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How Mariel Padilla makes her kids eat veggies

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 05, 2021 5:00 am

When Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla was just starting in show business, she struck me as friendly, fun and adorably sweet on and off camera. I knew that, one day, she would be a perfect, doting mother. 

A mere scroll of her Instagram account proved that. Mariel enjoys bonding with her two pretty daughters Isabella and Gabriela. She is definitely one hands-on mom. 

In her IG posts, Mariel shares how she meticulously prepares meals for her family. In fact, her husband Robin Padilla proudly commented: “That’s my wife, hands-on.”

Mariel also has a YouTube channel with a million subscribers and nearly 51.5 million views. 

“My vlog revolves around showing what it feels like to be a mom and how exciting and overwhelming it is. I love surprises and being hands-on with what I love and like to do. I hope through my channel I can inspire moms, soon-to-be moms, daddies, and women who value the importance of taking really good care of themselves and their families,” Mariel explained.

Since the start of the pandemic, Mariel and her family enjoy their time at home together. She and Robin would come up with fun activities their kids love like camping, having picnics in their backyard and cooking together. However, she is itching to take a family vacation soon.

PHILIPPINE STAR: Do you plan the meals of your family? How do you ensure a balanced meal, especially for your kids? 

MARIEL PADILLA: Yes. I cook for my family. What I do is I always have soupy dishes — my daughters’ love — with lots of veggies like sinigang. It could be sinigang sa sampaloc, bayabas or miso. So even if we’re having fried chicken or fish, there’s always soup or veggies to go with it. I also let them eat lots of fruits. 

 Fun-loving Mariel doesn’t want her daughters to miss out on life so much, even during the pandemic.

The recommendation is five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Any tips on how mothers can make their kids love vegetables? 

You have to eat veggies, too. Teach by example. Don’t force them to do it. If your kids see that you also enjoy eating vegetables, then they’ll think it’s a normal part of life. (Laughs) 

In a video post on Instagram, Isabella was feeding Robin fork after fork of salad greens, telling him it is good for him. So, your strategy is working. When it comes to ensuring your daughters’ nutrition needs, what do you think is the most challenging? 

My Isabella is a picky eater. She will not try new dishes. Only the food she knows already. So, the challenge is to look for a way of enticing her to try new food items. 

Do you require them to take their vitamins or supplements? 

When I stopped breastfeeding, their pediatrician advised me to give the girls vitamin C and multivitamins. So, I complied. 

 They go on picnics on the front lawn, have a small campfire to toast marshmallows in the garage

Mariel admitted in a post that she was not big on vitamins when she was younger but that her views about it changed. 

“I want to get all the vitamins I can get daily. I want to be strong, healthy and have a good immune system. So, my own vitamin routine now consists of Health Fusion MultiVites gummies (apple cider and mangosteen tea),” shared Mariel, who admitted that the gummies belong to her daughters. “But they’re yummy.” 

Mariel added that Robin gifted her with more vitamins last Mother’s Day, which she also takes. “OA na kung OA. Basta gusto ko healthy,” she added. 

Intrigued, my daughters and I tried the gummies and, true enough, it’s like taking a sweet treat. 

Health Fusion was established in 2017 and pioneered the gummy vitamins in the country. Despite the sweetness, it has a low-sugar content. They are also pectin gummies from the orange plant, so there’s no gelatin.

Nutrition, indeed, is fundamental in keeping one’s household healthy. But in the Padilla home, the warmth of a mother’s love, the loving support of a devoted wife, the generosity of an employer, the laughter and fun memories keep the spirit sufficiently nourished as well.