Finally! An Entertaining Kids Show with a Healthy Focus!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  64 comments   :  15,789 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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    I didn't know of this cartoon but I will be sure to have my sons watch it. It's never too soon to learn of healthier eating habits!!! - 8/24/2009   9:37:44 PM
    This sounds great! I'm going to Tivo it for my kids - ages 5 and 3. - 8/24/2009   8:56:41 PM
    Thats awesome, I dont have kids but maybe I can get my boyfriends lil bro in to this. Hes a bit over weight and always begs for unhealthy snacks, maybe I can find a recipy and take it to him so he can make stuff on his own :) Hes nine so its the time he learns how to live healthy :) - 8/24/2009   8:35:02 PM
  • 11
    Our son doesn't watch a lot of TV so I don't know if this show is even available in Canada. Sounds like a good one though. - 8/24/2009   8:16:25 PM
    This looks really fun for them! I'm always looking for fun places that my DGD's can learn and have fun with. Thank you for sharing! - 8/24/2009   8:16:08 PM
  • 9
    I don't have children, but I really like what this show sounds like. I wonder if it is also on in Canada. I did just go to the website, and it is great. I agree that all of the recipes are easy and fun, so kids are likely to enjoy the healthy food too. - 8/24/2009   8:12:35 PM
  • 8
    I love this blog. I have not seen the show but as a teacher I am so glad this show is popular. I hope it catches on with the networks and encourages them to put shows on TV that teach positive messages. Michelle, you did an awesome job writing this blog. Very entertaining. I plan to ask my students if they have heard of Zafronk and Dom. I ordered free materials from the USDA to teach children and their parents about eating healthy. You can order them over the internet. - 8/24/2009   7:25:42 PM
  • 7
    My son is to young (18 months) to really understand what is going on with tv in general, but he does like to watch this one. We even made a banana hot dog for breakfast after seeing it on the show! - 8/24/2009   7:18:18 PM
    I just set the DVR. Can't wait to see how the kids respond to it! - 8/24/2009   6:58:16 PM
  • 5
    This is awesome! I haven't heard of this show before, but I am definately going to look it up! My children would LOVE this! :D Thanks for sharing!!! - 8/24/2009   6:56:57 PM
  • 4
    This is so good - I wish it was on the UK channels. I don't know if it's on the SKY pay to view channels, but to the best of my knowlege it's not on Freeview.

    TV is often so violent and destructive, but this is great, targeting good dietry habits at just the age they should be. Hopefully it will lead to less 'pester power' in the supermarkets for the high sodium and sugar snacks.

    - 8/24/2009   6:31:40 PM
  • 3
    there was another show, and I am not sure if it is still on, with a child named Carols (I think it was the adventures of captian carlos) and they had a little sister on the show that had this little diddy about junk foods and he would have to choose which was the healthy snack to eat and then it explained WHY that was a good choice. it was great!!!

    check it out here -
    - 8/24/2009   6:20:07 PM
  • 2
    This great! I wish they had some curriculum. I am leading a weight loss group in a town where the Diabetes 2 rate is soaring. I have asked if they would hire me to go in the schools. I already have been in the middle/high schools teaching abstinence. Thanks for the info, I didn't know about this since I am past the age of children in the home, except visiting grandchildren! - 8/24/2009   6:01:32 PM

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