Step into Bebeng's Kitchen: Meet the foodie mom behind the popular #Baonserye

"I love cooking for the people I love."

Denise Rayala loves food. It’s evident in her blog, which is laden with practical tips and relatable experiences, and her #Baonserye–a facebook album that’s been growing in popularity.

“I love cooking for the people I love. My husband is my number 1 fan; I knew I’m good enough. But when I became a mom, I doubted my self-taught culinary abilities,” Denise told theAsianparent.

This doubt proved to be unfounded, as her penchant for whipping up savory sidekicks and tasty treats soon evolved into a thriving homebased* business, called Bebeng’s Kitchen, which was established in 2012, right around the same time she started her successful blog, Royal Domesticity.

“I just found myself setting up a Blogger account in the corner of my office in 2012 after a tiring day of training 60 aspiring sales agents,” recounted the Marikina-Based mom. “I started my blog, formerly known as Bebengisms, when I was still working away from home as a Sales Training Specialist for a real estate company. I didn’t label myself as mom blogger yet. It just so happened that I’m a mom and that a large portion of my life is deeply involved in mothering my only child.”

She considers her blog not just a repository of thoughts and experiences but as a biography for her little girl, chronicling Sophia’s life as much as her own.

photo: Denise Rayala facebook

photo: Denise Rayala facebook

For Denise, having a passion for good food goes hand in hand with raising her daughter well, so it’s only natural that she’d want to instil a love for food in her daughter as well.

But getting her only daughter to eat healthier, who’s turning 8 this year, was not always easy.

“The struggle was real! My daughter was three when she only ate adobo or nuggets or cereals. It was exaggeratedly challenging. Fast forward to today that she’ll be turning 8 next month, she now eats almost anything I serve her,” she beams.

She credits her success to her resilience when it came to introducing a variety of dishes to her little girl.

“My acting skills helped, too. Yup, parents got to have Hi-5 kind of theatrics to feed kids!,” she told theAsianparent with a laugh.

Learn more about Denise’s well-received #Baonserye on the next page

Knowing that loving comes from truly immersing oneself, Denise allowed her daughter “get the real experience of appreciating food and its process” by taking her on trips to the market where she would allow Sophia to choose her favorite fruits; she also encouraged her daughter to be more involved in preparing their family’s meals.

“Family dinners at home are our most favorite time of the day. Before, I was just cooking with my skills but now, I’m cooking with my heart.”

photo: Royal Domesticity

photo: Royal Domesticity

“I involved her in the kitchen, even preparing the simplest scrambled egg,” recounts the hands-on mom, who is left with her daughter most of the time because her husband is in the military.

Good food isn’t the only thing she looks forward to during dinnertime because this is also when “real conversations” take place. “Family dinners at home are our most favorite time of the day,” gushed the devoted mom. “Before, I was just cooking with my skills but now, I’m cooking with my heart.”

Denise offers tips to create your own Baonserye on the next page

Though she started her popular #Baonserye only recently, she started getting creative about serving her daughter’s meals even when she was a toddler.

“Yo Gabba Gabba’s “Party in Your Tummy” song/segment helped during her toddler years. I also made the veggies talk to her or have her plate looked like a piece of art so she would eat them,” said the resourceful mom. “I enjoyed it even if other moms think that it’s hard work. Maybe that’s why making #baonserye was more fun than a chore to me!”

“Making your kids’ packed food for school doesn’t just mean you have the money and time and skills for such. It means that you care for their health and happiness above all.”

 

“Making your kids’ packed food for school doesn’t just mean you have the money and time and skills for such. It means that you care for their health and happiness above all,” emphasized Denise. “Feeding them well-balanced meals plays a vital role in their studies. Isn’t it that empty stomach makes the kids weak, thus leads to poor performance in school? The visual appeal of the dish is just a bonus!”

Follow Denise’s #BaonSerye, which she updates regularly, on facebook here.

Life hacks for parents: Tips for your kid’s baon

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