Sarah Michelle Gellar on Making Family Mealtime Healthy: ‘We Involve Our Kids in the Process’

Yahoo Beauty
Sarah Michelle Gellar and her daughter in Los Angeles. (Photo: Beverly News/REX/Shutterstock)
Sarah Michelle Gellar and her daughter in Los Angeles. (Photo: Beverly News/REX/Shutterstock)

To kick off the week leading up to Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life — the highly anticipated revival of the quirky, poignant mother-daughter series that everyone, it seems, will be cozying up to the day after Thanksgiving (12:01 a.m. on Nov. 25, to be precise) — we’ll be celebrating some cool moms we know, and the parenting styles that are uniquely their own, through a weeklong series, #MyMomStyle. 

Cooking is big in Sarah Michelle Gellar’s household. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star is married to teen-heartthrob-turned-celebrity-chef Freddie Prinze Jr. and has branded herself as the queen of kid-friendly baking as the co-founder of Foodstirs (which just joined Gilt to launch a yummy-sounding frozen hot chocolate cupcake kit for the holidays). So between the two culinary sensations, it’s safe to assume that their children, Charlotte, 7, and Rocky, 4, are eating pretty well. But Gellar recognizes that getting your kids to enjoy healthy food is not always easy. “It’s all trial and error,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “And some things work and some things don’t.” It’s an assessment that can be applied to parenting in general, of course — and a theme that Gellar likes to live by, as we found in our recent interview with the star mom.

Yahoo Beauty: What do you like so much about baking with your kids? 

To me, it’s about the experience. We’re all very busy working people. It’s one of those times when you put down the phone and you really connect and you really spend time with your kids. You’re learning and you’re discussing and great conversations come from it. And so for us, that’s how it all came about.

Part of the reason you started the company was to be able to work from home and spend more time with your kids. How rewarding has it been?

It’s been incredible. They are only this little for a very short window. I didn’t want to miss any bit of it. So to be able to run my own company where I can say, “I have a parent-teacher conference, I’ll be gone for two hours,” and then when they go to sleep, I can work two more hours — to me, that’s the ultimate gift.

How can busy parents ensure that their kids eat healthy meals?

In our house, we involve our kids in the process. I think that’s been the biggest win for us. My biggest pet peeve in life is when I see parents at the supermarket and their kids are on an iPad or an iPhone, because grocery shopping with them can be such a great learning experience. Pick out what you are going to eat together, look at it, go to the farmers’ market, and discuss where it comes from. The conversations are endless. It’s language, it’s math and science, it’s all part of it. So by involving them in the process, they are just more likely to eat and try and taste. Take them to wherever your local farm is. Whatever you grow locally, make them part of it. I grew up in New York City. I had a windowsill, but you can still grow herbs and put them on your pizza. Make your kids part of the process.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and her 2-year-old daughter Charlotte Prinze made a new friend in Nanuq the beluga whale at SeaWorld in San Diego, California. Photo: Mike Aguilera/ SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images
Sarah Michelle Gellar and her Charlotte made a new friend in Nanuq the beluga whale at SeaWorld in San Diego, Calif. (Photo: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)

How do you handle the finicky taste buds of children?

We have a rule in our house, which is you have to try something 10 times and then two times more before you decide if you like it. So we have to go through it to make sure, because kids’ taste buds can change really quickly. Sometimes they are so quick to say that they don’t like something before they really give it a taste. In general, they are really good eaters, and they are always helping us and they are part of the cooking process.

Are there any working moms that you personally are inspired by?

I am inspired by any parent. And we are all working moms because whether you work in the house or out of the house, it is a full-time job being a mom. And so my hat goes off to every mother out there that is struggling, having a life, living it, being there for their children, and being present for their friends or family. That’s a tough job. I’m inspired by every mom out there. Just because you are in Hollywood doesn’t to me mean that you are doing any harder, easier job. We are all doing the same work.

How has your outlook on personal style changed since becoming a mom?

I don’t think I have style anymore [laughs]. It’s what’s clean, what doesn’t hurt, and what can I still button, snap, or zip?

What is something that you’ve held onto, fashion-wise, from your pre-kids days?

My overalls — and sometimes I feel like maybe I shouldn’t still be wearing overalls because I’m a mom of two children. But I can’t help it! I love my overalls. I wore them to parent-teacher conferences the other day.

What about something that you will never wear again since becoming a mom?

Exceptionally tall heels. Notice mine are off right now! I only wear them when I have to.

What television shows are big in your household these days?

My kids are very into the Food Network. Everything they watch seems to be all food-related. They love Cupcake Wars, Chopped, and Chopped Jr.

Do you feel like we are finally evolving past the idea of the “perfect” mom and embracing more of the “anything goes” type mom?

I hope so! Putting limitations or expectations on the word perfect is impossible, because you are never going to achieve that. It’s about being present and being the best you can. And if your child feels loved and your child feels secure, then that’s what they need. … It’s an ever-changing, ever-flowing experience, and also what works at one age doesn’t necessarily work at another. It’s just about being there and having the best time that you can.

How do you power through tough mom days?

Coffee. I drink a lot of coffee [laughs]!

What are some of your fun holiday traditions since having kids?

We’ve always been big on holidays anyway. We play dress-up for a living, so Halloween is a big one in the house. For Thanksgiving, Freddie does the majority of the cooking. I do the baking, but that one I’m leaving to him. No question.

Let’s keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Beauty on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.