Bee is a cookbook author, recipe developer and also runs the largest Asian recipe website with over 750 delicious recipes and mouthwatering food photography. She strives to teach her 4 year old son to be multi-lingual in Asian languages such as Mandarin Chinese. She understands that the fastest way to immerse into a new culture and language is through its food and travel. We invited Bee to chat with us about raising her future global citizen.
Why is it so important to you to raise a globally-minded child?
I think it’s very important to raise a child who is sensitive not only to his home turf but also aware and feel invested in global affairs. It’s a great way to expand and widen their perspectives, world views and experiences.
Every year, I make sure that I take my son back to Asia for cultural and language immersion. It’s extremely important to me as a parent because I want him to grow up as a global citizen, one who embraces his roots and cultural origins, more importantly, to immerse himself in the Asian languages, cuisines, and rich cultures.
What has been your favorite meals with your son?
I’ve taken my son to Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand. My son loves checking out local markets and restaurants (which are very different from the establishments in the US). He loves going to kopitiam (open-air coffee shop or hawker center) in Malaysia where he can choose his favorite snacks such as chicken satay and roti jala (lacy pancakes).
What has been the biggest struggle traveling internationally (with your son)?
The first year I took my son to Asia, he was having stomach problems because he needed to adjust to the local water and food. However, he got over it in a few days and had an incredible time.
What do you feel has been the biggest benefit to traveling for your son?
He had the opportunity to see the family- to get to know his aunts, uncles, and to also play with the cousins. He also has the opportunity to learn new things. Every single thing he sees and encounters is a new learning experience for him, and it’s great.
What is the best advice to give fellow parents who want travel internationally with children?
Step out of your comfort zone and expose your children to different environments around the world, that’s the best way to teach them about adaptability. There will be challenges at first: food, climate, culture, language, etc., but soon they will adapt and start learning.
Start your global eating adventure today with Bee’s recipes. Be sure to check out her cookbook that makes cooking Chinese food super easy!