2021 State Fair 4-H Culinary Challenge!

Challenge Ingredient for 2021 is HONEY! Here are some fun facts about honey in Nebraska!

  • Nebraska honey bee colonies produce more than 2 million pounds of honey annually.
  • There are approximately 39,000 bee colonies in Nebraska.

What recipe can you challenge yourself with? Check out these resources from the National Honey Board for tips and tricks for preparing foods with honey.

Culinary Challenge Contest

The purpose of the 4-H Culinary Challenge is to:

  • Demonstrate Healthy Decision Making - Through Nutrition, Menu Planning, Food Prep, And Food Safety
  • Apply Healthy Living Knowledge And Skills
  • Showcase Skills
  • Highlight Knowledge By Utilizing Technology 

Youth ages 10 - 18 are eligible to participate. The 4-H'er must be enrolled in a Foods and Nutrition project and compete in teams of two. 4-H'ers are challenged on the theme, table setting, menu, use of the 2021 Challenge Ingredient of  HONEY, the interview with the judge, and use of technology during the tableside presentation. The team will prepare one food item off the menu to present to the judge. For more information regarding the contest, please contact your local Extension office.

Use your imagination to create the perfect 4-H Culinary Challenge!

Some additional resources include the following:

Polk County Culinary Challenge

Registration due August 10th!




4-H Food and Nutrition Curriculum

4-H projects can be delicious and nutritious! Nebraska 4-H Food and Nutrition Projects help youth learn about how to have the right recipe for success. Plan, prepare, and present your 4-H Food and Nutrition Projects.

For all 4-H projects, Nebraska Project and Resources webpage offers lots of exciting and educational projects for 4-H'ers to choose from.

Nebraska 4-H projects that focus on Healthy Lifestyle Education include the Project Activity Guides below:

 Cooking 101

4-H Cooking 101

  • Learn all about MyPlate, kitchen basics, food and kitchen safety, and mealtime basics!
  • Find out more about how to measure foods and basic cooking skills
  • Recipes include snacks, side dishes, main dishes, quick breads and dessert!

 Cooking 201

4-H Cooking 201

  • Learn about food labels, food safety and fire safety
  • Learn about meal planning and working with different types of cooking equipment
  • Recipes include those made with vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins!

Cooking 301

4-H Cooking 301

  • Learn about food safety and outdoor cooking
  • Plan a party from start to finish! 
  • Recipes include yeast breads and grains, vegetable and fruit groups desserts, and dairy products!

Cooking 401

4-H Cooking 401

  • Find out more about cooking with herbs and spices
  • Plan a special celebration meal
  • Learn about ethnic foods 
  • Recipes focus on foods from around the world, grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables, desserts and candy.

Food Preservation Series

4-H Food Preservation Manuals

Freezing Foods Project Manual

  • Learn how to safely freeze foods as a method of food preservation
  • Learn how to incorporate pre-frozen foods into meals and desserts

Drying Foods Project Manual

  • Learn how to make dried items, fruit and vegetable leathers, and dried herbs
  • Learn how to incorporate dried foods and herbs in meals and desserts

Boiling Water Canning Project Manual

  • Learn how to safely can foods using the boiling water method as a means of food preservation

Pressure Canner Project Manual

  • Learn how to safely can foods using the pressure canner method as a means of food preservation


Career Exploration

Youth interested in 4-H Foods projects may be interested in the following careers:

  • Counseling and Mental Health Services
  • Extension Educator
  • Family and Community Service
  • Food Chemist
  • Food Safety Inspector
  • Restaurant and Food/Beverage Services
  • Therapeutic Services

To see how you might fit into a foods related career, check out the University of Nebraska - Lincoln's Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences for some exciting possibilities!

 Careers in Nutrition Sciences


discover 4-H banner

Cooking Up Some Educational Resources

food projects for judging

Teaching youth how to do some baking? Use these resources as teaching tools for your 4-H Baking Classes!

Cooking with Kids - Baking Basics

Making cookies with your child is ofter the beginnings of a new chef! View this presentation to see what really makes a cookie a culinary favorite!

Making muffins aren't as easy as it may seem! Use this program to help teach your youth about the mystery of tunnels in the muffins and more!