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 this educational series -- which examines how popular food items are made -- references plenty of familiar brand names, from Cocoa Puffs to Kool Aid, that are part of American popular culture. While the series is a fine choice for kids who are curious about how things are made, this subtle brand promotion often highlights the animated characters (like Tony the Tiger) associated with these products. Also, given the show's focus on "goodies" like cookies and candy, watching could leave kids craving stuff you'd rather they didn't.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
UNWRAPPED is a fun, informative series that goes behind the scenes to reveal how classic American food favorites are made. Hosted by Marc Summers, the show explores the factories and kitchens that turn out some of the nation's favorite candies, cookies, and other packaged goodies. Though careful not to reveal recipe secrets, manufacturing representatives explain what goes into their products. From potato chips to popsicles, viewers watch as ingredients are mixed and foods are frozen, cooked, cooled, wrapped, and boxed. Often, the history behind the product is also touched on, explaining how these foods have become part of American popular culture.
Is it any good?
Unwrapped is fun way to learn about how popular snacks are made. But because the show focuses on specific product brands -- and includes enthusiastic endorsements by company reps and die-hard collectors -- it sometimes sounds a bit like an infomercial. Still, the simple explanations give viewers young and old a chance to learn about what goes into some of the foods they love the best. (Just be sure to have some healthy snacks on hand for when you're done watching and have the urge to nibble...).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media can sometimes blur the lines between educating the public about something and promoting it. How can shows avoid endorsing products and services that they want to inform viewers about? Does seeing a product on TV make you more likely to want it? What's the downside of eating too much of the types of foods and other products profiled on this show? Families can also discuss some of their favorite classic foods. What things do you like to eat that make you wonder how it was made?
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