Cooking Show

Best TV Cooking Shows To Watch In Lockdown 

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have explored new hobbies and interests while we pass the time in lockdown. Many individuals across the world have been teaching themselves to cook in their spare time, so here’s a list of some of the most popular programs being watched right now across the globe: 

Anthony Bourdain: This show is available on Amazon Prime Video and ran from 2002-2018. It’s no secret that Anthony Bourdain was one of the most respectable chef’s in the food entertainment industry. His show was widely popular every year it was on and explored the international cuisines from around the world that the average individual may not have ever heard of. In his Parts Unknown series he broke down the idea of a “celebrity chef” and just wanted to go to places that anyone else would love and enjoy. 

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Chef’s Table: This Netflix original show began in 2015 and is still currently producing seasons. The show profiles various chefs from around the world and offers a cinematic element that makes the cooking look sensual and engaging for the viewer. The chef’s on this show all have their own unique backstory with cooking which has been regarded as giving the viewer the sense that they too could become just as talented one day if they work hard. 

The Taco Chronicles: This show is also a Netflix original and is hosted by Carlos Perez Osorio. Osorio’s goal with this 2019 program was to show viewers the future of intellectual food shows. There are six episodes and within each one a different type of taco is intricately dissected so that viewers can really understand the combination of ingredients and why they work so well together, as well as gain a greater respect for the process of cooking/creation. 

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Madhur Jaffrey’s Flavours of India: This 1995 show is currently available on BBC iPlayer. The show was six-parts and explored the flavors and techniques of regional Indian cooking. Jaffrey gave off a calm and dignified persona on TV that showed viewers she really meant business when it came to her cuisine. The show itself has been highly regarded as one of a kind in terms of its focus on Indian cuisine.

The Chef Show: This Netflix show has only been one for one year but has been one of the platforms most popular food programs to date. Jon Favreau and Roy Choi spend each episode hanging out in the borrowed kitchens of all their Hollywood friends. It takes on the format of a visual podcast but with TV video quality. The format is casual, as the two simply mix their ingredients and tell you about their process while they get side-tracked and reflect on the glory days like any other best friend duo. 

Ugly Delicious: This Netflix original is hosted by chef Danic Chang of the celebrated Momofuku restaurant group. In more recent episodes Chang has used the show as a means of discussing important culinary issues around the world. The show also takes on a relatable lens when Chang finds out he’s going to be a father and then teaches the viewer how to make their own baby food.

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Kids Are More Likely To Eat Healthy After Watching Cooking Shows

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior recently published a study which found that when kids watch child-targeted cooking shows that feature healthy foods/cooking, they’re 2.7 times more likely to make healthier food choices on their own when compared to a group of kids who watched the same program that instead featured unhealthy food. 

The study itself surveyed 125 children who were 10 to 12-years-old. Every child was asked to watch 10 minutes of a Dutch (the study took place in the Netherlands) public television program that was cooking-oriented and geared towards a child audience. As a reward for watching the program, researchers offered each child a snack after they were done. Each child was presented with a snack table that had multiple options of things to eat on it, but they were only allowed to choose one. 

This is where the results came into play, as the kids who watched the program featuring healthy food were more likely to go for a healthier snack option (such as an apple) and the kids who watched the program featuring unhealthy food were more likely to reach for a less nutritional snack choice (like chips).

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“The findings from this study indicate cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Providing nutritional education in school environments may have an important positive influence on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors of children,” said lead author Frans Folkvord, PhD, of Tilburg University, Netherlands.

The study itself was conducted at each child’s school; the researchers went to five schools in the Netherlands to receive parental consent. They did this to show how implementing an alternative means of teaching children healthy lifestyle/eating habits, in an educational environment, could positively change their behaviors without being forced. A majority of the battle to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables is actually convincing them to do so. 

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Folkvord stated that he was inspired to do this study based on some prior research he did in which he found that children are more likely to eat the healthy parts of their meals when they’re actually involved in the cooking process. However, he also found that there’s too much reliance on pre-prepared foods today, and not enough emphasis on preparing fresh meals with fresh ingredients, which is hindering kids desires for healthier options. 

What both studies have concluded here is that when kids are visually shown the ways in which ingredients are combined and prepared to make meals, they’re more likely to not only want to be involved in that process, but also eat the food itself, regardless of how healthy it is. 

“The likelihood of consuming fruits and vegetables among youth and adults is strongly related to knowing how to prepare most fruits and vegetables. Increased cooking skills among children can positively influence their consumption of fruit and vegetables in a manner that will persist into adulthood,” Dr. Folkvord stated.

Poor lifestyle and dietary practices starting at a young age can have multiple negative effects on a child’s ability to maintain a healthy weight, diet, growth and developmental pattern regarding their physical, dental, and mental health. It’s important to start these visual practices young, not only will it give kids the skills to prepare healthy meals for themselves as they grow older, but it will also make them more independent and willing to try new things (like maybe some carrots and hummus as a snack instead of a box of Skittles).