The 4-H Food Show provides an opportunity for members to display their Food & Nutrition project knowledge and experiences to a panel of judges. Participants prepare a meal at home, bring it to the Food Show, and participate in an interview. Interview questions are comprised of basic preparation, food safety, and nutrient knowledge of the prepared dish.
Four entry categories allow for presentation of a variety of foods in the Food Show. The categories also provide an opportunity for contestants to exhibit a variety of food presentation principles.
1. Main Dish Category
Foods classified as main dishes usually contain a meat or meat alternate such as cheese, eggs, dry beans or peas, or peanut butter. They may also contain other foods. Dishes to enter in this category may include: beef, veal, pork, variety meats, poultry, eggs, fish and shellfish, dry beans, casseroles, meat loaves, meat, poultry, fish pies, souffles, omelets, meat salads, sandwiches, dry peas, soybeans, soups and chowders.
2. Fruit and Vegetable Category
Side dishes are foods that are usually served along with a main dish or as accompaniments to the main course. These are usually fruit or vegetable dishes. Suggested dishes to enter in this category may include: salads, cooked vegetables, cooked fruits, relish tray, vegetable casseroles, fruit platters and combination vegetable dishes.
3. Bread And Cereal Category
Suggested dishes to enter in this category may include: quick breads, yeast breads, hot roll or bread mixes, rice dishes and pastas.
4. Nutritious Snacks Category (no oven time)
Snacks are commonly eaten between meals by those having higher energy needs (such as teens and children). Snacks should provide energy and enhance diet quality. Suggested dishes to enter in this category may include: milk drinks and floats, fruit drinks, dips and dippers, fondues, custards, sandwiches, party foods and refreshments, appetizers, and nutritious no-bake cookies.