Young Cooks Recipe Challenge Combines Science & Fun!


Fun for Young Chefs!

Research shows that when recipes contain food safety instructions, people follow them. In fact, 90% of people washed their hands using recipes with safety instructions, compared to just 59% who washed hands while preparing food without safety instructions.

We’re excited to offer a great way for kids and teens to share their healthy lunch recipe. Winning recipes will be shared with thousands of other people through the Young Cooks Recipe Challenge!

The challenge is open now, and it’s easy to enter! Here are the highlights:

  • Create an original healthy lunch recipe for either school or home created by you or your team (no desserts).
  • The recipe must have at least two different ingredients from this list below (example: 1 fruit plus 1 vegetable, 1 protein plus 1 grain, etc.):
    • Fruit
    • Vegetable
    • Whole grain such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, etc.
    • Lean protein like beans, fish, lean meats, nuts, etc.
  • Use the Safe Recipe Style Guide to write your recipe instructions — or turn your existing recipe into a safe recipe using the guide. It’s easy!
  • Take a high-quality photo of your meal.
  • An adult (age 18+) must complete the online entry form

Habits formed in childhood are more likely to take root, so teaching safe food handling practices, like proper handwashing, is important. While cooking, kids learn food and kitchen safety, nutrition, math, science, and they develop fine motor skills. Also, learning to cook early may have long-term benefits in both health and nutrition into adulthood.

To enter the Young Cooks Recipe Challenge, you must be a U.S. resident and eligible in one of these four categories:

  • Individual – 1st to 5th grade
  • Individual – 6th to 12th grade
  • Team – 1st to 5th grade
  • Team – 6th to 12th grade

A team can be a class, club or organization (scouts, 4H, Boys & Girls Club, etc.), group of friends or family. If there are kids of different ages on the team, the age of the oldest cook is used.

Remember: whether you’re entering as an individual or a team, an adult must complete the online entry form. This can be a parent/guardian, teacher, or group leader. Teachers & group leaders may be asked to provide parental permission forms.

A winner will be chosen from each category, and each category winner will be entered in the Grand Prize selection. Winners will receive a gift card from a major retailer, and be featured in an online cookbook distributed to thousands through  

Recipe entries must be received by Monday, May 3. Winners will be announced online on World Food Safety Day in early June 2021.

More contest information and official rules are available at

Don’t forget to sign up for our emails so you will NOT miss any news about the contest.

Shawnte Loeri is the Communications Associate with the Partnership for Food Safety Education. She enjoys cooking vegan dishes with her family and friends. Shawnte can be reached at