Sven Ullrich

Photo from Laura Van Sciver

Photo from Laura Van Sciver

As the movie Ratatouille advocates: Anyone can cook. This concept is something that Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa takes to heart as it hosts its second annual For Kids By Kids Healthy Snack contest. In partnership with Hawaii 5210, the contest encourages keiki to submit their own recipes for healthy snacks that incorporate the DOE Wellness Guidelines.

The whole concept started about two years ago, when the hotel launched a brand-new kids menu in conjunction with a nationwide promotion and hosted the Lemonade Alley competition.

“Our company said, ‘We don’t want any more chicken fingers, any more pizza, any more burgers,'” says executive chef Sven Ullrich. “Last year we thought we should encourage kids, from all grades, to come up with recipes that needed to be on our kids’ menu. We want to encourage our kids to eat healthy. We got on board with (Hawaii 5210), and their philosophy totally aligns with ours.”

Hawaii 5210 encourages a daily regimen of eating five or more fruits and vegetables, getting two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks.

Last year, the Hyatt encouraged keiki to come up with recipes that needed to be healthy, but this year there’s a catch.

“The secret ingredient is honey,” says Ullrich, who started with the Hyatt in 2000. The Hyatt has its own beehives on hotel grounds, and adding honey as a secret ingredient also allows children to learn about the importance of honeybees in relation to the ecosystem.

Winners of this year’s contest will be able to see the Hyatt’s beehives, which produced the first harvest a few months ago.

“They also will have to cook for us,” says Ullrich of this year’s winners. “I want to see the kids’ philosophy behind it, and I need to understand what the kids are trying to achieve. I want to make sure we don’t take away from the identity of the dish.”

The winning dishes will be featured within Hyatt’s restaurants March 1-29, and each time a dish sells, $1 will be donated to the creator’s charity of choice.

Winners also will have Ullrich as a guest at a class party.

Email submissions to by noon Jan. 19. Submissions received by Jan. 5 will receive extra points toward the final score. One winner will be selected from the following categories by Feb. 3: kindergarten to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade.

For more information on the contest, visit