National 4-H Food Challenge

The Texas 4-H Youth Development Program is pleased to host the National Food Challenge Contest! The contest will be held during the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, October 7th and 8th, 2014. The National Food Challenge will not only include a contest, but an educational day has been incorporated as well. Come early and stay as long as you’d like. There’s plenty to do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and at the State Fair of Texas. And, if you’re not planning to compete in the Food Challenge Contest, you’re still welcome to register and join us for all of the other planned activities!

Tuesday, October 7th Highlights include:
Educational workshops
Admission to the State Fair of Texas

Wednesday, October 8th Highlights include:
National Food Challenge Contest
Admission to the State Fair of Texas

What is the Food Challenge?

The 4-H Food Challenge is a contest that allows 4-H members to demonstrate their culinary knowledge and skills. Teams are randomly assigned to a contest category (protein, fruit and vegetable, grains, or dairy) and provided with a set of ingredients that are representative of that category.  Using the ingredients provided, teams develop a recipe and prepare the dish within 40 minutes. Teams then make a presentation to a judging panel, explaining the preparation steps, serving size, food safety concerns, nutritional value, and cost of the dish.

Participant Qualifications:

Each state is permitted to bring up to four Food Challenge teams! Each team should be made up of 3-5 individuals.

Contestants must already have passed his/her 14th birthday, and may not have reached his/her 19th birthday as of August 31st in the calendar year in which the contest is held. For example, a participant competing in the 2014 contest must be at least 14 years old, but not 19, as of August 31, 2014.

Contestants of teams must be certified as the official state entry by the State 4-H Leader or by a person designated by the State 4-H Leader. The teams may be selected by any procedure the State 4-H Leader believes is appropriate.

Entry Information:

The registration deadline for the National Food Challenge is September 1, 2014. All entries must be postmarked by this date! A link to the entry form is below.


National Food Challenge participants may stay at any hotel. However, a special rate has been designated for a block of rooms at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. When making your reservation, please use the special group reservation code of “State Fair of Texas Livestock.” A link to more information about the State Fair of Texas hotel accommodations can be found on the State Fair of Texas website.

The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is located at:
400 N. Olive Street
Dallas, TX 75201


Getting around the city is easy when staying at Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Two major airports serve the Dallas-Fort Worth area—Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)—both of which are convenient to the hotel. Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport is located 19 miles from the hotel.

On-site representatives at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel will be happy to assist with securing the below transportation options for guests getting here from the airport:

Shuttle Service
Private Car Service

DART Light Rail System operates both a city rail and bus service offering convenient transport throughout the downtown and greater Dallas areas, with the closest DART stop just across the street from the hotel at Bryan and Pearl streets.

The Orange Line is set to open August 18, 2014, and will make a direct stop at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, making it easy for guest to get to/from DFW and the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

Why should you participate?

  • Participate in educational activities that will enhance your knowledge of the food industry.
  • Explore career opportunities related to foods and nutrition.
  • Showcase your culinary skills and knowledge of nutrition among your peers.
  • Compete with a team of friends…and make new friends.
  • Visit the State Fair of Texas!


  • Save-the-Date Promotional Flyer – PDF
  • National Food Challenge Rules and Procedures – PDF
  • National Food Challenge Scorecard – PDF
  • Registration form – PDF (Deadline: September 1, 2014)
  • Schedule (including planned workshops and activities) – PDF
  • Lodging info  – Sheraton Hotel Dallas (
  • Frequently Asked Questions – PDF

Educational Resources

  • Altering Recipes for Good Health – PDF
  • FightBac – Fight Foodborne Bacteria Brochure – PDF
  • MyPlate – 10 Tips to a Great Plate – PDF
  • Nutrient Needs at a Glance – PDF

For more information contact:

Dr. Courtney Dodd
Assistant State Leader – Programs and Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist
4180 Highway 6
College Station, TX 77845
Phone: 979-845-6533
Fax: 979-845-6495

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