By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Families bond over food; some gender stereotyping.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series presents food/food preparation as a way to pass down family tradition and bring families together. But It also perpetuates the stereotype that cooking is done primarily by women and that these traditions are only passed down from mother to daughter.
Violence & Scariness
One impressed family member playfully says that the food "makes you want to slap your granny."
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Products & Purchases
Supermarkets like Kroger and various food brands like Martha White Corn Meal and White Lilly Flour are sometimes prominently visible.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some recipes contain alcohol. Alcohol (mostly wine) is consumed at meals.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this heartfelt reality cooking series, in which mothers teach their daughters to prepare family favorites, looks at food and meal preparation as a way to keep generations connected and create strong bonds between mothers and daughters. That said, it also supports gender stereotypes about cooking being a woman's responsibility. Some recipes contain alcohol, and some families drink wine at mealtime. Supermarket logos (like Kroger) and various food brands (like Martha White) are visible.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
MOM'S COOKING is a heartwarming show in which mothers teach their daughters how to make some of their signature dishes and favorite holiday meals. In each episode, an unsuspecting mom is taken by surprise when her daughter, along with host Joe Corsano and a camera crew, arrives at her doorstep for a cooking lesson. After shopping for ingredients, the featured mom teaches her daughter to cook three different dishes. As they work, they exchange childhood memories and other stories connected to the food they're preparing. And when everything is ready, other family members are invited to dig in and savor the meal.
Is It Any Good?
The series highlights cooking as a way for generations of family members to connect with one another. It also emphasizes the way that cooking can help mothers bond with their daughters, even after they've reached adulthood and have children of their own. But by focusing just on mothers and daughters in the kitchen, Mom's Cooking supports the the idea that cooking is a "woman's job." It also ignores the fact that sons can benefit from sharing a similar experience with their moms (or dads!), and that all kids can benefit from preparing meals with their parents, regardless of gender. While these messages can be problematic, the show's overall focus on family and tradition is positive. Young tweens may not be particularly drawn to the show, but older viewers may find the recipes, if not the stories, interesting.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether shows like this one can actually help people improve their cooking skills. Are meals prepared on cooking shows as difficult or simple to make as they seem on t.v.? Are there any recipes and/or cooking techniques that surprise you?
Are there foods you eat that are different from other families around you? Do you have specific meals that you eat on special occasions, like birthdays or holidays?
- Premiere date: December 1, 2008
- Cast: Joe Corsano
- Network: Lifetime Television
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
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.
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