Although “The Good Food Factory” airs daily, new episodes haven’t been filmed for a few years. Now planning the children’s cooking show’s second season, host Amanda Mascia intends to bring the Emmy award-winning series back better than ever.
“We have so many more episodes we just cannot wait to create,” she said.
Mascia created the concept for the show while working in the advertising industry in New York. At the time, the Pennsylvania native worked on worldwide campaigns for M&M’s, making the colorful chocolate candies “fun.”
That’s when she and a colleague decided to also make healthy food fun.
“Childhood obesity was being talked about, so we tried to make a little cooking show to make healthy food fun for kids,” Mascia recalled.
In 2007, Mascia filmed three pilot episodes before she relocated to San Diego a year later. Cox Cable Channel 4SD not only picked up the episodes, but requested a full season.
Mascia filmed 15 more episodes, each with different themes and different local children.
“The mission is to definitely combat childhood obesity and inspire children to cook, eat and enjoy healthy foods,” said Mascia, who lives in Oceanside. “I strongly, strongly believe that being healthy is fantastic.”
Every episode features three recipes centered on a certain mealtime. For example, a breakfast episode might feature healthy recipes for breakfast burritos, omelets and pancakes.
On the show, Mascia also teaches children how to make snacks along with doing an activity in order to teach the importance of eating well while staying active.
“We are constantly reinforcing healthy food and positive snacking activity,” she said.
More than 40 local children appeared in the first season. Episodes aren’t scripted, so Mascia doesn’t cast child actors. Instead, she features local children and encourages them to be themselves.
“The kids learn as we go,” she said. “Some are shy and some aren’t. We embrace everybody and just let them be themselves.”
In one of her favorite episodes, “Skater Snacks,” Mascia featured then-7-year-old local skateboarding star Annika Vrklan and her siblings. Mascia showed the kids how to make sporty snacks such as oatmeal nuggets and frozen yogurt pops with fruit.
“It’s down-to-earth and whimsical,” Mascia said. “The show has a lot of heart.”
The show is independently created and produced by Mascia’s company, The Good Food Factory. Episodes are shot live on location at The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle in Solana Beach, part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, where she was director of the center for nearly three years.
In 2010, Mascia expanded The Good Food Factory to also teach children’s cooking classes.
She teaches healthy cooking classes to children ages 4-12 at The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle. She also works with the local Boys & Girls Clubs and schools to develop curriculums for cooking camps, classes and field trips.
“The kids are a riot,” she said. “I love to cook, and being around children is a blast.”
In 2013, The Good Food Factory won an Emmy Award for excellence in Children’s Programming. Mascia also received an Emmy nomination for host of the show.
Recently, the show received a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award for Television. Established in 1978, Parents’ Choice Foundation is the nation’s oldest nonprofit consumer guide to quality children’s media.
The Good Food Factory airs locally on Cox Cable Channel 4SD and is shared with affiliate stations in Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara. In April, the show is going out-of-state and will start being broadcast across Virginia.
“I would like the show to be on all over,” Mascia said. “It can be used as a tool in the classroom or at home to teach kids how to cook healthy food.”
Mascia is planning the show’s second season and consulting with sponsors. Interested advertisers and sponsors can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We plan to make the show even bigger, better and more delicious in our second season,” she said.
For more about The Good Food Factory, visit www.thegoodfoodfactory.com.