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Most parents struggle to get their kids to try new foods — not Mike Chau. Look up Chau’s popular Instagram account, @foodbabyny, and you’ll immediately see his two kids, 4-year-old Matty and 2-year-old Sammy, enjoying some of New York City’s boldest gourmet offerings — smoked meat poutine, activated charcoal spaghetti, and, yes, lots and lots of ice cream. Chau, who works full time as a software developer, didn’t necessarily start out on Instagram looking to be social-media famous; he combined his love for great food and his adorable family and the fans followed. A recent family outing in Queens revealed how @foodbabyny is as much about food as it is about successfully juggling fatherhood.
“Two years ago, my wife — whom I met in high school — myself, and my kids, Matty and Sammy moved back to my old neighborhood in Forest Hills, New York. All of our family is in New York, and that’s why we plan to stay for good. My childhood home is only five blocks away, my parents are right there. We are really lucky to have that.”
“We love our neighborhood, going to our usual spots, exploring new places. On this particular day, we went to Austin Park, which is the same park I went to as a kid.”
“At the park, [my kids] aren’t afraid to go up and talk to other kids. They have a higher level of social skills than you normally see at that age; they’re very outgoing.”
“After the park, we went to Nick’s Pizza, a local favorite that I have been going to since I was a kid.”
“Despite all the unhealthy things you see on our Instagram-feed, the kids do eat healthy.”
“People say, ‘You are giving your kid too much sugar.’ But it’s not like that at all. They’re around it so much that they don’t go crazy for it. They’ll see ice cream, take a lick, and then walk away and continue playing. They like something sweet or fun once in a while, but they don’t expect it every day.”
“My son is definitely becoming the boss; he’s a very vocal 3-year-old. My youngest just goes along for the ride and she enjoys following her brother around, doing whatever he does. But, I’m really proud of my son’s willingness to share with his sister and ensure she always has something. We’ll go into the toy store and he’ll say, ‘What about one for my little sister?’ It’s cool to see a three-year-old care so much for a younger sibling.”
“The Instagram account didn’t change what we normally do as a family. Before the account went viral, we still went out, went to the park, and enjoyed trying new things. On the ground level like that, it’s pretty much the same kinds of things we would normally do as a family. It’s all fun.”
“One of the things that we are known for is going out and trying all the new places. I do ultimately decide where we go, but we always try to find something the kids will like. And if for some reason they don’t like the food, we will end up finding something else. There’s always new places to explore and new food to try.”
“Any day can be a new adventure or discovery. We enjoy sharing our interests with the world, but the best part of exploring new places and trying new things is that we get to do it all together.”