Greenville High School Freshman In 4-H Food Challenge

L to R: Carissa Taylor, Andrew Huff, Tim Gray, not pictured, Bailey Coleman
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Greenville High School Students in Mrs. Maurer’s Orientation to Family and Consumer Science Freshman classes participated in the 4-H Food Challenge, a weeklong program provided by Liz Miller of the University of Illinois Extension.

Throughout the week, participants worked with a team of friends to create healthy food dishes from a limited pantry of food items. They read food labels and researched to learn the key nutrients and vitamins in the food choices they made and what they do for the body. Students also made decisions about creating a plate with balanced proportions and healthy food swaps. Since the challenge is timed, they must work faster and smarter to complete the tasks and prepare an oral presentation.

On the final day, teams presented a dish to panel of four judges. During the oral presentation, with three minutes to talk and two minutes for questions, students tell the name of their dish, give a description of the dish as it relates to My Plate, share the steps of preparation, share knowledge of key nutrients and how they help the body, tell about food handling safety and procedures used to prevent food-borne illness, give the serving size, and estimate the cost. Youth gain confidence while making creative dishes without a recipe.

This program promotes teamwork, gives participants an opportunity for public speaking, provides leadership opportunities within their small groups, promotes healthy eating, and promotes proper food safety techniques and handling. Youth also learn that it is possible to prepare a healthy meal in under 25 minutes!

Team winners were: Carissa Taylor, Andrew Huff, Tim Gray, Bailey Coleman, Logan Williams, Royce Gora and Matthew Schuster.

Logan Williams, Royce Gora and Matthew Schuster

100% of youth participants agreed that the 4-H Food Challenge “increased my understanding of MyPlate and the food groups.”

100% of youth participants agreed that the 4-H Food Challenge “increased my knowledge of food nutrients and their functions.”

96% of youth participants agreed that the 4-H Food Challenge “helped us learn to work as a team.”

96% of participants were a NEW audience to 4-H.

Special thanks to our judges! Carol Lingley, Edith Gaffner, Karen Schaufelberger, and Karen File.

Food Challenge Judges (L to R) Carol Lingley, Edith Gaffner, Karen Schaufelberger, and Karen File

Funding for this program was provided by the Illinois 4-H Foundation.