To Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a feminist icon; to her children, she’s just “mom.” But now, the 38-year-old mother of two — daughter Charlotte, 5 and son Rocky, 3, with husband-of-13-years Freddie Prinze Jr. — is sharing a bit of her home life with Foodstirs, a new culinary lifestyle website that offers creative cooking kits and signature baking mixes. Gellar and her two friends founded the site after a run-of-the-mill grocery store trip left them puzzled by all the complicated baking ingredients. “I thought, I don’t want to feed my kids this!” Gellar tells Yahoo Parenting. “I’m a time-impoverished mom and I need labels that are easy to pronounce.” In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Parenting, Gellar opens up about the power of food, the deception of social media, and issues that come with raising kids in the spotlight.
Unlike every day cooking, baking feels luxurious and can be intimidating. What was your goal with Foodstirs?
We all live in such a tech-heavy world, and it’s important to take it back to a simple time. Cooking and eating is the one time to connect with your family. Life slows down and it’s about the people. Everything is connected to eating — first dates usually revolve around dinner, and holidays are about food. Making food is a jumping-off point to connect, and I can get my kids involved. I’ve always had my kids in the kitchen — I’ll tell Charlotte, “I need three cups of this” and she’ll pour and dump, and when my son was younger he would point to the numbers. Baking is about quality time and it’s a lot easier to motivate kids to make cupcakes than chicken. It requires patience, time, and it’s about making memories.
Freddie went to culinary school. Does he help out with the site?
We definitely talk about it. I’ll ask him, “What would make this a better experience?” Last night he made me pork chops with white wine honey sauce, and sweet potatoes from the farmer’s market — while I usually go to Costco and Ralph’s for grocery shopping.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and her children, Rocky, 3 and Charlotte, 5. (Photo: SarahMGellar/Instagram)
Before you had kids, what are some preconceived notions you had about parenting?
I thought I’d still be bicoastal, but it’s harder now to go back and forth between Los Angeles and New York. Kids are resilient but it’s all the stuff you have to bring on the plane — the stroller, car seat, blankies, the snacks. I also swore that I would never be the type of mom to lick my fingers and wipe food off their faces.
What’s the best and worst parenting advice you’ve ever received?
I don’t believe in “best” and “worst.” Someone can give you any type of advice and it’s up to you how you utilize it.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. goofing around on date. (Photo: SarahMGellar/Instagram)
Still, why do so many parents feel judged about the choices they make?
Because of social media. People show their best selves there, not their day-to-day struggles. So it’s this false perception. We have so many apps on our phones to make us look perfect. Moms should remember that. Your body hosted a human being. Cut yourself some slack. It’s a no-win situation.
How do you explain the notion of ‘celebrity’ to your kids?
I say to them, “You know how mommy loves taking photos of you? People like taking pictures of me too.” We also call the paparazzi “fans” because it can be scary for little kids, especially when you’re trying to teach them about strangers. But it’s an ongoing conversation. We live in Los Angeles, but we try to live as normally as possible.
What are your children dressing up as for Halloween?
I’m not telling! But there will be a theme of Star Wars, The Descendants, and maybe some surprises.
(First photo: SarahMGellar/Instagram)