Food and Nutrition Project


The food and nutrition project helps participants learn to make healthy food choices, improve energy and alertness, reduce disease and illness risks, and gain knowledge of nutrients. Major learning experience are centered around nutrition, menu planning, food buying, preparation and food safety, careers, and cultural influences. Follow this link for a complete description of the project.

Healthy Lifestyles


Throughout the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program, more than 120,000 youth participate in healthy lifestyles programs, encompassing the food and nutrition, health and safety projects.  Through food and nutrition project activities, youth learn to make healthy food choices, improve energy and alertness, and gain knowledge of nutrients.

Youth also learn how to improve physical, intellectual, emotional and social health through participation in the health project. Specifically, youth learn about the importance of physical activity, proper hygiene, dental care, healthy snacking, vaccinations and sleep. Knowledge of how to reduce disease and illness risks is also explored.  Participation in the Walk Across Texas Program helps youth establish the habit of regular physical activity.  Safety concerns related to health issues, such as first aid, CPR and emergency preparedness, are also addressed in the 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Program.

As a part of the learning experiences, youth also share with others what they have learned by presenting educational presentations to various groups and participating in community service activities that help promote good health practices in the community.


  • Serving Up My Plate: A Yummy Curriculum – link
  • Nutrition Voyage: The Quest To Be Our Best – link
  • Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness Youth Curriculum – link
  • Healthalicious Cooking – link
  • Eat Healthy, Be Active Community Workshops – link

Winning with Nutrition

The goal of implementing the Winning with Nutrition Curriculum is to provide youth athletes in the 7th thru 9th grades an opportunity to learn about proper nutrition, dietary needs, supplements, hydration and healthy methods to increase physical performance.

  • Winning with Nutrition Curriculum (4-H F&N 1-1) – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Informational Flyer – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition: Eating for Excellence Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Hydration Station Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Game Day Dining Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Game Day Dining Jeopardy Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Performance Robbers Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition: Fads and Facts Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition Student Evaluation – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Evaluation – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Agenda – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Powerpoint – PPT
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Powerpoint w/ Notes – PDF
  • Winning with Nutrition Teacher Inservice Evaluation – PDF

Balancing Food and Play

The Balancing Food & Play curriculum was designed to improve knowledge and behaviors related to snacking on fruits and vegetables, drinking milk with meals and water with snacks, encouraging at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and limiting screen time to two hours or less per day.  For more information on accessing the Balancing Food & Play curriculum, visit

Educational Opportunities

Walk Across Texas

Walk Across Texas is a free, eight week program designed to help people of all ages support one another to establish the habit of regular physical activity.  The program is implemented throughout the year in Texas counties.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has also partnered with the Texas Education Agency to offer Walk Across Texas to youth and employees in Texas school districts.  For more information on Walk Across Texas, visit

Food Challenge

The 4-H Food Challenge is a contest that allows 4-H members to demonstrate their culinary knowledge and skills. From a set of predetermined ingredients provided, teams of 3 to 5 4-H members must 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, nutrition value and cost of the dish.

  • 4-H Food Challenge Manual – PDF
  • Major Show Contest Opportunities – Coming Soon!

Educational Resources (Provided at Contest)

  • 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
  • South District 12 Video:  4-H Food Challenge – The Supply Box – link

Lesson Plans & Resources

  • Sample Food Challenge Practice Schedule – PDF
  • Food Challenge Coaching Tips – PDF
  • Measuring Dry Ingredients Lesson Plan – PDF
  • Measuring Liquid Ingredients Lesson Plan – PDF
  • Knives & Chopping Lesson Plan – PDF
  • Food Preparation Lesson Plan – PDF
  • Food Substitutions Lesson Plan – PDF
  • Garnishing Lesson Plan – PDF
  • Cost Analysis Lesson Plan – PDF

Agent Resources

  • Food Challenge Planning Checklist – PDF
  • Food Challenge Evaluation (also available at – PDF
  • Foodie Fanatics Food Challenge Resource – PDF

There will be 4-H Food Challenge opportunities at the Major Stockshows. Youth will compete in the contest as individuals.

Healthy Lifestyles Invitational

The 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Invitational provides youth in the intermediate and senior age divisions the opportunity to participate in a competitive event and utilize the knowledge and skills gained through participation in 4-H healthy lifestyles programs. With a set-up similar to the Consumer Decision Making Contest, the healthy lifestyles invitational consists of two parts: (1) Judging – participants will be presented with a scenario and must individually rank the four products/choices based upon the situation at-hand; (2) Presentation – teams are presented with a scenario and must work together within a given amount of time to analyze the situation, develop a solution and make a team presentation to a panel of judges.

  • 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Invitational Manual – PDF
  • Universal A Scantron – PDF
  • Healthy Lifestyles Training – link

Sample Classes from 2015 Invitational Contest

Food Show

The theme for the 2014-15 Food Show will be Bringing Texas to the Table. The 4-H Food Show gives youth the opportunity for educational and personal development and recognizes members who excel in the 4-H Food and Nutrition Project. The Food Show is an individual contest in which a 4-H member prepares a dish in one of the contest categories and presents it to a panel of judges. During the presentation and interview with the judges, 4-H members exhibit the knowledge and skills gained through the 4-H Food and Nutrition Project, such as preparation steps, nutrients found in the dish, the functions of various ingredients, personal dietary needs, healthy substitutions, and cost analysis. Click here for more information and resources available for the Food Show.

2015 State 4-H Food Show Guidelines –

Nutrition Quiz Bowl

A Quiz Bowl helps 4-H members enhance and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a competitive setting. The Quiz Bowl involves teams of three or four members. Two teams compete against each other at one time, answering questions related to the subject matter with the use of an electronic buzzer system.  Click here for more information and resources available for the Nutrition Quiz Bowl.

Recipe Rally

In the 4-H Recipe Rally, 4-H members are challenged with selecting, creating and/or altering a recipe and submitting a video of them demonstrating the preparation of the recipe. To participate, youth will submit their video entry online for a chance to be selected as a presenter at the Dinner Tonight with Texas 4-H Cooking School, held at the 2015 Texas 4-H Roundup. Recipes should be a healthy main dish that tie to the theme “Bringing Texas to the Table.” Please read the contest overview and guidelines (link below) for more details.  Entry deadline is usually in the Spring.

  • 4-H Recipe Rally Overview and Guidelines – Will be released Fall 2015.

Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes

The 4-H Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes provides an opportunity for youth, volunteers and County Extension Agents interested an opportunity to work together for additional recognition at Texas 4-H Roundup. Points for participation, and additional points for contest placing, will be given for each healthy lifestyles related contest.  The county with the most points will be awarded the Healthy Lifestyles Sweepstakes! More information about this award is in the Texas 4-H Roundup guide.

Leadership Opportunities

Healthy Lifestyle Ambassadors

The Texas 4-H Youth Development Program is offering youth the opportunity to serve as Healthy Lifestyle Ambassadors. Applications are currently being accepted with a due date in the Spring of each year. The purpose of the Healthy Lifestyles Ambassador Program is to promote the purpose and goals of the 4-H healthy lifestyles program, provide leadership to educational events through the implementation of healthy living programs, including Fuel Up To Play 60. More information about the ambassador program is included with the application.

4-H Health & Safety Officer Handbook

Youth have the opportunity to serve as a health and safety officer within their 4-H club, ensuring 4-H members understand the importance of good health and safety by leading health or safety related activities. A handbook is available to assist officers in planning and recording activities.

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