Young people compete to create healthy meals

Students from Trimble Tech High School at last year’s
Culinary Competition

High school students are learning to prepare healthy food for the public with help from a contest cooked up by FitWorth and mulitple partner organizations that include UNT Health Science Center.   

In its second year, the Culinary Competition challenges 24 teams to create recipes that are calorie conscious, creative, tasty and affordable. The four-person teams will have one hour to whip these up on Oct. 4 at Will Rogers Memorial Center. A panel including Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will choose winners of $500 prizes for their schools to purchase equipment for culinary classes.

Among last year’s winners was Trimble Tech High School in the heart of Fort Worth’s Medical District.

"This was the first competition or event for many of my students, and they loved serving healthy foods to the community," said Trimble Tech Culinary Arts Coordinator Natasha Bruton. Her students are preparing for various career paths including culinary school, restaurant management school or business school, or going directly into the industry if they can’t afford higher education.

Twice as many students representing five different school districts from across Tarrant County are competing in this year’s Culinary Competition. Top local chefs will mentor the teams. Students will meet their mentors and get inspiration at a symposium on Sept. 6 at the Health Science Center. They’ll sample dishes pre-made with healthy ingredients such as produce and whole grains. Live demonstrations will help them learn about cooking for people with dietary restrictions such as low sodium.

The competition supports several of the Health Science Center’s core values, including serving others first and collaboration. Community partners include Cook Children’s Medical Center, Tarrant Area Food Bank, the Cowtown Marathon and FWISD.

UNTHSC’s close collaboration with FitWorth, a movement intended to inspire a communitywide culture shift to improve health in and around Fort Worth, also supports our core value to be visionary.

The Culinary Competition is seeking more sponsors to contribute financially or with in-kind donations of food and supplies. Contact Kate Blackburn at

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