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Host a Kid's Cooking Challenge

Austin Metro Stores, Austin, TX

  • Team up with area stores to host a kid’s healthy recipe contest
  • Have store-level winners compete against other stores’ winners in a Cooking Challenge
  • Let kid & parent teams pair up with WFM chefs or HES to prepare their recipes
  • Invite local experts on healthy eating to judge the entries 

Event Specifics

Whole Food Market Austin's Whole Kids Foundation Kid's Cooking Challenge helped get people talking about WKF! Marketing TMs chose 4 kid/parent duos, 1 from each Austin Metro store, as finalists in a healthy recipe contest. The finalists came together at the Lamar Culinary Center for an afternoon of healthy cooking and friendly competition, battling for the title of Healthy Entrée Champion. Each team was joined by a WFM chef from their store.

The Lamar Concierge Team provided and prepared all the ingredients for the contest so the kid chefs could recreate their healthy recipe. While cooking, contestants were interviewed and filmed by local news station KXAN! 

Entries included:

  • Fish Tacos
  • In a Pickle Chicken and “Dai” Can’t Believe it’s Daikon Chips
  • Tofu Waffles and Cucumber Chips
  • Formosa Dragon Blood Rice and Chicken

It is important to choose judges who know all about both kids and healthy eating. The Austin stores invited Morgan Peretti, WKF educator, and several local healthy eating celebrities. In order to come out on top, dishes had to wow the judges in 3 categories: healthfulness, attractiveness, and flavor. 

Event Feedback

This event was so much fun for the 4 teams, as well as their friends and family who came to watch! The Culinary Center at Lamar turned out to be the perfect place to hold the event, but it could have been held at a school too. The Austin stores really succeeded in raising awareness for WKF, especially with the media coverage the Challenge gained. All of the teams’ recipes were published in Austin Fit Magazine and the Austin Independent School District Newsletter. The Austin stores are planning on growing the Kid’s Cooking Challenge in the coming years!


  • 4 Months Before Event
    • Book kitchen facility with separate stations for each team
    • Contact potential judges
    • Budget for prizes and judge/participant gifts
    • Determine competition criteria: participant age, type of food, etc.
    • Contact local publications that may publish recipes
  • 3 Months Before Event
    • Create event poster, entry forms, and judges’ scoring sheets and name cards
  • 2 Months Before Event
    • Begin soliciting contest entries through the store and school/community partners
    • Submit media alerts regarding competition
  • 1 Months Before Event
    • Close contest and review submitted recipes
    • Select TM chef for each team and have them fill out photo release form
  • 2 Weeks Before Event
    • Notify store-level winners and let them know how many guests they are allowed to bring to the challenge
    • Have kid/parent duos complete liability wavers and photo release forms
    • Create recipe cards with small bios for each competitor to give to judges
    • Create name tags for teams
    • Organize event refreshments
    • Submit ingredient lists to host store
    • Invite media to the event
  • Day Before Event
    • Collect necessary ingredients and equipment
    • Bring aprons for each team from their store
  • Day of Event
    • Explain rules to the teams and audience