A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Content is informative and entertaining, but not intended to be an educational resource. Audiences can learn some cooking tips through Ben's experiences. Adult supervision may be necessary for younger listeners who want to try out Ben's recipes.
Positive messages around goal-setting and curiosity. Emphasis on trying out something new and following it through to the end. Challenges are faced with resilience, humility, and recognition that even when things don't work out as expected there is a lesson to learn and a new skill to gain in simply trying. A message common to all episodes is that it's all about learning.
Positive Role Models
Ben models perseverance and humility as he dives into new challenges with an open mind and friendly sense of humor. He faces some unexpected difficulties as he tries out new recipes and cooking techniques, sometimes due to a lack of planning ahead. A passion for learning to cook and a willingness to be vulnerable and troubleshoot when things don't go as expected is demonstrated throughout.
Violence & Scariness
Episodes may include minor kitchen mishaps. In one, Ben accidentally cuts his fingers with a knife. Though it's a minor injury from which he returns to finish the episode, Ben's co-host jokes that he had his hand amputated at the ER. The sarcasm may not be understood by younger listeners.
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Infrequent use of words "crap," "crappy," and "frickin'."
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Products & Purchases
An embedded ad for the show's sponsor, Anchor, is present at the beginning of each show. Ads are appropriate and relevant to target audience. Occasional shout-outs to people who have donated money to support his podcast.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cooking with Ben is an entertaining cooking podcast that demonstrates lots of learning curves and growth opportunities for its young host, Ben Pfaller. Ben shows curiosity, humility, and perseverance throughout his podcast, frequently emphasizing his acceptance of failures or challenges with comments like, "It's OK. We're just learning here." The fact that Ben has a minor mishap with a knife gives parents opportunities to talk about kitchen safety and when adult supervision is needed, especially with younger listeners. He also occasionally expresses surprise or disappointment with use of the words "crap," "crappy," and "frickin'," and occasionally gives a shout-out to listeners who have donated money to support his podcast. If you enjoy the spirit of learning on the fly, you may just pick up some helpful tips from Ben (like how much force is too much when cracking eggs).
Is It Any Good?
In Cooking with Ben, Ben explains in his first episode that he has been curious about learning many new skills since the start of the pandemic, including cooking. Though he has little culinary experience, he is long on enthusiasm and humility, determined to finish what he starts in every episode (and eat it). Ben has a genuine friendliness and confidence in his voice that is inviting and relatable. Kids and parents will enjoy Ben's sense of humor, as well as his honesty when pointing out when something has gone wrong while attempting to correct the problem. He is humble without being self-deprecating, which is an important lesson for both the young and the old.
Though Ben's shows become more organized and detailed as he gains experience, his unfortunate lack of preparedness, explanation, and definition of cooking terminology would make it difficult for a listener to duplicate his dish. Ben is charming and determined to make his recipes work, but the title of the podcast, Cooking with Ben, is a little misleading; Ben is cooking and his audience is hearing about his experience. There is not much guidance for the novice, and there are no precautionary warnings for the young.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.