NEW YORK - Mike Chau has figured out the key to success on social media and it involves adorable kids and lots of really good food.
Chau, a Queens native, turned his hobby of posting photos to social media into an incredibly successful Instagram account, @foodbabyny.
Whether you come for the cute kids or tips for new restaurants to try across the city, you aren't alone. The account has nearly 240,000 followers and counting.
It's a lot of work to maintain such a popular social media account when you actually have a full time job during the week.
"It's definitely a lot of work, but it's something I'm passionate about and I enjoy, so it doesn't feel like it's work even though it does take up a good amount of my free time," Chau said.
One way to make it all more fun? Add some cute kids to the mix. While the Instagram account highlights dishes from all over the city, the stars of the account are Chau's kids, 4-year-old Matty and nearly 2-year-old Sammy.
While Chau doesn't take the kids everywhere he goes during the week, the whole family takes advantage of their downtime together.
"I love being with them, it's a lot more fun on the weekends when we're all together as a family," Chau said.
Despite the drool-worthy treats posted on the account, Chau's family is able to maintain more balance in their diet than what is pictured. He tries to go to the gym every day and his kids actually prefer to eat fruit and vegetables over ice cream and dessert.
So how does Chau keep his account full of content and his belly full of good food? He likes to check out popular food blogs, but a lot of the food he decides to try is what he hears about through word of mouth or discovers on Instagram.
Always on his radar? Monthly specials at some of his favorite spots.
Looking for new places to checkout? You might be interested in Neighborhood Treats.
We went along with Chau as he got to taste a few November specials and collaborations downtown.
-Mimi Cheng's: The Thanksgiving dinner dumpling is made of turkey, gravey, stuffing and cranberry dipping sauce on the side.
-Oddfellows Ice Cream: Cherry cheesecake and pumpkin s'mores are some of the new November flavors as part of their passport program.
-Black Seed Bagels: The Baogel is a collaboration with Nom Wah Tea Parlor featuring pork belly stuffed in a bagel.
-Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken: The Chicken Gobbler Sandwich is fried chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce.
-Sweetgreen: The new Tiger Bowl is a collaboration with Mission Chinese Food.
As the @foodbabyny account grows in popularity, Chau says the most surprising part of it all is how excited people on the street get when they see his kids.
So what will happen when Chau's food babies are no longer babies? He jokes that he made his wife promise to have a baby every two years for the next 20 to keep the account running smoothly.
"The plan before Instagram or anything like that was always to have three kids," Chau said. "So one more and we'll keep it going for a little bit longer and we'll see what happens after that."
You can keep up with Chau and get a peek behind the scenes by following his personal account, @mikejchau.