This mom believes that healthy eating should be the norm

By Angela Casco

The first 1,000 days of a baby’s life is the most crucial period of growth and development. It is often called the “golden window of opportunity” or the perfect time to prevent stunting due to undernutrition.

It’s a fight that Corner Tree Cafe owner Chiqui Mabanta identifies with, as she is caring for an infant herself. Moms and Babies met her at the launch of the Restaurants Against Hunger campaign, a fundraising initiative that involves restaurateurs. Her vegetarian/vegan cafe is joining the campaign’s run this year. The event marks her third straight year as a participating restaurant.

Tips for parents

While Mabanta never gave birth to kids herself, she is currently fostering an 18-month-old baby named Ghera. She says her mindset taking on this duty is to “do things the right way.” By that, she means going—as she likes to put it—as “hippie” as possible.

“I suggest delaying gadget use as much as possible. Just zero phone or television so that they stay curious about the world,” she says. Letting kids listen to music is just as important as delaying toxic, processed food.

If you think your kids are smart when they start reading or writing at an early age, Mabanta begs to differ. “Crowding your kids with too much information stunts their creativity,” she explains. “Save it for later. They’ll know all of it anyway.”

Why go “hippie”

Mabanta shares that every time she brings Ghera to the hospital for regular check-ups,

Kristelle Bechayda