Ayesha Curry Dishes on Kids, Cookbooks and Mom Life
Ayesha Curry has enough going on for three people, possibly four or five. She’s the host and executive producer of the upcoming TV series Family Food Fight, on ABC, the creator and face of cookware and bedding lines, the culinary genius behind a pair of new restaurants and an upcoming baby-food line, a budding wine entrepreneur, and an ambassador for CoverGirl, just to name a few of her projects. Oh, and did we mention she’s a hands-on mom to three kids (Riley, 6, Ryan, 3, and Canon, 5 months) and a devoted partner to a husband she’s crazy about? (Maybe you’ve heard of him, NBA superstar Stephen Curry.)
We had to know how the 29-year-old gets it all done. Here’s the scoop, straight from Ayesha.
Make rules, but don’t be afraid to break them.
“In our house, you’re definitely not getting dessert if you don’t eat your dinner! But we do throw the rules out the window once in a while. We love to have movie night with the kids where we eat popcorn, ice cream, and then breakfast for dinner.”
Not every meal is Insta-worthy.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it; weekday breakfasts are tough. Sometimes it’s a kids’ protein bar or handfuls of fruit served up on paper towels and eaten in the car.”
Etiquette matters ... to a point.
“Table manners are important to us, but we’re also realistic. My kids are young, so they’re wiggly worms. I just want them to learn the basics, like, if you burp, say ‘Excuse me!’ Use your napkin to wipe your hands and your face; don’t use your shirt. Simple things like that.”
Parents need dinner rules too.
“The toughest one for us to follow is no phones at the table. Of course, there are those moments when the kids do something supercute and you just have to record it. But we really try to implement the no-phones rule. Our kids love being at the table together, talking about their day, singing songs, and telling jokes. It’s a special time.”
Spice food up early.
“I want my babies to eat the things that I’m excited about eating myself, so I like to add spices and herbs to baby food, like nutmeg in applesauce and fresh thyme in pureed pears. The kids end up having a broader palate. I’ve been very lucky so far because my girls have been willing to try almost everything. Hopefully, Canon won’t throw us for a loop!”
Prep it up.
“Meal prep is big in my house, especially during basketball season, when Stephen needs to fuel up with super-healthy foods. When he’s home for a long stretch, I’ll cook a tub of hard boiled eggs and protein bowls with quinoa, veggies, and salmon or grilled chicken. And I love making big pasta dishes to have on hand during the week. I always try to keep a store-bought rotisserie chicken in the fridge. It’s cheap, and the possibilities are endless: Slice it up and make sandwiches, cut it up and serve with veggies and rice, or make a soup with the leftovers.”
Feed your own cravings.
“My family is Jamaican, so my comfort foods are oxtails, rice and peas, and sweet plantains. When I need extra nourishment, I put together macro bowls with microgreens, whole grains, kale, a bunch of other veggies, and a good sauce. I’m a big smoothie girl too. I love tropical flavors. My favorite combo is mango, spinach, and pineapple.”
Side dishes are overrated.
“When I’m making a meal for just Stephen and me, I’ll cook a good steak. Honestly, I don’t need anything else to go with it, just a steak and a glass of wine and I’m happy.”
Welcome kids into the kitchen.
“I try to make vegetables fun for the kids by getting them involved with cooking. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the girls are willing to try whatever it is they helped me make, whether it’s salads, curries, or a kale smoothie. That said, Riley doesn’t like mashed potatoes! I don’t know why; maybe it’s a texture thing. Ryan will eat anything. She’ll sit there and down oysters.”
Sometimes you need to outsource.
“We order in all the time: Thai food and pizza most often. And I recently found this amazing place that delivers fresh crab. We cover the counter with newspapers and get cracking!”
Corral the mess.
“Keeping a kitchen organized with three kids around is tough, and when the kitchen gets disorganized, I feel disorganized. I’m big on labeling. Having clear jars for things like spices, flour, cornmeal, and cereal is a huge thing, too, so you can see what’s in there. I also designate one drawer for the kids to store their plates, cups, and utensils. I keep it low so they can access it on their own. I’m not so worried if that drawer gets messy.”
Make lasting memories.
“I hope that when my kids are adults, they remember that cooking is fun and they aren’t intimidated by their kitchen. Food is a love language for me, and I hope it is for them too.”