Inspired by Master Chef Junior? Here's how to cook with your kids |

Inspired by MasterChef Junior? Here’s how to cook with your kids

September 17th, 2013
Kids kitchen set from

(Kids kitchen set from

By Brittany Anas 

Come Sept. 27, a bunch of elementary school-aged children are going to put our culinary skills to shame. Fox is debuting MasterChef Junior – and the teaser to the show (see video below) gives us a glimpse of just how intense and serious these kids are about their craft. We can’t wait to cheer them on. (And, we’re impressed that they don’t seem to fear Gordon Ramsey).

This Tweet from MasterChef Junior pretty much sums up what’s on tap for your next favorite cooking show: “If you think kids’ food is just chicken nuggets and juice boxes, you’re about to get served!”

Casting directors combed the country for two dozen of the best junior cooks, who range in age between 8-13. In the audition round, the contestants will be tasked with presenting their best seafood, pasta or dessert dishes for the panel of judges.

Most parents would be happy if they could get their kids to eat more than just mac and cheese and Cheerios. So, the whole concept of kids cooking gourmet meals impresses us beyond belief.

While we await the premiere of MasterChef Junior later this month, we thought it would be fun to corral some ideas for how to cook with your kids — without completely destroying your kitchen.

  • For younger kids, get them playing in a toy kitchen — preferably one that will look cute in your house, like this KidKraft Red Vintage Kitchen from When you shop at with, you can save up to 75 percent Cash Back. A mini-kitchenette will make cooking seem fun and get your little ones excited to eventually join you in the full-sized kitchen.
  • Get a kid-friendly cookbook. We found a Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook with 65 recipes in it, also at The book is great because there are illustrations and characters to go along with each recipe. Special features in the book include kitchen safety, cooking basics, easy nutrition lessons and how to understand food labels.
  • Dole out tasks. For kids in elementary school, give them small tasks — like measuring out ingredients (which will help with their math skills), cracking eggs or making mixtures. Teach teenagers how to chop vegetables safely and give them some food-safety lessons before they start handling raw poultry and meat.
  • For older kids, let them help with meal planning and show them how to build balanced meals. Get their buy-in by letting them plan out an entire meal or make a homemade pizza loaded with healthy veggies.

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Brittany Anas is a newspaper reporter, which she says is basically like going on a professional scavenger hunt every day. She became hooked on fashion in the early 1990s when her mom sewed her a pair of MC Hammer pants and matching headband. Brittany lives in Denver, Colorado and loves spending time with her southern gentleman of a boyfriend and their pot-belly pig-gremlin mix that the rescue organization described as a “Boston Terrier.” She fancies polka dots, Detroit Pistons basketball and brunch. Brittany blogs at and Twitters from @BrittanyAnas. Find her on Pinterest or ping her on Google+.

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