Health is one of the H's that comprise the 4-H program. Youth in Pottawatomie County had the opportunity to learn cooking skills and healthy eating through the 4-H Food Showdown and Favorite Foods Contest.
Cloverbuds (youth ages 5-8 years) and Junior participants (youth ages 9-11 years) had the opportunity to bring a table setting and their favorite food to share with other participants. These age youth will do no cooking at the actual contest site. Morley Griffith of the Shawnee 4-H Club made Morley's Malts and won 1st place in the Favorite Foods Contest.
Youth who are considered Intermediate competitors (ages 12-13 years) and Senior competitors (14-19 years are given the opportunity to participate in the 4-H Food Showdown Contest. This contest is modeled after the popular Food Network shows Iron Chef and Chopped. Intermediate teams do not use a heat source when preparing their food and senior teams will have a heating element in order to complete their meal.
The Food Showdown participants were given secret ingredients. The Senior Teams were given brussel sprouts, turkey bacon and barley as their secret ingredients. Second place in the Senior Food Showdown was the team Shawnee Chefs team members were Hadley Griffith and Faith Fritz both of the Shawnee 4-H Club. First place in the senior division was the Bethel Executives team members Seth Jackson and Aimee Cagle both of the Bethel 4-H Club.
The Fantastic Foods and Food Showdown contest has some great learning potential for the youth who participate. It helps youth learn more about cooking and food in a fun and competitive way. It gets youth excited about preparing meals and being creative in the kitchen while still using safe food practices and nutrition information. The contest utilizes team work and communication skills to perform and complete the tasks. And, it allows an opportunity for public speaking as the teams present and explain their creations to the judges. Workshops and contest are sponsored by the Pottawatomie County OHCE and grant funds from Wal-Mart Youth Choice Youth Voice.