A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jamie's 15 Minute Meals is a cooking show aimed at adults, but it's perfectly fine for kids and families. Expect an occasional "damn," plus the possibility of alcohol being used as an ingredient in a meal, but other than that the primary concern might be Jamie Oliver's ubiquity -- he has several TV shows, cookbooks, and various causes to shill, particularly the cookbook of the same name as this show. That said, his main platform is bringing healthier food to kids and families. Since Chef Oliver is a dad and frequently mentions what his wife and children enjoy cooking and eating, kids may feel particularly drawn to his television persona and may be inspired to try out some of his kitchen tricks.
What's the story?
Health-conscious chef Jamie Oliver would like to inspire families to ditch the drive-in and instead cook meals at home that are quick, balanced, and tasty. On JAMIE'S 15 MINUTE MEALS, each complete meal such as British burgers with cabbage slaw or chicken tikka masala with steamed rice and condiments takes only 15 minutes from the time the ingredients hit the counter to when they land on the table. Oliver combines pantry staples such as spices and pickles to jazz up quick-cooking vegetables and proteins in dishes that take their inspiration from family dinners popular all around the world.
Is it any good?
Dinner is crunch time for many families, when a whole bunch of tired people pile into the kitchen and wonder: What's for dinner? Every. Single. Day. So a show like Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals holds appeal for parents, teens, and tweens alike. Oliver delivers on his promise of delicious (-looking) food that's ready in 15 minutes or less, talking all the while in an open, cheerful way as he flips over his lamb kofta or jams a raw wedge of cabbage into the food processor.
Of course, parents may want to point out that even though the meals may take 15 minutes to cook, those pork loins and olives had to be bought, carried home, put away, and incorporated into a meal plan before they were cooked. Then, once the meal is cooked and everyone has eaten, cleanup takes even longer. Still, families may be interested in trying out some of Oliver's innovative dishes, and kids may feel more confident tackling new foods and flavors thanks to his example.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Jamie Oliver and what they've heard about him. Do you know anything about Oliver? Have you read about his efforts to make school lunches more healthy? Given his background, does his work on Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals make sense?
There are other shows that make quick meals: 30 Minute Meals, for example. Oliver's meals take 15 minutes to make, right? How long do you think it takes to shop for and prepare the ingredients for us? How long to clean up afterwards?
Do you think Jamie Oliver's children would eat all the dishes their father makes? Why, or why not?
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