30 Minute Meals

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
30 Minute Meals TV Poster Image
Ubiquitous Ray teaches basics. OK for young chefs.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Ray enjoys what she does -- teaching about preparing and cooking food for others. She frequently speaks nicely about her friends, family, husband, and dog.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Very mild innuendo. Ray occasionally talks about a meal being great for date night.


Nothing to worry about. The worst are phrases like "if you screw up" and "my mom will kill me."


Ray is everywhere, and she's becoming a brand to rival Martha Stewart -- cooking supplies, cookbooks, magazines, boxes of crackers, more TV shows.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Ray will recommend wines to drink with meals. She's sometimes seen drinking while she eats her cooked meal at the end of the show.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this foodie show is targeted at adults, kids who like to cook will pick up some basic instruction and exposure to different foods. Because the show is about preparing, cooking, and serving a meal within a short time span, the meals are relatively simple and easy (another kid-appeal factor). Perky hostess Rachael Ray is swiftly developing a brand awareness to rival Martha Stewart's; once they're familiar with Ray, your kids will see her everywhere -- cookbooks, magazines, even on the back of a box of crackers. She's very lively, chatting with viewers (sometimes about preparing a great "date night" meal or how to get through to the person you love through the kitchen) but not always touching on the health aspects of meal preparation.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHahurm April 19, 2019

Super annoying

This new version of 30 minute meals is terrible. Rachael Ray always seems angry and condescending. She treats the audience as if they are stupid.
Adult Written bypoor a. March 17, 2018


im at my friends house most of the time cause my parents arent home and me and her just throw the food away its sooooo nasty we try a few bites and then we thro... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

Curse you Racheal Ray!!!

As far as I can remember, every Racheal Ray recipe my mother has ever made has been disgusting! There was even one incident with something we call "The Loa... Continue reading

What's the story?

With 30 MINUTE MEALS, the now-famous Rachael Ray proved herself to be the Martha Stewart for busy adults who want good food but have little time or energy to cook. Her spin is to take traditional dishes and re-invent them, which can be a hit-or-miss concept for kids. Her tendency to act like a big kid in the kitchen -- with lots of exclamations of \"yum-o\" or \"this is awesome!\" -- has made her popular among school-aged kids interested in cooking. She likes working with kids and occasionally includes them in the show.

Is it any good?

Although Ray sometimes says things like "And if you screw up..." or "Make this on date night and watch out," overall her vocabulary is relatively tame. Her energy level is contagious to kids, and her basic instructions may encourage younger viewers to want to help in the kitchen and/or eat more adventuresome meals.

She's been called a "bobble head" by famed chef and critic Anthony Bourdain, and Ray's perky style of performing while teaching cooking is a big turn-off to many. She also has her own vocabulary, which kids may need translated: "EVOO" (extra virgin olive oil), "figure-friendly food," "sammy" (sandwich), "stoup" (soup/stew), and others. But while Ray may be annoyingly perky and too conspicuous as a brand to win skeptical parents over, she clearly enjoys what she does and may give kids some fun insight into cooking. And who knows? You might get a home-cooked meal to boot.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different meal ingredients and their origins throughout the world. Which ones are healthy? Which should you avoid? Parents should also address kitchen safety -- using sharp instruments, cooking on a stove top, using an oven, etc. If kids are interested in cooking, this is a great opportunity to whip something up together from start (meal planning) to finish (chowing down).

TV details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate