Rebecca Minkoff

Health, it’s no mystery. Just like every other aspect of our lives these days, the wellness space has become crowded with too much content and information. We, in partnership with Tropicana, decided to bring it back to the basics.

How do Moms get their kids to eat healthy the authentic way? You might think you need to douse those Brussels sprouts in sugar, or somehow hide cauliflower in ketchup, but turns out there are Moms out there serving their kids wholesome ingredients, with no strings attached. We called upon a few tastemakers to share those recipes and discuss all things food and family. Rebecca Minkoff is one of those designers you listen to, whether it’s at dinner or in the showroom. Minkoff is the kind of mom who is light, laid back, effortlessly pretty and fun; if anyone has succeeded at “having it all,” it’s her. Want to learn how she does it? Read the full interview below; you’re going to want to take notes.

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How do you get your children to eat healthy with “no strings attached”? What’s your go-to recipe that you’re sharing with us today?

I do chickpea pasta with meat sauce. It’s a good way to get kids to eat fiber, from the chickpeas.

Brown 2 cloves of garlic in olive oil. Add Grass-fed ground beef, brown and cook through. Slice tomatoes and stir in until soft. Add sauce to your taste – depending on whether you want it soupy or chunky. Simmer for 20 minutes, and salt to taste. Pour over the pasta. Shred fresh Parmesan cheese on top. Voila!

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How do you start your day with your kids?

We usually wake up around 7/7:30. I will make breakfast and get them dressed for school. I pack their lunches and then we walk to school. I love having the morning with my kids, so I try to make sure I don’t schedule any meetings until 9:30AM.

How has having children changed the way you see food?

I’m more conscious of making balanced meals and incorporating nutritious foods. I also make sure my kids, as well as my husband and I, take our daily vitamins. I think I became more aware that I was leading by example and that my kids were watching – so much more closely than I realized. But that goes for all lifestyle choices, right? I mean they see everything, so I try to lead a healthy lifestyle, nothing too extreme.

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What’s your favorite meal to make with your family?

As long as we’re all in the kitchen together, it doesn’t matter what we’re making. Spending time together is the most important.

How do you get your child to eat when they’re “not hungry?”

I tell them that as long as they finish their meal (which always includes veggies – have to make sure they are getting their daily dose of nutrition), I’ll offer them a treat afterwards – and then I can relax.

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What are your child’s favorite snacks?

Dried mango, apples, pouches, and cheddar bunnies.

Any advice you’d give to new Moms?

Expect your kids to go through phases with food. Don’t be surprised and don’t be hard on yourself or them. It just takes a little patience and, at times, creativity.

Are your children picky eaters?

Yes, they are picky, which means we have a very small menu of options to choose from.

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What’s an easy way to get your children to have more protein? More greens?

Smoothies are my go-to! Luca loves them. I’ll add spinach, almond butter, veggies and fruit. With a little banana, he thinks it is dessert.

Do you ever use food as a “reward?” ie: a lollipop after a visit to the doctor’s office

Because they are picky, we have firm lines on healthy foods that are used as bribery for treats.

How important is it that children have home cooked meals?

Obviously, the nutrient and health element makes this incredibly important, but it goes beyond that. It’s also about cooking at home as a family and sitting down to share a meal together.

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What’s an easy way to teach your children to love food?

When it comes to helping my kids love new foods, I try to be persistent but not pushy. Introduce healthy and nutritious foods early on, in small doses. One of the most important and best ways to teach my kids to love food is by cooking delicious, healthy foods for them.

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What foods did you love and hate as a child? Does your child feel the same way about them?

I hated everything except bagels and cream cheese, mac and cheese, frosted wheat cereal and graham cracker snacks. And yes, my kids feel the same way.

How do you encourage your child to have a healthy relationship with food?

I think it’s so important to prioritize your health, which inevitably leads to inner and outer beauty. My health is so important to me because it makes me stronger and a great role model for my family, which is the most important thing in my life. For my daughter, Bowie, especially, I make sure to never criticize myself for what I’ve eaten in front of her or for how I look. I really want them both to associate it as a joyful part of life.

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*Sponsored by Tropicana

*Photographed by Danielle Kosann