Rocio: Guava Kitchen sounds like a fun, unique and (“Delicious”!) initiative. What is the inspiration behind such a creative project?
Ixiana: Thank you so much! Guava Kitchen was inspired by our love for family, food, and
wellness, and the desire to celebrate the connection between those things. Viviana and I were born and raised in Puerto Rico and Antigua, both small but mighty islands where food is at the center of every gathering. We learned to cook with our abuelas, we picked fruit with our siblings, and we sat at the table for dinner to share traditions, joy, and of course, food. We have noticed that now food preparation has taken a backseat to family life and we believe it’s time to bring families back into the kitchen to learn, share, grow, and create
connections with food. Teaching children to cook and the value of a good healthy meal is key to their wellbeing.
Rocio: Every parent knows that getting their child to eat a healthy nutritious meal is a great challenge. How can Guava Kitchen help parents achieve success in getting their child to eat well?
Ixiana: Sometimes children will oppose what they are not familiar with. One way to get them interested in foods is to present it to them frequently and in a loving, fun setting. Children also love to learn. I have noticed this first hand with my 3 boys. Encouraging them to partake in meal preparation, to use their creativity and voice, to taste things with parents, to know the nutritional value of what they are eating, and to have fun while cooking. These are all things that can make a meal more enticing to children. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to create healthful habits that will last a lifetime.
Rocio: Why does the Guava fruit appear in your logo? Is it because it is associated with Latin American cuisine?
Ixiana: Absolutely. Guava is one of our favorite fruits, which is native to the Caribbean, Central and South America. It was one of those fruits we could pick ourselves and it was such a treat when the guava tree bloomed. We want to honor that love for food that comes from culture, and good memories. It cements our mission of helping children create a strong and loving relationship with food.
Rocio: Tell us more about all the activities GK offers, including the kids cooking classes.
Ixiana: We are so excited to offer virtual one-on-one, group, and free community classes. We do the community classes once a month and anybody can sign up for them completely free of charge. During these classes we teach how to prepare a recipe, we share nutrition and kitchen tips, and we create conversation while answering kid’s questions about the meals they are preparing. Participants also receive a printable packet with the ingredients, nutrition facts, recipe, and a letter from chef.
We have also created an intro box that contains 5 recipes, nutrition facts, an apron, and other goodies kids will love. This makes a great gift for little chefs.
All these are suitable for kids between 6-12 and require some adult participation, or as we like to call them, “sous-chefs” 🙂