Cooking Merit Badge Requirements and Worksheet


Cooking Merit Badge

Cooking Merit Badge

January, 2014

(for previous Cooking merit badge requirements which can still be used during 2014, Click Here)

Requirements for the Cooking merit badge:

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in cooking activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
    2. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while preparing meals and eating, including burns and scalds, cuts, choking, and allergic reactions.
    3. Describe how meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fresh vegetables should be stored, transported, and properly prepared for cooking. Explain how to prevent cross-contamination.
    4. Describe the following food-related illnesses and tell what you can do to help prevent each from happening:
      1. Salmonella
      2. Staphylococcal aureus
      3. Escherichia coli (E. coli)
      4. Clostridium botulinum (Botulism)
      5. Campylobacter jejuni
      6. Hepatitis
      7. Listeria monocytogenes
      8. Cryptosporidium
      9. Norovirus
    5. Discuss with your counselor food allergies, food intolerance, food-related diseases, and your awareness of these concerns.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, give five examples for EACH of the following food groups, the recommended number of daily servings, and the recommended serving size:
      1. Fruits
      2. Vegetables
      3. Grains
      4. Proteins
      5. Dairy
    2. Explain why you should limit your intake of oils and sugars.
    3. Determine your daily level of activity and your caloric need based on your activity level. Then, based on the MyPlate food guide, discuss with your counselor an appropriate meal plan for yourself for one day.
    4. Discuss your current eating habits with your counselor and what you can do to eat healthier, based on the MyPlate food guide.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Discuss the following food label terms: calorie, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugar, protein. Explain how to calculate total carbohydrates and nutritional values for two servings, based on the serving size specified on the label.
    2. Refer to "How to Read a Food Label" in the Cooking merit badge pamphlet, and name ingredients that help the consumer identify the following allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and shellfish.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Discuss EACH of the following cooking methods. For each one, describe the equipment needed and name at least one food that can be cooked using that method: baking, boiling, pan frying, simmering, steaming, microwaving, and grilling.
    2. Discuss the benefits of using a camp stove on an outing vs. a charcoal or wood fire.
    3. Discuss how the Outdoor Code and no-trace principles pertain to cooking in the outdoors.
  5. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert. Your menu should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) of those to be served. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:
    1. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.
    2. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.
    3. Using at least five of the seven cooking methods from requirement 4, prepare and serve yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult) one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert from the meals you planned.*
    4. Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time. Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor.
    5. After each meal, ask a person you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.
    6. Explain how you kept perishable foods safe and free from cross-contamination.
  6. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for your patrol or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for a camping trip. Include five meals AND at least one snack OR one dessert. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:
    1. Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.
    2. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.
    3. In the outdoors, cook two of the meals you planned in requirement 6 using either a lightweight stove or a low-impact fire. Use a different cooking method for each meal.** The same fireplace may be used for both meals. Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.
    4. In the outdoors, cook one of the meals you planned in requirement 6.Use either a Dutch oven, OR a foil pack, OR kabobs. Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.**
    5. In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**
    6. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, and then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure successful outdoor cooking.
    7. Explain how you kept perishable foods safe and free from cross-contamination.
  7. Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan a menu for trail hiking or backpacking that includes one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack. These meals must not require refrigeration and are to be consumed by three to five people (including you). List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals. Then do the following:
    1. Create a shopping list for your meals, showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.
    2. Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor. Your plan must include how to repackage foods for your hike or backpacking trip to eliminate as much bulk, weight, and garbage as possible.
    3. While on a trail hike or backpacking trip, prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for requirement 7. At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).**
    4. For each meal prepared in requirement 7c, use safe food-handling practices. Clean up equipment, utensils, and the site thoroughly after each meal. Properly dispose of dishwater, and pack out all garbage.
    5. After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals. Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure successful trail hiking or backpacking meals.
  8. Find out about three career opportunities in cooking. Select one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.


*The meals for requirement 5 may be prepared on different days, and they need not be prepared consecutively. The requirement calls for Scouts to plan, prepare, and serve one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to at least one adult; those served need not be the same for all meals.

**Where local regulations do not allow you to build a fire, the counselor may adjust the requirement to meet the law. The meals in requirements 6 and 7 may be prepared for different trips and need not be prepared consecutively. Scouts working on this badge in summer camp should take into consideration foods that can be obtained at the camp commissary.


Cooking Worksheet



Comments:
 Jan 30, 2013 - Oran Carter DVM
In the merit badge book the section on Botulism is at least very poorly worded or more accurately wrong.  The disease is caused by the ingestion of toxins produced by bacteria in improperly preserved foods.  Most likey canned foods.  This is one of the reasons to avoid damaged cans and contents of cans that smell foul.
Dec 02, 2013 - Terry Nanney
Do you have the requirement for the cook badge for 2014
and what does a kid do with his old cooking merit badge
Dec 02, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Terry - The new requirements are not finalized and will not take effect until January, 2015.
A scout that has earned the "old" Cooking merit badge displays it on his sash.  A scout does not earn the "old" and the "new" Cooking merit badge - just one or the other.
Dec 03, 2013 - Kim DiGiaimo
Approximately how long does it take to complete this badge? Do the scouts have to camp to cook or can they cook anytime as long as they use a camp stove and camp like surroundings and prep surfaces?
Dec 03, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Kim - It can take a scout weeks, or years, to complete any merit badge.  There's no time estimate that would make sense.
There is no specific wording in the Cooking merit badge requirements that state the meals need to be prepared while on a camping or backpacking trip.  Nor is there a requirement that the meals be eaten.  A scout could conceivably plan and make all the meals in one day.
Dec 06, 2013 - Bill Keller
When this merit badge becomes "Eagle Required", will it be one of a group of which the scout must earn one... for example "earn one of swimming, hiking, or biking" or will it be a required badge all by itself?
Dec 07, 2013 - Jessie Fertig
If you already have completed the cooking merit badge will it be counted as Eagle or will it only apply to those that take it when it is Eagle Required.
Dec 07, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Bill - It will be a separate badge that is required all by itself.  There will be 13 required badges, rather than the current 12.

@Jessie - If a scout has already completed the Cooking merit badge, he does not need to redo it to have it count towards Eagle.  And, it will count towards Eagle.

Please see this page for more on the Cooking update.

Dec 13, 2013 - candy
What if the scout is ready for his eagle board this year 2013 but cant get the people together until January.  Everything is done and completed except his District Board.  Does that mean he has to stop everything, achieve the Cooking badge before he can go before the District Eagle Board?
Dec 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@candy - Please read the page linked to in the comment just above yours.  The Board of Review can occur after Jan. 1 2014.
Jan 07, 2014 - Jim
Can someone please clarify when the Cooking Merit Badge is required for Eagle?  Is it required after January 2014 or after January 2015? Earlier in this thread it says 2015 but I understood it to be 2014.
Jan 07, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Jim - Please read the page linked in my Dec. 7 comment.  It is Eagle-required now.
Jan 16, 2014 - Julie Furby
hi,
My son started the cooking merit badge in 2013 and has opted to stay with the old merit badge requirements.  Our worksheet experienced a coffee accident and I'm looking for a new copy.  Due to the requirement change, I can only fine the updated worksheet.  any ideas on how to download the old???
Thanks so much.
Jan 16, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Julie - The worksheets are completely optional aids.  It's not needed to do the merit badge.  You can find the old one here

Feb 03, 2014 - Donna Scheer
I am just starting to teach this Merit Badge we have a Scout turning 18 in April which is our deadline so he can complete the Eagle requirement.  I am looking for suggestions on how I can teach and complete this for this Scout along with the 3 other older boys who will also need it soon.  We do not have any campouts or overnights scheduled and as I was reading it said to prepare it at times it would normally be served.  

Feb 04, 2014 - Ed
I was reading over the OLD cooking MB requirements, how do you read 7. d. ??
Does a scout need to cook nine meals or three ??


7. Plan a menu for three full days of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to be cooked at home.
a. When preparing your menu, follow the nutritional guidelines set by the food pyramid. All meals are to be cooked or properly prepared.
b. Using the menu planned for requirement 7, make a food list showing cost and amount needed to feed yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult).
c. Tell what utensils were needed to cook and serve these meals.
d. Prepare and serve a breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the menu you planned for requirement 7. Time your cooking to have each course ready to serve at the proper time. Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor.

Feb 04, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Ed - Since requirements 4, 5, 6, and 7 specifically say to prepare certain meals, I read 7a as defining the type of meals that should be done.  Meals should require cooking, or at least some preparation.  So, an apple and chips wouldn't be a meal.
Feb 05, 2014 - Ed
So is a scout required to prepare and serve THREE or NINE meals ??

Examples:
One breakfast, bacon & eggs, pancakes, milk & OJ
One Lunch, Grilled Sandwiches, can creamy tomato soup, chips, water & soft drinks
One Dinner: Salad, Spaghetti, garlic bread, water, milk, soft drinks

Feb 06, 2014 - Doug
Ed-The way I have interpreted that requirement is that the Scout must PLAN 9 meals but only PREPARE 3 of them; a breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I'm not the expert but this is what I've required as a Merit Badge Counselor.
Feb 06, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Ed - #4a says "two dinners, one lunch, and one breakfast" - that's 4 meals.  #6a says "trail breakfast and dinner" - that's 2 meals.  #7d says "a breakfast, lunch, and dinner" - that's 3 meals.
So, I'd say a total of 9 meals, with 3 needed to fulfill #7d.
Feb 06, 2014 - John Pratt
It sounds to me that folks are adopting the "How many cookies can I steal and still go to Heaven" approach to the new Cooking Merit Badge.  Like all of the merit badges the idea is to give knowledge and to perfect a skill. Planning, prep,handling and cooking are the keys to learn. You also learn what happens if you violate any of these concepts in the injury/sickness that can result.
Learn the skills and by the by prepare and cook a couple of extra meals just for good measure. Since the point of Cooking Merit Badge is to give you the skills to cook safely go the extra mile. You are not just "Passing" the badge you are preparing for the future. Lunch anyone ? :-)
Mar 16, 2014 - ScouterChris
I have two sons that are both Life Scouts and have both earned the Cooking Merit Badge prior to the 01/01/14 change.  They both currently wear the merit badge with the green border.

As per your link above:

The Eagle-required Cooking merit badge will have a silver border. Can a Scout who already earned Cooking switch his badge from the green-bordered version to one with the silver border?

Yes. Once the Supply Group has released a new Cooking merit badge patch with a silver border signifying it is Eagle-required then any Scout who earned and received a green-bordered Cooking patch (regardless which requirements were involved) may purchase or be presented with one that has a silver border.

A Cooking merit badge certificate or blue card must be presented to buy the new patch. The green-bordered patch may then be retained as a keepsake.


The question is: Has the silver border merit badge patch been released yet?  If not do you know when it will be issued?
Mar 16, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Chris - The silver-bordered cooking merit badge emblem is available now.
Apr 15, 2014 - Darcy Didion
With the new requirements #7 is cooking on a hike.  Can this be on a family hike or does it need to be done on a Troop hike?
Apr 15, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Darcy - The requirement does not specify.  The scout should discuss that with his counselor when he is completing requirement 7b to ensure it meets the counselor's expectations.

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