MEET OUR CHOPCHOP KIDS ADVISORY BOARD: Mareesa Ahmad 

We’re excited to introduce our ChopChop Kids Advisory Board (KAB). This group of cool kids was hand selected from kids that applied. They’ll help us to test recipes, think of new ideas for the magazine, and make sure ChopChop gets the kid approval. For the next few weeks we’ll be spotlighting different members of the board. This week, meet Mareesa!

Mareesa has her own cooking program called Kids Can Cook where she teaches kids the benefits of healthy cooking. She’s had almost 100 students! Learn more about Mareesa below and find some healthy recipes here to start cooking at home.  

Name: Mareesa Ahmad 

Location: Harlan, Kentucky 

Age and Grade: 17, 12th grade

How I got involved with the Chop Chop Kids Advisory Board: I was doing a healthy eating program at a local elementary school. There were many tables set up with healthy snacks, fun games to learn about healthy nutrition and eating, and more. My mother saw ChopChop magazine at one of these tables and we brought it home and decided that I should contact ChopChop. And now I’m on the Kids Advisory Board! 

I learned to cook from:  My parents. They are both fabulous cooks. Ever since I was a child, I have been in the kitchen with them ready to help. Of course it started off with small things like mixing things in a bowl, but eventually I learned more and more skills from them and now I can cook pretty much anything with a recipe! 

What I love about ChopChop: All the healthy, simple recipes. Everything is family-friendly and super nutritious.

Something all kids should learn to cook is: Eggs are a great source of protein and easy to learn. 

My favorite food is: Thai food!!

If I was a vegetable or fruit, I would be: A dragon fruit. I feel like dragon fruits are exotic and rare, kind of like me. My parents are both from Bangladesh and I was born and raised in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains as a Muslim. I’m an Appalachian girl with southern Muslim roots!

My favorite thing to cook is: Coconut shrimp curry with jasmine rice.

My advice for kids just learning to cook and who may be nervous is: Cooking takes practice. If you mess up, just try again.

Something I didn’t used to like to eat, but I do now, is:  Bitter Gourd. I used to hate this, but my parents started cooking it in a curry form with shrimp and I always took one bite when they cooked it and eventually I started to like it! Now I want it all the time.

Some of my hobbies are: Playing tennis and playing piano. II have been playing since age 5 and now I teach students. I have a henna business called Intricate and I apply henna on hands and feet, I love to travel, and of course cooking!! 

A fun fact about me: I love to travel! My parents and I travel a lot. We’ve been to almost all the islands in the Caribbean, Mexico, Italy, Spain, France, Finland, Sweden, Russia, England, Turkey, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, and many states.  Another fun fact is I love the color mint green!

What I want to be when I grow up: A business woman.