Mike and Alexandra Chau are the parents behind @FoodBabyNY, a popular foodie Instagram account that frequently features their children crammed into the shot, making faces or gesturing towards the food. The Instagram started when their son Matty was just a newborn, according to a short profile of the Chaus in the New Yorker; Matty was just “sixty-seven hours old” in that first shot, and Mike realized he was on to something.
The food was a fun accessory to the baby—or was it the other way around? “I thought, Oh, this is interesting,” Mike said.
As their family has grown, so has @FoodBabyNY; the Chaus now have three kids (the youngest, Nicky, is just a few months old), and their Instagram has over 300,000 followers. Photographing your kids next to food seems to be big business (the Chaus have done paid partnerships with American Express and Kellogg’s, curated a food festival, and held their gender reveal party at a trendy Lower East Side bakery).
But it also opens the door to commenters who accuse the Chaus of bad parenting. To them, Mike says the obvious: his kids don’t eat all the stuff:
Inevitably, there was backlash: after Sammy was shown shredding an enormous leg of turkey at Disneyland, a commenter complained, “You’re literally giving SHIT to your kid.” Mike later said, “Just because the kids are next to the food doesn’t mean they’re eating all of it.”
Several @FoodBabyNY posts include literal newborns next to solid foods they can’t yet eat, so that makes sense! Still, as the New Yorker’s profile hints, the question of what happens to @FoodBabyNY when those babies grow up remains open. Will they resent it, carry it forward, or simply not care because there will be a mass exodus from Instagram in the next 20 years? Unclear, but whatever they feel, maybe they’ll get a book deal out of it.