How To Raise A Strong “MasterChef Junior Contestant” And Get Over Your Fear Of Letting Your Kids Cook By Themselves

How To Raise A Strong MasterChef Junior Contestant

So your kid wants to help cook, but you’re terrified …

Sh*t me too! Lol If you’ve been reading my blog over the last few days you’ll know that one of my goals this year is to let my daughter help me cook more. When I asked her how I could become a better mom, this was one of her requests! Yup. She straight up told me she wanted to help cook! However, I’m absolutely terrified of letting her help in the kitchen.

I mean for god’s sake she’s only 5 years old damn it!

But then I think back to one of our favorite shows, MasterChef Junior, and realize that those kids aren’t much older than her. They had to start somewhere, right? So maybe I should let her?

Now I’m not saying that in 3 years she has to apply for MasterChef Junior if I start letting her cook on her own. However, I do have to consider that there’s a reason those kids are picked for that show, and there are skills that they have that I’d like my daughter to have as well. (That’s why I’m using this show as an example, instead of saying a professional baker/chef.)

How To Raise A Strong MasterChef Junior Contestant

Hell, it would be nice to come home to a cooked meal after work one day and find out that my daughter made it. Imagine what Mother’s Day would be like! Breakfast in bed … candlelight dinner. Lol Sh*t, do you know how many photos I’d take of her food! I’d be all up on Instagram with this ish! #kidscancook #mybabymadethis #ohshitlookatthis #mykidisbetterthanyours Lol

However, for her to ever get to that point, or for her to ever become a MasterChef Junior contestant, I have to start letting her learn now! And if you want your child to do the same, you have to be willing to let them make a mess. (*cringe* I know!) So the question is ….

What makes a strong MasterChef Junior contestant:

Now I’m no expert, and I don’t pick the contestants, but I’ve watched the show long enough to know what makes a strong MasterChef Junior contestant. I can tell you who’s going home before the kids even start cooking! Here’s what usually determines what kid goes home first, and what kid makes it into the finale:

  • Personality 
  • Cooking Skills
  • Plating Skills
  • Communication Skills 
  • Confidence
  • Endurance

Are they spunky? Do they always say something cute or cheeky? Do they have a response for everything you say? Can they make mistakes without having a complete meltdown? I know it seems crazy that an 8 year old would have to produce a visually appealing plate, but let’s be honest, if an 8 year old handed you a plate of food that looked like a mess, would you really eat it? Exactly! These are usually some of the traits I see in the final contestants, and these are the traits I want my daughter to have. So if she wants to cook more this year, I’m here for it!

Hell, she’s already started! Last week she made cupcakes, with a little help from her Aunt, using the Real Cooking Kids baking set she got for Christmas. Here’s a few photos of her baking:

As you can see, she made a bit of a mess, but she also had a blast! She even saved two cupcakes for her best friends and brought them to school the next day so they could have a special snack at lunchtime. It was the cutest thing ever! But here’s what you really came for:

Step 1: Back the f*ck up and let your child breathe! That’s it!

No seriously, take three steps back and then just stand there and watch. (Now if only I could take this damn advice myself. Lol) However, a few days ago I got to watch my daughter bake with her Aunt and as I took photos of her very first time baking “alone” I saw how happy she was.

As mothers, we tend to always want to help our kids with whatever they’re doing, but honestly, all this does is hinder their growth.

When people compliment me on how well she communicates with others, or even a few years ago when people would stop to tell me how great she was walking for a two-year-old … how’d ya think she got to that point of “perfection”? Practice! And me letting her do things on her own. When she talks, I let her talk. When she was learning how to walk, she walked everywhere we went! #NoStrollerGang And those were things she didn’t want to do! Lol So why is it so hard for me to let her do this on her own, now that she actually wants to do it?

Maybe it’s because we have a tendency to become helicopter parents because that’s how we were raised. Maybe it’s because we’re scared of the mess they’ll make if we let them do it on their own. Hell, maybe it’s because we’re scared they’ll fail. We’re scared that if we let them cook on their own, something will get burnt – whether it’s the food or their fingers. We’re scared of eating egg shells that were accidentally dropped in the cake batter. Lol But worst of all, we’re scared that it’ll turn out like crap and they’ll be disappointed.

But if we don’t let them fail, how are they going to learn?

We have to let them make mistakes, so they can learn from them!

So what if it doesn’t come out perfect? They’re not looking for perfection! All they really want is to do something they love doing. Hell, we should be glad they want to help and learn. This year I’m giving my daughter what she wants! I’m gonna let her cook and bake her heart out! She’s gonna make snacks for her friends and for herself. And she’s gonna practice and practice until she’s good enough to audition for MasterChef Junior. But shhhh … don’t tell her that! Lol 

Does your child like to cook or bake?

Leave a comment below and let me know! Oh and if you’re a MasterChef Junior fan (or intrigued by the idea of watching Gordon Ramsey be nice for once) season six starts this March! There’s gonna be an “alphabet” mystery box challenge, with 26 different ingredients that all start with a different letter of the alphabet; a wedding; chicken and waffles; and a Blue Apron mystery box challenge. All designed for these tiny chef-testants to battle it out for a grand prize of $100,000.

Here’s a quick sneak peak at season 6 before you go:

P.s – If you haven’t already heard I’m giving away a $25 Fenty Beauty gift card this week right here on my blog. Click this link for more details and to enter.

I’m also hosting a 7 Day “Self Care in 10 Mins” Instagram Challenge, and you can read more about that by clicking this link.

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  • My daughters love to bake too. My goal is that in a few years that will take over the kitchen duties so I won’t have to anymore.

    • Yesss! Doesn’t that thought alone sound great! I wouldn’t force her to cook, but knowing her, she’d straight up tell me “I got this mom go sit down” when she’s older. LOL

  • Ahh she is adorable!! My son is just getting into cooking now! They can’t learn if they don’t start now!

  • Nikki Ansari

    OMG! She reminds me of my little Anissa, because she cooks in the same dress. We also watch the same show. I’m going to be more flexible when it comes to her helping me in the kitchen and let her do her thing.

    • OMG! That’s so cool! There should be like a class or something for kids to dress up and cook. LOL She never takes this thing off. LOL

  • We have kids who love cooking, and we even let them use pairing knives to cut up things much to the horror of folks. I mean, how are they supposed to learn if we don’t oversee what they do now? Great post!

    • I swear I just almost had a heart attack. LOL I let her cut a piece of cake once, and that was it. LOL But you’re right, they can’t learn if they don’t do it. I learn by watching and then doing it, so of course she might be the same way.

  • I just sat in on a cooking demo with Master Chef Shaun and there was a kid in the audience that stole the show. He had so many questions, I’m sure he’ll be on one day.

  • Kasi Perkins

    Aw your daughter is so cute! These are some great tips!

  • KoKoa Magazine

    I learned to cook around your daughter’s age and I have loved cooking ever since. You are ding the right thing by letting her help.

    • Thank you. See that’s my logic, if she likes it now, letting her might help her to like it later on. I was shunned from the kitchen at her age. Now I basically have to teach myself everything because I never learned. Being kicked out the kitchen all the time made me hate being in the kitchen.

  • I enjoyed this so much! I am a great cook today because my mom and nana had me helping in the kitchen! My son drives me crazy to help out and I know it will pay off!

  • My mom begged me to cook with her when I was younger and I refused. I still don’t have a passion for cooking and really only do it for necessity. Sigh. It is what it is, lol.

    • LOL see I was kicked out of the kitchen because she thought I was too young. Now she wonders why I can’t cook? Listen woman! YOU were supposed to teach me. Don’t blame me. I’m not staying to watch where I’m not wanted. So I try not to make the same mistakes.

  • Crystal Nicole Collier

    I always wonder how those kids on those shows learn how to cook so well, so young! This is definitely the way to go. Who knows, you could have the next iron chef right in your kitchen.

    • Exactly! LOL Like howwwww can you make ALL of that and I still burn pizza made in the oven? Stop it lol

  • Jay Colby

    It’s great that your daughter is interested in cooking at a young. This skill is something she can use for the rest of her life, because we all have to eat.

    • Yup! She don’t need no man! LOL (I’m kidding)

  • I enjoy seeing kids cook. They are so open and untainted unless we as adults taint them. You have great tips or traits listed and I am looking forward to seeing more and more from your little one.

    • Yes! That’s what we as adults don’t realize. Sometimes I see myself projecting my fears on to her and I have to stop myself and let her know that it’s ok if she likes something I don’t or if she’s not scared and I am. She’ll be featured more on my blog this year for sure.

  • Sheena Steward

    It’s so awesome that she expressed that she wanted to help cook. I get your reservations about her age and love that you said to just let them be and back up. Great post!

    • Thanks so much! I’m still scared, but I have to let her try. Or she’ll never want to do it.