Calling all fellow parents: “Waffles + Mochi” is the show you never knew you always needed.
Hear me out on this one! It’s the best thing for kids to come to Netflix in quite awhile, if you ask me. (And it’s not JUST for children — I got into this just as much as my own kids, if not more).
I’ll admit: I was skeptical at first. I saw another parent post about how adorable the show was, and I thought to myself, “What makes this any different?”
But my daughter’s been sucked into “My Little Pony,” as of late, which is pure trash, so I figured, we have nothing to lose. Plus, I learned Michelle Obama stars and serves as an executive producer. I feel like I can trust her, so we gave it a shot this week.
Here’s the premise, before we get too deep, from the Netflix website:
“Once upon a thyme, deep in The Land of Frozen Food, lived two best friends named Waffles and Mochi with one shared dream: to become chefs! The only problem? Everything they cooked was made of ice. When these two taste-buddies are suddenly hired as the freshest employees of a whimsical supermarket, they’re ready for the culinary adventure of a lifetime. With the help of friendly new faces like Mrs. Obama, the supermarket owner, and a magical flying shopping cart as their guide, Waffles and Mochi blast off on global ingredient missions, traveling to kitchens, restaurants, farms and homes all over the world, cooking up recipes with everyday ingredients alongside renowned chefs, home cooks, kids and celebrities. Whether they’re picking potatoes in the Andes of Peru, sampling spices in Italy, or making Miso in Japan, these curious explorers uncover the wonder of food and discover every meal is a chance to make new friends. ‘Waffles + Mochi’ is an exciting invitation to get kids and grown-ups cooking together in the kitchen and connecting to cultures around the globe.”
Cute, right? Yes. But also so much more!
I’ll share some takeaways after watching the first couple episodes with my kids (ages 5 and 3).
This feels like “Sesame Street,” and in a good way. I’m not big on screentime and have yet to let my children use my tablet, but I do love quality television — and in this house, “Sesame Street” is king (or at least, it used to be when the kids were younger). Anyway, “Waffles + Mochi” show stars puppets and real humans, and I liked the balance. Also, no one is talking “down” to the kids or the puppets. It’s just healthy conversation; no cutesy words needed.
I love how the show puts food at the forefront. Way too often, I feel like when I’m talking to my kids about food, I’m convincing them to eat their dinner or waging a war over uneaten broccoli. But here, food is shown in such an interesting, fresh light, and I know this might sound corny, but let’s take the tomato episode, for example. In my head, I was like, “what is there to say about tomatoes, really?” But by the end, I had learned something — did you realize they’re actually considered a fruit and a vegetable? — my kids had, too, and we made a plan to try the sun-dried kind, or incorporate them into a meal, next week. They were excited and *yelling* about tomatoes. This was one of those times when I was OK with being wrong about something. I loved that episode.
“Waffles + Mochi” introduces so many concepts, and provides a springboard for conversation. By the end of episode two, we were talking about salt vs. sugar, healthy teeth, what it means to travel overseas, what California is really like, what it means to be deaf, and the importance of ASL. Granted, I have a very bright and curious 5-year-old daughter. (I think my son was playing with dinosaurs in the background by now). The show didn’t hold his attention as well, but for the most part, I can say both kids were both pretty engaged and into it. This show, by the way, is one of the reasons I defend TV: It’s not meant to be used as a babysitter, but instead, a tool that you can share together. I didn’t set up an episode and go do laundry (although I’lll admit, I’ve done that too!), but we watched it together and talked about a bunch of ideas.
Oh, and don’t feel like you’re late to the game. “Waffles + Mochi” was just released mid-month. Ten episodes make up season one. They’re all about a half-hour apiece. Celebrity guests include Common, Jack Black, Rashida Jones, Tan France and Zach Galifianakis.
“Waffles + Mochi” also gives Obama the chance to extend the work she did as first lady to support children’s health. This season, the show is traveling to locales that include Italy, Japan, Peru, South Korea and Uganda to learn about different food and cultures.
Read more about the show from Netflix.
Have you watched? Tell me what you think!