Winter break meant much needed free time after an intense semester of college. When faced with the task of deciding what to do in my free time, I did what any foodie would do: I watched Food Network. As much as I love Chopped and Cupcake Wars, the show that I literally could not stop watching was Kids Baking Championship.

Maybe this is because I’ve been a fan of Duff Goldman since Ace of Cakes, or because at nine years old I aspired to be a baker. Regardless, I have come to the conclusion that for many reasons, Kids Baking Championship is Food Network’s best show.

1. The Concept

In today’s society, it appears that children have developed a stereotype that they are too invested in their technology to dedicate themselves to other hobbies. Most people believe that children are more willing to pick up their iPhone over a rolling pin, but the contestants on this show defy the odds with flying colors.

Kids Baking Championship allows bakers each season to showcase their passion and talent on a national level. While I loved to bake at a young age, I was definitely not making eclairs from scratch. There’s no denying the maturity and talent these kids show in the kitchen! 

2. The Judges

If there’s anyone who knows how to have fun with desserts, it’s Duff Goldman. Star of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, Duff is no stranger to bright colors and crazy concepts. With his incredible background in desserts, he is able to offer guidance to the child contestants as they attempt to make desserts you’d only be eating if you bought them from a bakery.

Duff's partner in crime (and cake) is Valerie Bertinelli. While known for her acting, Valerie is also the author of her own cookbook. Her sweet personality and motherly attitude towards the kid bakers allows her to be both encouraging and critical with each challenge the children face. Duff and Valerie make the competition fun and exciting for the kids. Even when offering the bakers criticism and advice, this duo remains friendly and positive. 

3. The Talent

I don’t think I can express this enough. Each contestant, ranging from 9 to 13 years old, carries themselves with maturity and confidence in the kitchen. Whether faced with the challenge of making desserts they are unfamiliar with or just getting their dessert on the plate before time runs out, these bakers don’t let it get to them.

They are not scared to go above and beyond, attempting to make macarons and using fondant to cover three-layered cakes. No matter how they place in the competition, these kids are incredibly talented and show that age does not stop you from doing what you love. 

4. The Teamwork

Even though it's a competition, the competitors are still kids and we should definitely take some notes from them. Because of the intense challenges that they hardly have enough time to complete, accidents and mistakes can happen. The time Jackson burned his hand and Annika spent the last five minutes of the challenge helping him finish his cream puffs or when Audra helped Maya fill her eclairs before time ran out show that these kids value each other as fellow bakers, but more importantly, friends.

At the end of the day, while these kids may have some big talent, they also have big hearts; and that’s sweeter than any dessert you could ever bake. 

Kids Baking Championship has proved itself to be a positive platform to showcase the talent of today's youth. By giving the younger generation a chance to prove how dedicated and passionate they are, Food Networked has proven that age does not stop you from pursuing your dream.