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10 kids cooking shows for young chefs and culinary creatives

Kids and their grown-ups will want to tune into these popular kids cooking shows to watch everything from baked engineering marvels to chocolate works of art in the making.

10 kids cooking shows for young chefs and culinary creatives

For little ones who are pint-sized foodies, curious creative types or even picky eaters, chances are there is a kids cooking show that will capture their attention. My kiddo falls into the foodie category and loves learning how his favorite foods are made, but other parents attest that these programs have been effective in getting their kids to try new foods. Beyond learning cooking and baking skills, these kids cooking and baking shows empower children to enter the kitchen and get seriously creative.

1.  ‘Kids Baking Championship’

This popular Food Network kids baking show features bakers ages 8-13 as they compete in creative challenges like dessert impostors, where the contestants must bake desserts to look like other foods. Rhiannon Giles is a mom of two in Durham, North Carolina, whose 12-year-old daughter Lorelei is a huge fan. “She likes it because it shows that kids can really bake – a lot of shows try to make kids look younger and more incapable than they are,” says Giles. 

Rating: TV-G

Watch:Kids Baking Championship” on The Food Network.

2.  ‘Waffles + Mochi’

“Listen to your vegetables and eat your parents!” is the tagline of this adorable food and travel show for young kids starring two lovable puppet friends as they embark on many quests to become chefs. They befriend Michelle Obama and many celebrities along the way as they journey across the globe to learn about ingredients and cooking.  

Rating: TV-Y

Watch:Waffles + Mochi” on Netflix

3.  ‘MasterChef Junior’

Though Chef Gordon Ramsay is famous for his aggressive personality, he reveals his softer side on this kids cooking show where young chefs ages 8 to 13 show off their culinary talents in a series of intense challenges. “It’s so cute. [My kids] root for their favorites, pick dishes they’d like to try or would never touch,” says Taylor Beam Rew, a mom of three kids ages 5, 7 and 10 based in Nashville. “And they love the creative competition.” According to Rew and her children, Chef Ramsay is actually a big softie in disguise.

Rating: TV-PG

Watch:MasterChef Junior” on Fox and Hulu

4.  ‘I Draw, You Cook’

In this charming show that will win over kiddos and grown-ups alike, a child draws a picture of a meal out of their wildest imagination. Then, two chefs cook off to see whose dish will be most beloved by the little artist.  

Rating: Unrated. The kids featured are about ages 5-9, but the show has all-ages appeal.

Watch: I Draw, You Cook” on Hulu

5.  ‘Nailed It’

A baking show that celebrates epic fails, “Nailed It” brings not-so-great home bakers together to compete to create elaborate desserts. “My 10-year-old stepdaughter thinks the host is hilarious and loves watching people mess up,” says Beth McDonough of Meadville, Pennsylvania, who runs The Inclusive Stepmom. “I think it helps normalize creative baking and trying new things and being silly!” The lesson that it’s OK to make mistakes is a pretty good one too.

Rating: TV-PG

Watch:Nailed It” on Netflix

6.  ‘School of Chocolate’

World-renowned chocolatier Amaury Guichon mentors top pastry professionals in this series that takes a gentler and more nurturing approach than most other reality competitions. In each episode, the students learn from the master chocolatier to create artistic, jaw-dropping confections from treasure chests to chandeliers that are made entirely of chocolate.

Rating: TV-PG

Watch:School of Chocolate” on Netflix

7.  ‘Foodtastic’

This is more of a food sculpting show than a cooking show, but young chefs who love Disney will be enthralled with the impressive foodscapes the teams create. From the balloon-lifted house from “Up” to a giant T-Rex made out of broccoli from “Toy Story,” the construction scenes take some time, but the payoff of these finished creations is worth the anticipation.

Rating: TV-G

Watch:Foodtastic” on Disney+

8.  ‘Is It Cake?’

For kids who couldn’t get enough of the dessert imposters challenges on “Kids Baking Championship,” then “Is It Cake?” is their perfect next watch. “All three of my kids loved trying to guess which one was the cake,” says Danèlle Lejeune, mother of three from Savannah, Georgia, whose kids are 11, 13 and 17. “They watched it like it was a football game, shouting at the TV, and [they would prepare] special snacks to eat while watching.”

Rating: TV-PG

Watch:Is It Cake?” on Netflix

9.  ‘Bake Squad’

This show led by Christina Tosi of Milkbar is unique in that four contestants create extravagant, imaginative desserts for clients who describe what they want for a special event. The clients serve as judges as they choose which dessert they want for their celebration. Kids will love voting for which dessert they’d want, including a life-size chocolate drum set cake, a giant chocolate dragon egg or a VW van made out of red velvet cake that can be spray-painted with edible paint and more.  

Rating: TV-PG

Watch:Bake Squad” on Netflix

10. ‘Baking Impossible’

Calling all junior bakers, engineers and mathematicians! This show perfectly combines STEAM subjects with the culinary arts as talented bakers are teamed up with top engineers as “bakineers” to construct edible creations that must pass rigorous stress tests. The challenges include a watertight boat that must sail 20 feet in 45 seconds, a robot that can complete a candy obstacle course and a car that must travel 100 feet and crash into a steel wall at 25mph without harming the test dummy inside.

Rating: TV-PG

Watch:Baking Impossible” on Netflix