Santa Clara County
University of California
Santa Clara County

County 4-H Favorite Foods Day

Purpose: Favorite Foods Day is a county wide event held once a year to provide a “Learn by doing” educational experience for 4-H youth members.   Emphasis is on meal preparation, nutritional knowledge, menu planning, food safety, table setting, and appropriateness for occasion and Favorite Food item.  Members should make a product suitable for their age.  Advanced members are expected to prepare foods that take extra time, preparation and skills.  All Novice, Beginner, Junior and Senior entries are judged on a Danish System.  This allows for each entrant to be judged independently according to the Guidelines that have been provided.  Hence, there may be more than one entry scored as first place and so on.  Additionally, the top scoring entries will receive bonus prizes.  Clovers will be evaluated and receive participation recognition and a prize.   Clovers do not receive place rankings.

Parents and leaders: will not be allowed in the judging area at any time before or during the judging.  Participants should come prepared to set up and display their entry on their own.  Practice this at home.

At the event – no further preparation other than final assembly shall take place.  The entry should be completely ready when you arrive.

Menu: Please plan a menu for the entire meal utilizing the Favorite Food being presented.  Take into consideration color, texture and taste of the menu.  Be sure to provide proper nutritional balance in the menu.  Refer to for more information.  A menu card shall be prepared, with the Favorite Food underlined.

Table Setting: Members are assigned an area of approximately 24”x24”.  One table setting using dishes, flatware, place mat and/or table cloth, napkin, glassware, decoration and your Favorite Food must fit into this space.  The table setting should be appropriate for the complete menu (as listed on the menu card).  The Favorite Food – one serving of your entry dessert shall be displayed as part of your table setting.

Knowledge: Judges will quiz members on their knowledge of food safety, measurements, nutrition and food preparation for all items on their menu.  Know where your Favorite Food fits in the  “My Plate Guidelines”.

Showmanship: This is a showmanship event.   Cleanliness and dress appropriate to food service is important.  Hair should be neat and out of the member’s face.  Wearing a 4-H uniform is optional.  A costume or outfit related to the menu is also appropriate.  For example, formal dress clothes may be worn for a fancy dinner menu; or for an international dish – the clothing of that culture.

If you are a teen member that has participated in Favorite Foods Day & would like to be part of the planning committee – Please contact Colleen Alger

Online Registration:

Participating in Favorite Foods Day is free of charge to all current "Active" 4-H members. A link to the Online Registration will be emailed to all "Active" families in the 4HOnline enrollment system. If for any reason you are unable to participate after submitting your registration, please notify the event coordinator via email ASAP. Please be sure to print out the complete Favorite Foods Day Guidelines so that you will have all the helpful information to make this day fun & successful!

In addition to the Favorite Dessert ~ Favorite One Dish Meal for youth entries, youth may also choose to participate in the 4-H MyPlate Challenge.  Our county event mirrors the State level event held during State Field Day.

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