Posts Tagged ‘ celebrity mom ’

Girl Talk with Drew Barrymore

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Drew Barrymore Adam Sandler Blended

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler star in Blended in theaters now.

By Patty Adams Martinez

Drew Barrymore is pretty much every girl’s fantasy BFF. She’s smart, talented, and ambitious, while still being all about girl power and wanting to lift other women up rather than tearing them down. If all of that wasn’t enough, she’s also super down-to-earth and relatable, and just about the coolest mom on the planet.

The actress—whose latest movie Blended is in theaters now—and mom of two dishes to Parents about sharing screen-time with her “cinematic soul mate” Adam Sandler, surprising pregnancy side effects, and dressing her kids—Olive 19 months, and Frankie, born April 22—in hand-me-downs (just like the rest of us!). After reading this, you’re going to love her even more!

In Blended, you and Adam Sandler go on a really bad blind date, and end up together with your kids at a secluded family resort in Africa, where you can’t exactly escape running into each other. Then, of course, funniness ensues.

Yes, I love this movie. It had been about three years since I made a movie because I needed time off to create my family, but my cinematic soul mate, Adam, got me to go back to work, and I couldn’t be more proud and excited about this film. It’s fun because it’s where Adam and I are at in life now that we’re parents. It’s also really, really funny, but still pulls at your heartstrings—which I love.

Is it different being cast in mom roles, like this one, now that you’re actually a mom?

I think it means more to me now; it’s more emotional, because I know what it feels like to have daughters and to know that kind of unconditional love, which is such a powerful, powerful thing. And I like that this character isn’t perfect, because I don’t believe in perfection. But I do believe in growing and that’s why my favorite thing about being a mom is what a better person it makes you on a daily basis.

How so?

You’re putting others first. It’s not about yourself anymore—it’s about these amazing little people you want so badly to take care of, and you really learn to be patient. Even if you already thought you were, this is a whole new level of patience. You also find out how to live in the moment, and to breathe, and to never take your life or the people in it for granted.

After three movies with Adam, what have you learned about being a good parent by watching him with his daughters? 

He is just such a sweet and patient dad. He’s the opposite of the macho male. He really cares about their happiness and how their school is going and how they’re getting along with other kids. He loves hanging out with them and they are his priority in life.

Ok, dish! You revealed you grew a lovely “red goatee” when you were pregnant with Olive. Did you have any surprising pregnancy side effects while you were knocked up with Frankie?

I didn’t grow leg hair for like six months! It was the oddest, raddest thing I had ever experienced in my life. I was so happy, but sadly it didn’t last.

Are there things of Olive’s you’re excited to pass down to daughter Frankie?

Yes! When I found out I was having another girl I thought, Well that’s convenient, because I already have everything I need—including Olive’s duck onesie, which I loved and so sad when she grew out of it at four months. I would say about 70 percent of Olive’s clothes I got from my sister-in-law because she has two girls. So Olive wears her cousins’ clothes, and Frankie will too!

Download our free lion coloring page so your kids can go on an African safari, just like they do in the movie!

Vacation Countdown Caterpillar
Vacation Countdown Caterpillar
Vacation Countdown Caterpillar

Image courtesy of Warner Brothers

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Jenna Bush Hager: “I want the moments that I have with Mila to not be interrupted by anything.”

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Last week, Jenna Bush Hager ventured to Brooklyn, New York to introduce educators to Bing in the Classroom—a new initiative (free for schools) to bring technology safely to America’s students—and to lead a special lesson plan for the kids of PS 205. As a former teacher, rising journalist, and mom to 1-year-old Mila, Jenna knows that technology can teach us a lot, but must be used carefully. Parents caught up with Jenna to discuss technology, education, and life with her little girl.

P: As we continue advancing in this digital age, technology is both friend and foe. What are some “best practices” for helping children to use these tools productively and safely?

JBH: As a new mom I’m particularly concerned with that. It’s important that we give kids access to the technology—particularly in schools—so they’ll be successful learners and eventually successful workers for our country. The one thing I don’t want to do, personally, is use technology as a replacement for the job that I’m supposed to be doing. I want to use it in a way that can help Mila learn and grow, but I don’t ever want it to replace our dinner conversations. I even found myself working while taking care of her, and I just realized it had to stop. When I get home from work I leave my cell phone up in the front of our house in a little basket and I take her back and we do the bedtime routine. I want the moments that I have with her to not be interrupted by anything.

P: As Mila grows, how do you hope to ensure her digital safety and digital “health,” especially with social media as prominent as it is?

JBH: Obviously, Mila is only 1. It’s something that I think Henry and I are quite conscious of and even worried about. I grew up wanting to play outside and we didn’t have video games or any of that. I didn’t even have a cell phone until I was in college, so this is a totally different world. I feel like it’s uncharted waters for the two of us. Not only do I want her to stay protected, but I also don’t want my husband and I to be so distracted by technology that we don’t interact.

P: Are there any other specific tech safety lessons you anticipate teaching her?

JBH: It’s hard to say because I’ve only been a parent for a year so I don’t want to speak on things that I’m not that knowledgeable about yet, but I know from my students that obviously safe search is important. As a parent you have to monitor what your children are doing online, that’s all there is to it. It’s a huge concern that these kids are putting something on the internet and it stays there for the rest of their lives. I want to teach her that you can use it and to connect with friends, but it shouldn’t be your only connection and what you’re putting on there stays there forever.

P: As we were saying, Mila just turned 1. How did you celebrate the big first birthday?

JBH: We actually just celebrated on Saturday with a little cowboy and Senoritas party, so we brought some Texas to New York City. I still have Cheerios all over my apartment. We just had a lot of friends over and family, including my sister. Mila loved cake, of course, she’d never had it and she quite appreciated sugar, like her mother.

Sign up for our Best Birthdays newsletter to find ideas for an unforgettable celebration.

P: Is there anything that she does that is just like you when you were a baby? 

JBH: She reminds me a lot of the two of us. She’s really curious, which as a mom I love. She’s so interested and focused in the world. She’s smiling at everybody walking by. You can tell she’s an extrovert. When she’s around people she loves getting energy from them. She’s just the most curious little person. It’s hard to say what I was like as a baby, but I know that she has this curiosity for life that I just love.

P: Reading is a big part of your life. What are your favorite books to read with her?

JBH: This is cliché, but it was my favorite book that my parents read to us: Goodnight Moon. We have it in English, Spanish and French. I don’t speak French, I speak Spanish. Henry took a little bit of French so he reads the French one. My friend just gave us a huge collection of Madeleine books, including one that is in Spanish. I’m really excited to get into those because when I was little I just adored her. I thought she was such a fun character. I love Dr. Seuss, obviously. [Books] are her favorite toys, which I love. My mother was a librarian; I love to read. I think that’s something that I can pass on to her.

P: What are our country’s greatest challenges with regard to education today and what are some steps we can take to fix those?

JBH: That’s a huge question. I think the biggest challenge is making sure that every single child gets access to an excellent education. There’s this gap between students that have access to really good educations and those that don’t. We want to make sure every child no matter where they live, what neighborhood, has access to a really excellent education. As far as solving it, it would have been solved had it been an easy problem. But there are so many amazing organizations and innovative programs like Bing in the Classroom, Teach for America, the Harlem Children’s Zone. The fact that there are so many smart people working on it gives me a lot of hope that this problem will be solved.

Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology

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Winter-Sport (And Family Life!) Advice From Olympian Picabo Street

Monday, January 13th, 2014

2013 Photography by Robert W Gilliard of Eppicmoments.com

To gear up for the bi-annual Olympic festivities, Parents checked in with Olympic gold medalist, World Ski Champion, and mother-of-four Picabo Street. Juggling her work with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and her four sons (Eli, 10, Treyjan, 9, Dax, 4, and Roen, 2) is no easy task, but nothing gets this gal motivated like the games!

P: Do you watch every Olympics with your kids?

PS: Absolutely. In Torino [Italy, 2006] I was there, and in Vancouver [Canada, 2010] I was there with two of my children. This year unfortunately I won’t have my kids with me, but I will be there with FOX Broadcasting and the U.S. Olympic Committee and Ski Team. I am infected with the Olympic bug and will be a huge fan forever.

P: Do your kids have Olympic fever, too?

PS: They definitely get it, especially the older two who are 10 and 9. They started to ask some big questions about it: where certain countries are and what sports come out of them. We go online and they can send a well-wish to the athletes or donate money or buy mittens that will benefit the team through the U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor programs. Through Citi Every Step, my 10-year-old voted on my initiative [promoting injury prevention and awareness for Olympic skiiers and snowboarders]. You see all the Olympians that are in the Citi program and then the kids feel really close to it. They know athletes by name and sport, so when we watch the Olympics we’re into it. They’re just counting down to the Opening Ceremonies in February.

Kids' Olympics
Kids' Olympics
Kids' Olympics

P: Is skiing their favorite winter Olympics sport?

PS: Trey likes the bobsled, the skeleton, the luge, all of those gliding sports. Trey and Eli love the skiing because they can relate. Three out of the four do ski. The youngest was only 2 last year when we were in Park City in March. I think that hockey is probably also a favorite.

P: What do you say to moms who might think that skiing is too dangerous for their kids?

PS: Get yourself out of the way and don’t put yourself in your kids’ shoes and automatically assume that their strengths and weaknesses are yours. That’s one of the most difficult things that parents have to do is to get themselves out of the way of their child. They are their own person and they are capable of potentially more than you are. If they’re gung-ho, make sure you or somebody with experience can guide them along the way so they are safe while doing it. Skiing is a great family vacation, I know it’s expensive but it’s like no other family vacation. It’s such a safe place to let your kids be free.

P: Are there safety precautions that you take with your boys as they ski?

PS: First and foremost is to wear a helmet, dressing them for success. I made sure they knew how to stop. We taught them speed control and how to make quality turns before we took them over to the chair lift. The next thing was teaching them etiquette of the resort, and that’s something we still work on. Eli, my oldest, was relentless. His persistence was very inspiring.

P: How do you ensure that your kids enjoy sports while still taking it seriously?

PS: You gauge off of them. You can tell what kind of motivation they need; whether they like tough love (like I did) or if they need a softer, more praising touch. From personal experience, competing at that level, we were all willing to do more than the next gal or guy in order to get it done and win. We didn’t have to be told. It was just something that we do. I grew up with “good better best never never rest til my good is better and my better is best.” I have to actually be careful not to step on my kids toes too much with who I am and what I’m about and what I expect of myself. I try to let them be them.

P: Do you ever worry that they might put pressure on themselves because you have accomplished so much? 

PS: Of course, you worry about everything as a parent. I don’t really believe that I or anyone else has that much control, or any for that matter, over what our children like, what they’re interested in, and what they want to become. I can tell you my mom played 26 instruments all self-taught, I can barely hold a tune and cannot play a single one. All of my kids are musical, go figure. Why wasn’t I a musician? I’m just going to encourage my kids to follow their dreams and aspirations and do what they love. If it happens to be Olympic bound, here we go. If not, I’m fine with that, too. With four of them, my odds are good that we could be at the Olympics again.

P: How do you keep your boys effectively bundled in the cold weather?

PS: Layers. Layers. Layers. I dress the boys in layers and make them easily accessible so they can go to the bathroom while they’re up there and feel comfortable. Eli is alright with wool against his skin, but it itches Trey, so we go with silk or a polypropylene for him. Roen is the same as Eli. I like wool, polypropylene, cashmere and then fleece and then the outer layer is the key. It needs to have two components in it. It needs to have down and it needs to have a windbreak. With those two in the outer layer, you really don’t have to bulk them up too much inside. It keeps them from having a stiff-armed snowman feel all day. If it’s really cold you can change their temperature by what you put on their hands and head. Go gloves or mittens depending on the temperature. You can also just wear a helmet, or you can do a light little beanie super thin up underneath the helmet and cover the ears. If it’s super cold, you can put a neck gator on with a face mask and bundle all the way up. Make sure you’ve got sunscreen, sunglasses or goggles and water. Lots of H20. You have to watch the water intake. That’s key.

P: Your kids all have such unique names. How did you choose them?

PS: Treyjan I named after the Roman emperor. On his father’s side he’s the third Newt [Trey is a nickname for "the third"] and his dad and I just really thought it was a cool name. Eli is biblical, my husband chose it that way. Dax is a little French town and it was a kid in my class growing up and I wanted an ‘x’ in his name and I landed on him. I wanted his initials to be early in the alphabet, too, so I landed on Dax and my husband, John, agreed. Roen’s was tough. Dax and Eli’s names were early in the alphabet, I wanted Roen’s name to start with something close to Trey so I bounced around the S’s and the R’s. We finally landed on Roen. John said without the w. And I said R-O-E-N and he said love it.

 

Check out our Baby Names app to help you find names just as fitting as the ones Picabo and John chose for their kids.

 

P: Eli, your oldest, is your stepson and your husband, John, is Trey’s stepfather. What is your advice for parents merging two families?

PS: Definitely unconditional love. We also have to get over ourselves and really see our kids for who they are. I had to really get to know Eli and then earn his trust. Also, the best thing for someone who you’re new to and who is new to you is to be predictable and consistent. The more consistent you are the more stable your relationship is, the stronger it gets. Honestly, Eli and I have worked really hard to have a really strong bond and we can talk about everything and anything. It’s rock solid. As far as Trey and Eli went, merging them, that was tough. I wanted to protect Trey from the way Eli is because Eli is dominant, a real alpha, and he’s boisterous. Trey is sensitive; he’s harmonious. Eli would kind of beat up on Trey and I would get protective. When I talked to some of my expert resources, they told me ,“Eli is gonna toughen Trey up and Trey is gonna soften Eli and they’re gonna land somewhere in the middle and it’s gonna be a beautiful thing so unless they’re really going at it let them work it out.” It got easier when Dax showed up because he was a true brother to both of them.

P: Do you have plans for another?

PS: No ma’am. We gave up on having a girl with Roen. It is a lot to handle, but it’s an even sports team because there are six of us.

P: What is your best advice for other moms who travel a lot and might spend a lot of time away from their kids, as you do with your speaking engagements and your activism work?

PS: Take care of yourself and try not to beat yourself up too much for being gone and being someone who contributes to the family, and who pursues their dreams at the same time. Easier said than done. I leave notes when I go. I make sure to call and participate at the really important times during the day. I try to Facetime and Skype with them, so I can really see them and get a feel for them as much as possible. One of my goals is to talk to my kids and my husband first thing in the morning every day. The bottom line is to be honest with them about where I’m going, what I’m doing and why so that they understand. What’s tough is when I say “bye-bye” and then Dax says “But Dad, you’re staying with us right?” And I just think oooooooh. I’m picky about what I leave home for these days and my kids know I’m leaving for important things. They know all about the work that I do with the US Olympic Committee and with the sponsors and specifically now with Citi to make a positive difference in the next generation of Olympians’ lives. That’s what I am proud to go be a part of these days.

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How to Protect Baby's Skin in Winter
How to Protect Baby's Skin in Winter
How to Protect Baby's Skin in Winter

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Maggie Gyllenhaal on Motherhood: “I Wanted to Be Cool and Easygoing”

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 125th Anniversary of the First Aid Kit

Photo credit: Amy Sussman/AP for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

Last week, Parents caught up with Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 125th Anniversary celebration of The First Aid Kit by Johnson & Johnson. After hearing from Safe Kids Worldwide about preventing childhood injuries, we spoke to Maggie about how she keeps her two daughters, Ramona, 6, and Gloria, 14 months, safe, and what she does to stay relaxed even in scary moments.

P: When you first became a mom, were you the nervous type?

MG: I was young when Ramona was born. I was 28 and still kind of a kid in a lot of ways. I wanted to be cool about everything and easygoing. I didn’t realize that the way to be easygoing is to do some preparation, to actually have a diaper bag with the things you need! Because if you do that then you don’t have to constantly be worrying, “Oh G-d! They need a snack and where am I going to get something?” I know all that now! Also my second daughter is much more easygoing with her own bumps and bruises. She’ll fall over and kind of get up and be fine. Not always, but she’s a different personality than my first.

P: Who puts on the Band-Aids at home? You or Daddy? Does Ramona or Gloria have a preference?

MG: I’m not sure Gloria has ever had to have a Band-Aid, yet. And Ramona definitely prefers me for that kind of thing, although Peter is happy to do it, too. She’s definitely more of a mama’s girl.

P: Have you had any scares with Ramona?

MG: I look at my girlfriend who has three little boys and they have been in and out of the hospital. They have gotten broken bones and stitches and my kids haven’t had any of that stuff…yet. It’s partially to do with their personalities. Ramona definitely is super active, but she’s also cautious.

There was one time when Gloria was about 4 weeks old that Ramona slipped. We were staying at a friend’s house in upstate New York and I was downstairs with our newborn. All I heard was a big thud and crying. I went upstairs and Peter was holding Ramona’s ankle in this way and looking at me in a way that I thought, “Oh my G-d she broke her ankle, and we’re upstate, and I have a 4-week-old, and it’s like 100 degrees.” And I really thought something terrible had happened and, in fact, it was nothing. But I think the way that she’d fallen he just thought, Ok sit down. Let me check it out. Peter was a soccer player, so he knows all about injuries. I remember that as a really terrifying moment, because when you have a tiny baby you are so sensitive, and my heart was just so open in those first six weeks in particular. So I still was not fully functional. I didn’t know how I was going to manage taking her to the emergency room with a newborn. Thank G-d I didn’t have to.

P: You mentioned that your husband is great with these sports injuries. Is Ramona going in to sports or dance?

MG: I think she’s just active the way a kid is active and loves to do cartwheels and round-offs. In her school they do a lot of that stuff. She’s very strong. But, I don’t know yet what she’s going to be.

P: If you end up on the sidelines, how do you make sure she’s safe being an active kid?

MG: Well, like they say, some injuries are part of being alive. It’s just the same as…I think about heartbreak for my children or even the social stuff that goes on between friends. It prepares you for being an adult where you get hurt all the time—not as much physically. I think about that sometimes, too. If you ever fall as an adult—slip and fall—how incredibly jarring it is. As kids they’re doing it all the time, just falling over.

I think the ways that you hurt yourself both physically and emotionally as a kid are ways of preparing you for dealing with those same kind of things as a grownup. So, I don’t think it’s the end of the world for people to get hurt, but I do think that you have to be careful. I think you have to keep an eye out for them and you have to keep boundaries.

I thought before my kids were born that I was just going to be so easygoing. In fact, I find that it’s easier for me and it’s better for them to be really clear about what’s safe and what’s not. What’s okay and what’s not.

P: When they’re with their Grandma Naomi, do you leave behind instructions?

MG: My mom has said, “I’m allowed to give her more treats than you do. I am allowed to let her stay up late. That’s my job.” It’s part of the gift of being a grandmother.

Click here for tips on how to be prepared in 12 scary situations.

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Singer Jewel on Motherhood and Learning “The Balancing Act”

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.

Singer and songwriter Jewel has been one busy mama! She recently performed during the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Lifting Lives Moment to benefit ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign. She is also set to play June Carter Cash in the Lifetime Original Movie Ring of Fire, coming out this May.

Jewel opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her son, Kase, 20-months, who went on his first “road tour,” her involvement with ConAgra and the cause to end child hunger, finding a balance between being a mom and having a creative outlet, and her Mother’s Day plans.

Celebrity Baby Scoop: Tell us about your partnership with ACM Lifting Lives. How did you get involved with the organization?

Jewel: “I was the spokesperson for ConAgra Foods last year. ConAgra’s initiative is to bring awareness to end child hunger, and they did this by partnering with the ACM. They have songwriters and artists write songs in different formats, such as a country song or a pop song, which are then used in the commercials. Last year, I sang a song for the campaign and Little Big Town performed it for the ACM Lifting Lives moment. This year, another girl wrote the song and I performed at the ACM Awards.”

CBS: How did you prepare for your performance at the Academy of Country Music Awards?

J: “I performed a medley of my song Hands and this other song. I’ve prepared in all sorts of ways. I had to work on the medley, work out the keys, and practice on it to make sure I was ready to do it live.”

(more…)

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Michelle Pfeiffer Talks Adoption, Parenting, and Dealing With an Empty Nest

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Michelle Pfeiffer

Is it just us, or have celebrity parents seemed less relatable than ever recently? We’re not talking about multiple nannies and lavish nurseries — that’s to be expected at this point. But saving Baby’s umbilical cord? Pre-chewing his food?

Maybe that’s why it was so refreshing to read actress Michelle Pfeiffer’s recent interview with Parade.com. When asked about the difficulty of parenting versus acting, Pfeiffer said:

“Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world. Sometimes I feel like I have to go back to work to get some rest, and we work a minimum 12-hour day making a movie! None of that is nearly as exhausting as parenthood—the psychological toll it takes on you because these lives are in your hands. I take it very seriously. Just when you think you’ve got your kids figured out, they change on you.”

A celebrity who admits that parenting is difficult? What a nice change of pace. Read what else Pfeiffer said about motherhood, including her decision to adopt her daughter as a single mom, in her full Parade.com interview.

Image: Michelle Pfeiffer via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com
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Beyoncé and Jay-Z Welcome a Baby Girl!

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

BeyonceCongratulations to Beyoncé and Jay-Z on the birth of their first child! The couple welcomed a baby girl last night at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, according to People.

Multiple celebs have taken to Twitter to confirm the news.

Rihanna tweeted:

“Welcome to the world princess Carter! Love Aunty Rih”

Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted:

“Welcome to the world Blue! We love you already.”

The only thing we’re still unsure of is the baby’s name. E! News originally reported last night that the little girl’s name is Ivy Blue, but they’re now reporting that her name is Blue Ivy.

Which name do you prefer?

Image: Beyoncé Knowles, via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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Getting Toddlers to Eat: An Interview with Padma Lakshmi

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

If you’re a fan of Top Chef, you already know Padma Lakshmi as the host of the cooking competition show, alongside head judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons.  The adventurous eater and former model also because a mom last year when she gave birth to a daughter, Krishna Thea.  Recently, Lakshmi partnered with Huggies and Baby Loves Disco to launch the new Huggies Little Movers slip-on diapers, disposable diapers designed to help parents reduce changing time.  We chatted with Lakshimi over the phone to get tips on how to encourage picky toddlers to eat and what parenting advice she would give other moms and dads.

*******

As an actress, a Top Chef judge, a cookbook writer, and a jewelry designer, you are a very busy mom!  How do you balance your work schedule with mommy time?
It’s very, very hard. No two days are alike. Each day I just try to figure out what is the most important thing on my list and I prioritize that way.

Besides Huggies slip-on diapers, are there any other products that have made your life easier as a parent?  Any tried-and-true mommy time-savers?
The Huggies Little Movers slip-ons are a real time-saver because now that my baby is getting more active and squirmy, it’s really hard to keep her still. You can change the diaper while the baby is standing up. They’re just as absorbent, they have Velcro, and they come sealed so you can slip them up like underwear. I live in New York City and most of the restaurants don’t have changing tables, and you’re always doing some kind of balancing act.  If you have an on-the-go lifestyle, this is a great diaper because it shaves a couple of minutes off each diaper change.

You’re an adventurous eater.  Now that Krishna is a toddler, has she become a picky eater? 
I’m very lucky that she’s not a picky eater. There are things that she doesn’t like, but she’ll try things once.  I give her two or three healthy choices. You have to teach children about good nutrition and eating habits, about adaptability and being able to get along in any situation. Trying to get them to eat healthy regular food is the best way to go so it’s not such a shock when they transfer their diet from baby food to normal food.

What are your tips for introducing new or more adventurous foods to your toddler? 
The biggest tip any pediatrician will teach you, is to try out one new food at a time for two to three days and then introduce a new food after that. This also helps you makes sure your child isn’t allergic to things. At first I was abandoning a particular fruit or vegetable after one time because I thought, ‘Okay, she doesn’t like it.’ But babies don’t know whether they really like something or not; it depends on their mood and on what stage they are in. You want to try again a couple weeks later or try two, three days in a row. Because of the unfamiliarity of a certain food, children will reject it, but they will often try something by the third or fourth time.

What are your strategies for preparing nutritious, well-balanced meals for your toddler? Do you have any easy, go-to recipes?
You make a little stew or a lentil soup and you put in a protein, a few vegetables, and a starch, like a little broken pasta or rice or noodles or potatoes, and then you finish off with fruit of some kind. The hardest job is washing and chopping all the vegetables, but you can do that ahead of time. I do a version of this in my own home a lot. It’s a balanced meal.

What was the best and worst parenting advice you have received?
The best parenting advice I received was to do what was best for my family and my child because no two families are the same and no two children are the same. And to do what is appropriate at that given moment, based on the circumstances. The worst advice I’ve been given is to just let your baby cry.

What parenting advice would you give to other parents?
I would give the advice to make the decisions that are right for your family. And seek the counsel of people in your family that you trust because there is a common value system or a shared set of ideals.

Follow Padma Lakshmi on Twitter (@padmalakshmi).

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