4-H Food Show and Challenge


The Texas 4-H Food Challenge contest is one of the most popular contests in the 4-H program and this year it is getting a facelift! Changes have been made to the contest for several reasons:

 To reflect consistency with other state and national contests.
 To reflect comments and suggestions from agents, 4-H members, and coaches.
 To reflect easier to use resources for our youth.
 To reflect the need to continuously evaluate the success of our programs!

At the Food Challenge, teams of 3-4 students receive a list of ingredients and have 40 minutes to create a dish. The teams then present their dish to judges are scored on preparation, serving size, food safety concerns, nutritional value and cost. Students qualify at the country and district level to compete at the state contest. Review all the rules in the Food Challenge Manual.

Attached you will find the updated Texas 4-H Food Challenge Guide with changes reflected throughout, as well as contest resources. Please use this guide as you begin preparation for the new 4-H year. Below is a summary of major changes; please see the guide for additional changes, updates, or modifications which are denoted with this bullet:

New for the 2019 – 2020 Year

Rules of Play Changes:

There are have been major changes to the Texas 4-H Food Challenge Rules of Play. Please READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY! Hopefully, your team members will find these changes exciting as they offer teams an opportunity to showcase their culinary creativity!

Supply Box Changes:

Quantities for a few items have changed.  Please refer to the list for these changes.  Also, a new “Gadget of the Year” has been added! The previous gadget should be removed from the equipment box.


Each team member is now required to wear closed toe shoes AND a hair restraint (hair net, cap, bandana, etc.).

Scorecard Changes:

Scorecards have been updated to reflect subject matter to be included in presentations AND a new numerical scoring system.

Contest Resources:

Other Resources


Contest Resources:

Supply Box Changes:
Quantities and sizes of a few items have changed. Please refer to the list for these changes. Also, a new “Gadget of the Year” has been added! This will change annually to give teams an opportunity to learn how to use various kitchen gadgets.

Presentation Changes:
ALL team members must now participate and have a speaking role during the presentation to the judges.

Scorecard Changes:
Scorecards have been updated to reflect subject matter to be included in presentations AND a new numerical scoring system. Although space is limited on the front of the scorecard for judge’s comments, agents should encourage judges to use back of sheet for commenting.

The Texas 4-H Food and Nutrition Project continues to be one of the most popular project areas in the state. This project is the foundation for healthy eating and reduction of chronic disease risks. The Food Challenge Contest is just one avenue to teaching youth how to improve their health habits!

2020 District Food Challenge Guide and Rules

  • Guidelines and Rules Coming Soon after January
  • Date of Contest TBA
  • Location.  TBA.

2020 County Food Challenge Guides

  • Guide to First Time Chefs Coming Soon
  • County Guidelines Coming Soon
  • For really cool videos on different parts of the Food Challenge competition go to the Youth Section of Foods and Nutrition


This year the theme is

Food Around the World”.  

2019-2020 State Texas 4-H Food Show Rules

Please pay close attention as several things have changed, including:

  • New Theme: The 2019-20 theme is Food Around the World
  • Presentation: The presentation time for contestants has increased to 5 minutes; in addition, specific items have been identified which should be covered during the presentation.
  • Paperwork: The ONLY paperwork which will be required for the 2020 Texas 4-H Roundup Food Show is the recipe.
  • Scorecard: The scorecard has been updated.

For complete guidelines and additional updates, please review the 2019-2020 Food Show Rules.

2020 District Food Show Guide – 

  • Guide and Rules Coming Soon after January
  • Date of Contest TBA
  • Location.  TBA


At the Food Show you choose a recipe from the contest categories and then prepare and present it to a panel of judges. During your interview with the judges, you will show how you prepared it, the nutrients and ingredients, personal dietary needs, healthy substitutions, and a cost analysis.

Food Show Study Resources

Food Show Theme Resources

Food Show Recipe Resource

This Dinner Tonight website has GREAT videos on how to cook dishes and they prepare them right in front of YOU!!  So watch and learn about chop size, food safety, food Handling and more!  Then go make the dish for your family.. great fun with with the family.

Volunteer Resources

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