Last Season's Plays

Recipe Contest

Hold monthly recipe contests for new breakfast or lunch items and build students’ interest in making healthy eating choices. Have everyone taste test the entries and ask the school nutrition professionals to put the winners on the menu for a week or longer.

  • Working with your school nutrition professionals and administrators, organize a monthly recipe contest among students. Consider having themed contests, such as dairy foods, fruit recipes, breakfast foods or lunch side dishes.
  • Visit the online Fuel Up to Play 60 Beyond PB&J: Cooking with Kids cookbook for ideas and ingredient suggestions.
  • Decide on rules for the contest such focusing the recipes on nutrient-rich foods students need to consume more of, including low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. School nutrition professionals can provide additional guidelines to keep recipes nutritious and set pricing guidelines.
  • Provide information about the contest and background nutritional information on the various nutrients provided by foods in the five food groups.
  • Advertise the contests by making morning announcements, passing out flyers, placing signs around the school and using the school newspaper, website and TV channel (if available).
  • After students submit recipes, work with your school nutrition manager to prepare the recipes and have students taste test them. After taste testing, have students use a ballot to vote for their favorite recipes. Then tally the results and request that the winning entries be offered in the cafeteria breakfast and/or lunch lines. Advertise the winners by placing posters in the cafeteria with the winners’ names and winning recipe!

Everyone Can:

  • Help organize the contest and decide on rules
  • Provide nutritional information to students
  • Advertise the contest and results
  • Vote for favorite recipes after taste testing them
  • Keep It Going:

    • Work with school nutrition professionals to include and promote winning foods as part of the regular cafeteria service
We challenged each other to make a healthy dinner for our families and then report to the class what we made.
Students have asked for recipes, and so we are currently beginning to create our own cookbook. We are teaching youth that eating healthy can be delicious!


Taste Test Tip Sheet
Tips for Taste Tests
What Foods Can Do For You


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