$10 Meal Challenge | Healthy Living

Planning, shopping, and preparing a nutritious meal is an important life skill. This challenge encourages participants to explore the different sections of a grocery store and consider a variety of money saving strategies to plan a nutritious meal while sticking to a budget.poster

This $10 Meal Challenge has specific parameters regarding serving size, the five food groups, serving a group of four people, and the total cost being $10 or less. The goal of this specific challenge is to task participants with combining knowledge of a balanced meal while immersing them in a situation where they have limited time, access and dollars to plan a meal for their family. This challenge has been incorporated as a Special Exhibition poster challenge as part of 4-H exhibits at fair.

Review the guidelines and resources below to best prepare yourself for this poster exhibit opportunity.

Special Exhibition
10490 - $10 Meal Challenge – Create a balanced meal for a family of four that includes a serving from each of the five food groups with a budget of $10.

Special Rules:

  1. Each county may select one exhibit in this class to be featured at the Iowa State Fair.
  2. All entries will receive an evaluation and ribbon.
  3. Exhibit may be from an individual or small group.
  4. The meal must serve at least four people and total expense on receipt(s) must not exceed $10.
  5. The meal must include a serving for each person from each of the five food groups.
    1. Fruit, Vegetable, Protein, Grain, and Dairy
    2. If there is a dairy allergy, you may substitute with a calcium rich item, but you will need to indicate the allergy and identify how the item substituted provides enough calcium.
  6. The exhibit will be a poster (maximum size 20”x30”) that includes:
    1. The menu and portion sizes for each food item.
    2. Meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
    3. Grocery receipt(s)
    4. Photos of the experience: grocery shopping, food preparation, and prepared meal
    5. Attach a copy of the $10 Meal Challenge worksheet to the back of the poster.

Additional Guidelines:

  1. Total expense of the whole meal must not exceed $10.
    1. If other items are being purchased for another purpose, try to do a separate transaction so that the receipt copied for this project only includes items for the challenge.)
    2. Ingredients or components of meal cannot be itemized and subtracted from total cost; you must include whole cost of the food product.
      1. Example: if you purchase bread to make sandwiches, you must consider the cost for the whole loaf, not just the 8 slices to make four sandwiches.
    3. The receipt and items purchased for meal need to be purchased at no more than two stores/venues.
    4. Garden produce is not accepted for this challenge, it must be grocery purchases.

Tips and Resources:

  1. USDA MyPlate website www.choosemyplate.gov – Information regarding the five food groups and recommended serving sizes and equivalents included here.Recommended Serving Sizes:
    1. Fruit: ½ Cup
    2. Vegetable: ½ Cup
    3. Protein: 3 ounces
    4. Grain: 1-2 ounces (Goal of making half our grains whole.)
    5. Dairy: 1 Cup equivalent
  2. Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/ - Information on how to eat healthy on a budget. Check out the sections: Plan, Shop, and Cook.
  3. $10 Meal Challenge Worksheet