These kids have discovered the joys of cooking early, and never is it more evident than in this lockdown.
Antonio Francesco Babao
Ten-year-old Antonio Francesco “Nio” Babao fell in love with cooking when his mom, Christine Bersola-Babao, taught him how to make pancakes.
Since then, Nio has been experimenting in the kitchen. “Aside from my mom, I am self-taught. I practice a lot. Even in the middle of the night, I cook eggs! And I watch fun cartoons that teach me how to cook.”
He loves making sandwiches and eggs with cheese and ketchup. He also loves making French toast with chia seeds for his mom. He serves it with cappuccino that he also makes.
Nio enjoys cooking for his mom and dad and everyone else in their house. He even baked coffee cake for his parents’ wedding anniversary.
His mom, who posts videos of him in the kitchen, calls him her “little cook.”
“I’m making your breakfast,” Nio says in one video as he made an omelet for his mom. “The secret ingredient . . . love.”
You can watch Nio’s cooking videos on his YouTube channel Nio Babao’s World.
We asked Nio what he loves about cooking. “The smell and taste. To do something with my time in between playing Roblox and creating digital drawings.”
He wants to learn how to make spaghetti and tacos next.
Five-year-old Danielle Merano discovered her love of cooking when she was just three.
It shouldn’t be a surprise though. Her father Vanjo runs the popular Filipino food blog Panlasang Pinoy (panlasangpinoy.com) where he shares his recipes. His YouTube videos, where you see him cooking Filipino dishes and Asian food, has millions of views.
Danielle’s first dish? Lumpia, which she tried making with her sister as their parents patiently taught them in their Chicago home.
Her other favorites to cook are mac and cheese and spaghetti. “I also love to bake cookies.”
She’s looking forward to learning to make more dishes. “I want to learn how to make puto and cookies and cream popsicles.”
Who does she cook for? “My parents, my brother, and my sisters. I also let my dog Mallow try the food I cook. People say that my cooking is good. They think that the food that I prepare is delicious.”
Danielle loves spending time in the kitchen. “Cooking is always fun. I also love learning more about the different ingredients that I am using.”
It was the quarantine that led seven-year-old Aiden Lazaro, a soccer and baseball champ, to discover the joys of cooking. “It’s fun and I get to do it with and for my family.“
His mom Shelly and their household cook guide him in the kitchen. Aiden loves making mac and cheese, ramen and corn dogs. He wants to learn how to make sinigang next. “It’s my favorite Filipino dish!”
He enjoys cooking for his “mom, dad, lola, yaya and our helpers” and finds inspiration in cookbooks, Netflix shows, YouTube and even Tiktok videos.
What’s the best thing anyone said about his cooking? “That they can taste the love in my food.”