Do The MasterChef Junior Kids Still Go To School While Filming?

MasterChef Junior might be an adorable alternative to the show's more grueling adult counterpart, but keeping kids on set for the weeks it takes to film each season poses its own challenges. After all, the 8-13-year-old contestants are in some of their most formative years, and if they're not learning in between culinary challenges, that's a lot of school to miss out on.

Thankfully, the MasterChef Junior contestants do still receive their education on set. As executive producer Robin Ashbrook told HuffPost, "The season took almost three weeks to film. Right by the kitchen we have classrooms so they fulfilled all their mandatory classes."

So no, the kids may not be going to school as usual while the show is filming, but they're also not going to fall far behind their peers. They're still getting time to learn the basics and keep up with their studies in between high-pressure cooking challenges. 

The ingredients for a wholesome work-life balance

The show's most recent season followed 24 young contestants from all across the United States as they competed for the grand prize of $100,000 over the course of 15 episodes (via Fox). Sounds like a lot of stress and effort for these kids, but they're not being kept in the kitchen and worked to the bone or anything. Ashbrook explains. "We usually film on the grown 'MasterChef' a 12-hour day. With [the kids], depending on which day of the week, and their age, the limit is just four hours a day. When those four hours are up, those four hours are up. We literally had to stop filming."

The kids may have to go to school on set, but they have the option to keep other parts of their life separate from their MasterChef experience. As early as the audition application form (via MasterChef Junior Casting), parents have the option to list any parts of the child's life that they'd "prefer not to share on camera."