Ever since we first heard about Michelle Obama’s new Netflix show for kids, Waffles + Mochi, we have been counting down the days until its March 16 debut. With inspirational first lady Obama hosting, and adorable puppets taking us on their travel- and food-fueled adventures, as well as cameos from some of our favorite personalities and chefs (all hail José Andrés), we had a good feeling about this one.
The show’s premise is based on two best pals, Waffles and Mochi, who are hired by supermarket owner Obama to find fresh ingredients throughout the world. Each episode is based on a particular food or spice such as tomatoes, salt, pickles, and potatoes. Waffles and Mochi travel the world to meet with a smorgasbord of kids, cooks, and celebs (Jack Black, Rashida Jones, Tan France, and Zach Galifianakis all make appearances) to learn more about the foods they’re discovering. There is plenty of singing and music and some great animated scenes as well to keep things interesting and varied for the wee ones.
We love that the show is clearly seeking to inspire kids to learn more about international cuisine and cultures, which is very much in line with the AFAR ethos of exploring and embracing customs and traditions throughout the world, particularly through one of our favorite lenses—food. It was clear that the AFAR adults were going to be onboard. But what about kids? No matter how much promise the show has, it ultimately needs to resonate with younger audiences.
So, we asked the next generation of global stewards (aka our kids, nieces, nephews, and neighbors) what they really thought of Waffles + Mochi. They didn’t hold back.
Niko, age 4 (son of AFAR’s travel news editor Michelle Baran)
1 star (if that)
What did you like about the show? “Nothing.”
What did you not like about the show? “That it’s just about food.”
Would you recommend it to your friends? “No.”
Willa, age 6 (daughter of AFAR’s editor in chief Julia Cosgrove)
What did you like about the show? “Thumbs up and thumbs up and a happy face. We only watched three episodes. The first one was about tomatoes. We learned they are fruit! The second one was all about salt and it was so funny. They were eating chocolate-chip cookies but they put the whole salt container in the cookies! They were too salty so they went on their magic car. The third one was about potatoes. So you know how potatoes look like rocks? They’re not! Some potatoes have a color in the middle. You make a dirt fire and then you roast the potatoes and then they’re cool. One more thing about a potato: It can be a battery!”
Caden, age 7 (friend of AFAR senior editor Aislyn Greene)
What did you like about the show? “I thought it was funny, cute, and educational. They show you it’s OK to ask for help and things take time. They show you how foods are made, different cultures, and how salt is made. Time machines don’t work.”
What did you not like about the show? “There wasn’t anything I didn’t really like. I liked it all.”
Would you recommend it to your friends? “Yes! People who like comedy, learning things, gardening, cooking, and traveling to space will like this show.”
Jonathan, age 5 (nephew of AFAR’s destination news editor Lyndsey Matthews)
What did you like about the show? “It’s good! We learned about how many things we can use with the food and how many things we can make with the food. I liked it because we learned a lot, like about potatoes and tomatoes—the chef told us tomatoes are a fruit and they are also a vegetable, because they can be used in pizza!”
What did you not like about the show? “I just don’t like when they talk about the vegetables on the show, because I don’t like to eat vegetables and I don’t like how they taste.”
Would you recommend it to your friends? “Yes! I would.”
Kylie, age 10 (friend of AFAR senior editor Aislyn Greene)
5 (enthusiastic) stars
What did you like about the show? “I liked that it was super funny, had songs and dances, and that they traveled all over the world and to space. I liked seeing different cultures, ways of life, and ways to cook food. Michelle Obama is super inspiring and I liked seeing her on the show. The puppets were sweet and funny. Mochi is adorable—he’s my favorite.”
What did you not like about the show? “Looking at the delicious food being prepared made me hungry.”
Would you recommend it to your friends? “Yes! I think kids who like food, travel, and funny things would like it.”
Emma, age 6 (daughter of AFAR’s director of audience development Anni Cuccinello)
What did you like about the show? “I liked the talking bee, the magic car, Waffle’s waffle ears and how tiny Mochi was. It made me like fruits and vegetables more.”
What did you not like about the show? “Nothing.”
Would you recommend it to your friends? “Yes, they would like it.”