2019 Healthy Kids Cook-Off!

Saturday, June 22, 2019 marks the 6th Annual Healthy Kids Cook-Off. Top kid and teen chefs from across the country compete live in an iron-chef style competition in Columbia, Maryland for a chance to win prizes be crowned “The Healthiest Kid/Teen Cook of America”. 

Get notified when Recipe Submussions open...

National Healthy Kids Cook-Off Competition FAQ's


Kids will compete in one of the following 4 categories. There will be 16 finalists (four in each category) that will advance to compete at the LIVE Cook-Off on Saturday, June 22, 2019 and three National Winners (1 in each category).

  • PreK (parent & me) – 2nd Grade
  • 3rd Grade – 5th Grade
  • 6th Grade – 8th Grade
  • NEW! 9th-12th Grade

Elementary, Middle and High  school aged children must currently be enrolled in a public, private or homeschooling program to be eligible to compete.

Pre-K (parent and me) children (typical ages 3-5) can not be enrolled in Kindergarten or higher-level academic program. If a child is in a Kindergarten program, and selected as a finalist, they must compete without a parent/guardian and will have the assistance of a Culinary Coach during the National Competition.


Recipes MUST be an Original Creation (a unique recipe crafted by you). If you need help creating an original recipe, read our blogpost on “How to Create Your Own Original Recipe”.

Healthy Kids Cook-Off National Competition RECIPE – MUST HAVES

  1. Recipes must be prepared in 60 minutes or less.
  2. Recipes must contain at least 2 vegetables.
  3. Recipes must contain minimal processed (white) sugar.
  4. Recipes can not require the use of a deep fryer (sautéing IS allowed)
  5. Recipes must be prepared by one person (no teams will be accepted) with the exception of kids in PreK, when parents/guardians are allowed to assist. Children in Kindergarten – 12th grade must be able to prepare recipe on their own. A culinary coach will be provided during the National Competition.
  6. If selected as a finalist, recipe must be able to be prepared by kid cook/chef at the National Competition on Saturday, June 22, 2019

** Finalist’s parent/guardian must agree & sign a media release waiver to participate in the LIVE National Healthy Kids Cook-Off Competition.


DATE TBA – Recipe Submissions Open

DATE TBA – Deadline for Recipe submissions.

Mid-March 2019 – Finalists Selected and notified by email*
Finalists must be able to be present to compete in the LIVE Healthy Kids Cook-Off National Competition on June 22, 2019 at The Mall in Columbia, Maryland

April 2019 – Finalists Announced!

Saturday, June 22, 2019 – LIVE National Healthy Kids Cook-Off Competition

(Dates are subject to change. Please, visit this page ofter to stay informed.)


Recipes will be scored by a panel of judges using a numerical value system. The 16 kid cooks (4 in each category) with the highest number of points will be selected as a finalist and advance to compete in the LIVE Healthy Kids Cook-Off National Competition in Columbia, Maryland on Saturday, June 22, 2019. In the event of a tie, a decision will be made based on personal narrative and “anticipated” taste of the recipe.

Finalists will be determined based on the following judging criteria:

Recipe health factor – (25 points)
Photograph of Recipe / Presentation – (25 points)
Personal Narrative – (20 points)
Originality/Creativity – (20 points)
Well Written Recipe – Free of Typos – (5 points)
Duplicability – (5 points)


Winners will be determined based on the following judging criteria:

Taste – (50 points)
Food’s Appearance/Presentation – (25 points)
Chef’s Confidence and Culinary Skills – (20 points)
Time – (5 points)

In case of a tie, judges will select the Winning Cooks.


Each of the four (4) Winners Receive

  • $150 Visa Gift Card
  • $150 To gift your favorite charity or create your own local program to support a healthy eating or nutrition initiative
  • $250+ in Cooking Gifts

Each of the 16 Finalists will receive: 

  • Flight/Transportation to Columbia, Maryland for finalist and one (1) parent/guardian (Only if out of state.)
  • Hotel Accommodations for finalist and one (1) parent/guardian. (Only if out of state.)
  • Television & Media Interviews
  • Healthy Little Cooks Apron & Chef’s Hat 

Finalists Announced: April 2019!

*16 finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and notified by mid-March 2019. All finalists will receive round-trip transportation to Maryland/DC area to compete in the LIVE Cook-off on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at The Mall in Columbia, Maryland

Previous Winners

2018 Winners
2017 Winners
cook-off winners - large
2016 Winners
2016 Healthy Kids Cook_off Winners
2015 Winners
Cook-off Winners 2015

Thank you to Our 2018 Sponsors!