Finally! An Entertaining Kids Show with a Healthy Focus!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  64 comments   :  15,327 Views

By SparkPeople member Michelle Alfert (LAPOCHITICA)

Over the summer, I have been working with more than 80 elementary kids in a summer day camp program. About two weeks into the summer, a few of my 5th graders began joking about some Zefronk character.

Given our obvious age gap, I merely smiled as they hummed some diddy and attempted French accents. Of course, it wasn't long before I was dragged into the conversation given my terrible impersonation of a French accent. So who is Zefronk? I have to admit, I thought he was Zac Efron. Isn't he the preteen obsession right now? False!

Two weeks later I visited home and was bombarded by my very own sister--almost 12 herself.

"Michelle! Have you seen Zefronk?!" So I take it this was not Zac Efron.

"No, but I've heard of him."

"You have to see it!"

Right then I was led to the TV where she so conveniently had every episode DVR'd. I kid you not--my sister is the cool kid at school, but she sang and danced to the entire opening song. I guess that was the hum diddy.

So if, like me, you haven't caught on, Tasty Time with Zefronk is a Playhouse Disney cooking show featuring an animated Dachshund host. (Visit the website.) Also appearing on the show is his assistant, Sue the songbird, and sneaky Dom, the cat with a habit of stealing Zefronk's snacks. The animation is not particularly amazing, and the plot is fairly repetitive. Still, there is something ingenious to this 15 minute show that even grown-ups can enjoy.

With all the negative influences on television today, here's one that's positive!
15 Reasons You and Your Children Should Watch Zefronk:

  1. Tasty Time specifically targets child obesity. Statistics for 2009 show that one in every three kids in the U.S. is overweight or obese, an epidemic that has nearly tripled in the past 30 years.

  2. Tasty Time offers an alternative to high sodium, processed snacks. Say goodbye to candy bars and potato chips.

  3. The snacks are simple for children to make. Older kids can make most recipes alone, which may stimulate independence.

  4. All recipes can be easily altered by substituting ingredients. This lets your kids express their creativity.

  5. On average, recipes take about 5 minutes to prepare. Only one recipe so far has required any cooking.

  6. Zefronk emphasizes when parent help is needed. Luckily, most recipes are simple enough for any child over age 8.

  7. Instructions are repeated at least three times using different learning styles. That means every child will understand the lesson in their unique way.

  8. All recipes are clearly summarized with three easy to remember words.

  9. The consistent plot pattern engages young viewers and stays focuses on the cooking lesson.

  10. Children easily identify each character's humorous personality traits, from Zefronk's accent to Dom's trickery.

  11. Zefronk never forgets cleanliness and features a fun song for washing hands.

  12. Zefronk encourages sharing, despite Dom's continual attempts to steal his tasty treats.

  13. Your children will be singing along to Zefronk's catchy tunes at school, in the car, and in front of the TV. They won't be able to stop thinking about cooking.

  14. The show promotes math, literacy and science skills. Encourage your children to measure and count all ingredients as you practice these recipes. Use Tasty Time's online cookbook for fun reading while observing how different ingredients react as they cook.

  15. Did I mention, Tasty Time With Zefronk is simply a fun solution to teaching children about nutrition?!

I can't stress how amazed I am by this short children's show. I find myself asking, "Why didn't anyone figure this out before!?" It's about time children's networks focus on child obesity and target this American epidemic where it starts. I'm not trying to advertise, but I applaud the creative minds in charge here.

To finish my story, my sister surprised me later that day by offering me half of her "Banana Dog" l(earned from Zefronk's show). Her exact words were, "Let's split it like Zefronk and Dom do." Did I mention she made it by herself? I don't know about you, but that is awesome to me!

Michelle Alfert currently attends Texas A&M University as a third year Biochemistry/Genetics major. She hopes to pursue medical research with a focus on autism and other neurological disorders. During her free time, Michelle enjoys practicing the piano and classical voice.

After joining SparkPeople recently, Michelle plans to spend more of her time learning about health. With professional aspirations in a health-based career, Michelle's goal is to lose 49 pounds by February 2010. As a driven college student, Michelle is motivated by knowledge and understanding. Therefore, her plan for weight loss is to absorb as much information available that may help reach her goal.

Isn't this fabulous? Has anyone else seen "Tasty Time"? Are you inspired by our children learning healthy habits?

(Photo downloaded with permission from Disney/ABC Media.)

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  • ANNI101
    Thanks so much for the info! I was literally about to do an internet search for heatlhy choices kids will actually eat when this caught my eye. Will definitely check it out. - 8/4/2011   12:40:05 PM
    Haha I just youtubed this-amazing! - 2/23/2010   11:42:54 AM
  • 62
    I came across this show while channel surfing a few days ago. Unfortunately I wasn't impressed with the art work so I continued surfing. Now that I have been introduced I think I'll record the episodes and actually use it to make some of the snacks with my special education students at school. It is good to have a show that encourages nutrition and hygiene. - 1/10/2010   10:28:41 PM
  • KIKI8508
    i watch zefronk almost everyday w/ my kids and my kids are only 15 mos. old :) - 9/22/2009   3:39:55 PM
  • KZD2008
    My kids love to help in the kitchen so we'll have to check out the show - thanks. As a former elementary school teacher, I am so glad to here that there is a new "educational" program on television for kids. - 9/14/2009   3:16:43 PM
    wow I'm gonna have to go dvr it also. unfortunatly my son is the 1 out of 3 kiddo who is over weight. - 8/28/2009   1:35:06 PM
  • 58
    Haven't seen it yet but will definitely look for it. Sounds like fun. - 8/27/2009   3:28:37 PM
  • 57
    I work with children, as well as having an awesome niece and nephew. I'm going to have to DVR this show ! I bet they'd both love it. - 8/27/2009   11:57:08 AM
  • 56
    Thanks for the heads up - happy to see this, but as we don't watch tv, will have to check it out some other way. Curious to know who sponsors the show? Can someone give me an idea of what a few of the snacks are? - 8/27/2009   6:20:18 AM
  • 55
    Very cool! Thanks for sharing. I have set it up to record. I love the idea of a show that makes healthful eating cool. - 8/26/2009   4:59:40 PM
    Love it! I'm the owner of a hip & healthy kids' cafe and cooking school ( ). Anything that puts kids' nutrition in the forefront gets a thumbs up from me! My 4 and 2-year-old have seen it, but they are much more into live characters than animated. Still the lessons are great! - 8/26/2009   12:05:02 PM
  • 53
    YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Disney has always been a good channel to help reenforce what i already teach my child. It is nice for him to see it from another point of view and not always think that it is just mom. My son loves disney and it is the one channel I do not mind if he watches for an hour or so. We have actually made some of th snacks from the show with Zefron. Also I do like Captian Carlos and that new show with the Panda that encourages cleanliness, honesty and eating well. While every now and then it is ok to have sweets it is better to have something that will stay in your tummy longer. - 8/26/2009   11:15:58 AM
  • 52
    This sounds fantastic. I am so sick and tired of the crap tv shows on for kids these days and this seems as a perfect fix. As far as the animation not being amazing, GOOD! Guess what, simpler is better. So many kids enjoy the simplicity of old cartoons and tv shows. The simplicity is a good thing. And wow, what a great idea, helping kids to help themselves. I can't wait to see it. - 8/26/2009   9:16:50 AM
  • 51
    My little girl, who's two, will always watch this after. She sometimes even asks for Dom. Granted she calls the whole show Dom. But seems to be at full attention when it's on. Full attention for a two year old. Way to do, even if it's only for a few moments. - 8/26/2009   5:00:12 AM
  • 50
    Since my son love Disney Playhouse, I am actually aware of Tasty Time with ZeFronk!!! Even though my son is too young to understand what the characters are saying, I am learning a lot of fun treats/snacks/etc. to make for when he is older. I just keep putting them into my recipe's a cute show!!!!! - 8/25/2009   11:44:54 PM
  • 49
    This sounds like fun even if my child doesn't like it. I think a cartoon dachshund would be preferable to a lot of the cooking hosts on television right now! ;) My child is on a swim team and we are always looking for healthy ways for him to support his energy needs. - 8/25/2009   10:02:26 PM
  • 48
    Haven't seen it, but I hope its still around when my 5 month old, is big enough to understand it. Thanks for sharing the info - 8/25/2009   9:18:13 PM
  • 47
    Thanks for the suggestion! I think my kids will love this show and I will too. Off to set the DVR! - 8/25/2009   8:32:47 PM
  • 46
    I *LOVE* Zefronk and have been enjoying it for a few years with my granddaughter and now my 2 yr old grandson. I'm a stickler for handwashing, too, and sing that little song when I help the little ones wash their hands. - 8/25/2009   4:54:51 PM
    Never heard of the show. I guess my 21 yr old doesn't watch Disney much anymore. LOL I will have to see if I can find it & check it out tho! - 8/25/2009   3:06:01 PM
  • 44
    My kids love this show but my son finds it to be too short and not frequently passed on TV enough. Today, visiting the website (Thanks to this Daily Spark Blog) they made me print out the coloring pages and Ze Fronk's book of recipes.

    I personally love Ze Fronk French accent - do I *really* speak like that?!! ;-P - 8/25/2009   2:14:23 PM
    Haven't seen it. Will have to check with my son to see if he's heard of it. Will look for it when I go home. Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing. - 8/25/2009   2:05:13 PM
    My son loves this show. He is only 6, but has been helping me in the kitchen since he was 3. He loves to cook and this encourages him to wash his hands more, eat healthier items and we sing along to the songs while we are cooking. His first books that he actually started paying attention to, in order to learn how to read, has been children's cook books! He has picked up on counting, measuring, fractions and such all from putting together recipes in the kitchen! - 8/25/2009   1:49:31 PM
    My ten year old and three year old love this show, the three year old gets up and dances to the music. I think it is wonderful. - 8/25/2009   1:45:51 PM
  • 40
    I am going to have to see if we have it and i bet my 8 year old would love it !!!
    She is the first one in the kitchen to help me cook !!! the best part is that she is good at it so by the time she gets to be a teen she will be a great cook !!!! - 8/25/2009   1:12:15 PM
  • 39
    Great blog! I will pass along the information to friends and family. - 8/25/2009   1:12:03 PM
  • 38
    Very cool series, but I wish they would create more episodes! Disney is to be commended, but they need to create more episodes so they can hold on to the enthusiasm they've created! (I'm also a big fan of Captain Carlos ... and I love Lazy Town, too!) - 8/25/2009   12:58:41 PM
    I agree, sounds great but haven't seen yet. I'll look it up and see if I can set up the DVR. My almost 8 year old boy still seems to like to watch Disney...even the kids shows which I am greatful for! I'd sure like to get him eating healthier snacks, so maybe this will help - 8/25/2009   12:46:35 PM
  • 36
    Wowza - another cool thing I've learned on SP! Thanks for sharing - can't wait to see it... - 8/25/2009   11:55:26 AM
  • 35
    My almost 5-year-old granddaughter loves this show. Recently her mommy took a little nap one afternoon. Alex was supposed to be napping also but when Mommy got up, Alex was in the kitchen making Ants on a Log (or yog as Alex says). She learned how to do it from Zefronk! So cute!!! She called me after she made the "Ants" and wanted to mail me some. :) - 8/25/2009   10:58:16 AM
  • 34
    Yes, Nick still plays LazyTown and my 4 yr old son loves it! The hero, Sporticus, calls fruit "sports candy" and he's all about the exersize and healthy eating. Very cute show and very good for kids to watch. I'll have to check out this new show, sounds interesting! - 8/25/2009   10:41:55 AM
  • 33
    My daughter doesn't quite get it yet at age 2, but I certainly love to see what creative snacks they come up with. Since Playhouse Disney is the only thing she watches besides the occasional movie, I'm glad they have included something about healthy snacks in the lineup. - 8/25/2009   10:20:29 AM
    Didn't Nick Jr. have a show called "Lazytown" a few years back? As I recall, the villain encouraged children to be lazy, but the hero encouraged exercise and healthy eating. - 8/25/2009   10:04:12 AM
    My kidos (7, 5, 5) loved watching him this summer. My only problem was having all the ingredients on hand to make the snack. - 8/25/2009   9:40:08 AM
  • 30
    Is there an easy way to email blogs? I would love to send this to my children for our grandchildren! Thank you. - 8/25/2009   9:20:21 AM
    Thanks for telling me about ZeFronk. Now I will know what my students are talking about when I get back to school. - 8/25/2009   9:05:53 AM
  • TWINSMOM0429
    My girls watch it but I don't think they "get it" I however, enjoy the easy, healthy snacks he makes! - 8/25/2009   9:00:09 AM
  • 27
    My daughter loves it but mainly because she loves anything with a cat involved. She is only 2 so she can't quite use what she learns on her own but she watches intently and has me to help her. The handwashing part has been useful though for sure! - 8/25/2009   8:24:06 AM
  • 26
    Never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing! - 8/25/2009   8:20:37 AM
  • 25
    I've seen it come on and off. It doesn't keep my sons interest. But after reading your review, it sounds worth watching with them. Thank you for the review. - 8/25/2009   7:50:27 AM
    I didn't know about this show, i am always trying to find educational shows for my granddaughter to watch. It sounds like a show that she will love, and making the recipes together should also be a lot of fun. - 8/25/2009   7:12:09 AM
  • 23
    It is about time someone decided to package sound advice the way they do sugery cereals and other snacks that are bad for kids. - 8/25/2009   6:50:54 AM
  • 22
    I haven't seen it but I will tell my daughter about it. I'm sure they both would like it and I will look for it on my Disney channel to see what its like. - 8/25/2009   6:50:12 AM
  • 21
    This sounds like fun! Thanks to those who posted that their younger kids enjoy it, too! We'll be looking for Zefronk today. - 8/25/2009   5:54:08 AM
    Sounds like a great show - 8/24/2009   11:36:14 PM
  • 19
    That is really cool that you read this and you were able to learn a lil bit more about your kids sister as well. I have lil ones and i had no idea what you were talking about at first, but my nephew new. Have a blessed day and ty so much for sharing this with us. - 8/24/2009   10:18:04 PM
  • 18
    My grandson told me about this show and we watched it together. It is a neat show! - 8/24/2009   10:12:01 PM
  • 17
    My son will be 3 in November and my daughter will be 5 in Feb. and they both love Zefronk! Thanks for bringing it to Sparkpeople:) - 8/24/2009   10:10:30 PM
  • 16
    My boys (3 1/2 and 15 months) both love Playhouse Disney including Zefronk. It's one of the few channels that I allow on while the kids are around. My oldest son loves the Imagination Movers the most. Most of the shows on that channel have positive, healthy messages. - 8/24/2009   9:52:13 PM
  • 15
    Awesome website!! I am going to share this with my friends who have kids of the right age to enjoy these activities. Thanks - 8/24/2009   9:38:44 PM

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