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4-H Foods & Nutrition Judging Team Overview & Objectives


The 4-H Foods & Nutrition Judging Activity is an experiential, "hands on" learning opportunity for youth who have completed grades six through eleven.  It is designed to be the "evaluation" component of a series of educational lessons focusing on foods and nutrition concepts.  The event itself serves as a tool to help us measure if our student learners gain knowledge and skills, and if they can apply what they have learned to their daily lives.

The Judging event itself is designed using the Peer Competition model, where county teams and individuals compete for top honors.  Competition  is one component of the National Model for Recognition in 4-H Youth Programs.  It provides an opportunity for recognition for those who excel in learning and applying what they have learned in a competitive setting.  Competition also serves as a motivating factor for some--but not all--youth, and encourages them to actively participate in the learning process.

The judging activity also provides opportunities for group and cooperative learning. Interaction with friends is critical to teens, so the "group" aspect of judging activities is a natural "draw" to students. Learning to cooperate and accomplish team goals is the second component of the National 4-H Recognition Model incorporated into the Foods and Nutrition Judging activity; it is important to provide group learning and problem solving opportunities, as well as group recognition for accomplishing shared team goals.

The third component of the National Recognition Model focuses on participation.  For some youth--especially those new to the program, or possibly those who may be physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged,  the act of participating and completing this educational program may be a significant accomplishment. Do not discount those students who attend training sessions (some or all), but then cannot make it to the "contest". If they have participated through most of the learning sessions, they may have learned much more than you realized--and may truly benefit from the experience on a long-term basis.  Don't forget to recognize these participants at some appropriate setting, as well as those who have chosen to compete.


As a result of utilizing this learning site and participating in the Foods and Nutrition Judging Team activity, students will:

acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate the adequacy of a menu for a day by comparing it to Food Guide Pyramid recommendations.                                   
work as a member of a team to compare menus and rank them according to nutritional content and aesthetic factors.

In addition to the above objectives, Senior participants will:

acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to identify the best food sources for a variety of nutrients.
develop the critical thinking skills necessary to document and support their menu evaluation choices and present them in a set of oral reasons.

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