference. All you have to do is help promote the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest. Entering is easy!

  1. Visit
  2. Download the Flyer
  3. Post the Flyer on Your School Website
  4. Enter Sweepstakes at for Your Chance to Win

“We feel that cooking is an essential life skill as important as reading and writing. When families cook together, kids learn how to read recipes, understand fractions and measurements, and see what happens when ingredients come together. This, in turn, can help them in school,” said Andrew Cops, vice president of marketing, Mars Food North America, the parent company of UNCLE BEN’S®.  “School foodservice operators have a unique opportunity through the Ben’s Beginners™ program to help kids in their school learn this important life skill.”

Since Ben’s Beginners™ launched in 2012, the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand has provided school cafeteria makeovers to 20 schools across the United States, which have included brand new equipment, salad bars, fresh fruit stations and more!

This year, the Ben’s Beginners™ program includes interactive, step-by-step cooking instructions and family-friendly recipes at Along the way, users are encouraged to take a family photo of their dishes and share on social media using #LookWhatWeMade.

New research by the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand, dubbed the Kitchen Confidence Survey, supports the need for families to cook together. The survey asked more than 4,000 parents of kids under 18 in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom about their family’s cooking skills and traditions.  It revealed that nearly all parents know how important it is to teach their kids to cook, but many are lacking their own cooking confidence. The Survey led to surprising results:

  • 96 percent of parents in the U.S. feel it is important that their children know how to cook or bake. However, only 33 percent cook with their children weekly, while 47 percent cook with their children monthly or less.
  • 28 percent of U.S. parents feel they are cooking less often with their children than they did growing up with their own parents.
  • 64 percent of U.S. parents do not have a high level of confidence in their children’s ability to follow a recipe.

Research shows that families that cook and eat together have children who make healthier meal choices. In fact, children who eat with their family eat healthier as adults, have higher academic achievement, and eat more healthy foods including fruit and vegetables.

Parents with kids in kindergarten through eighth grade can submit a photo of their family preparing a rice-based dish together through Submissions will be accepted on until 11:59p.m. ET on October 16, 2016.

Healthier futures begin when kids learn to cook! Spread the word – and enter to win $1,000 for your cafeteria. Upload a Ben’s Beginners™ Contest Flyer to your school website to enter. Visit for complete School Foodservice Director Sweepstakes details. 



Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.