Jennifer Garner: Messy, Cute and Candid

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ModernMom was delighted at the opportunity to meet the adorable Jennifer Garner in sunny Los Angeles, Calif. Although we interviewed her in Tinseltown, Jen was anything but a typical Hollywood hotshot. She was every bit as lovely as we imagined (and she reads ModernMom!).

Jennifer has had quite the career. From portraying an ass-kicking secret agent in Alias to an adorable teenager in 13 Going On Thirty, she’s done it all. But no job holds a candle to her current gig: Mom to cuties Violet and Seraphina and wife to actor Ben Affleck. Jennifer took some time to talk to us about mommyhood, health and her current cause.

When asked to describe her parenting style in one word, she chose “messy.” We couldn’t leave it at just that. “Care to explain?” we asked. “Well I try to be consistent. I try to keep the same rules and follow through.” Then, with a little laugh, she adds, “but sometimes it just gets messy.” Her best piece of parenting advice? “Always stick with the same sippy cup,” she says resolutely. “You’ve got to commit, otherwise the right lid is with the wrong straw and the wrong lid is with the right cup.” Yup, we know how it goes Jen…

Not only does Jennifer love her family, but she truly enjoys her job. “I love working,” she says with a smile. “I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve had some great jobs and always worked with wonderful casts and crews.” Her favorite? “Alias,” she says. “It will always be close to my heart.”  

At ModernMom, we understand better than anyone how busy moms are. We think it’s important to a family’s health that moms designate “me time” to take a deep breath. So we asked Jen what she does to relax. “My favorite thing to do if I have someone to stay with the kids, (or I just leave them)” she jokes, “is to take one hour to go to a girlfriend’s place. Not a whole evening or even two hours, but one hour. We laugh, talk and enjoy half a glass of wine.” It’s perfect, she says, “because it’s not a big commitment.”

Jennifer also discussed her current cause – Save the Children. As a mother, Save the Children is close to Jennifer’s heart. “One of five kids in our country live in poverty,” she says. “They don’t get the food and resources they need, much less the reds, yellows and greens they should have in their diet.” She continued, “We want to teach children how to eat healthy while they’re young.” Save the Children works to improve childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition.

One way Jennifer gets her own children to eat healthy is by involving them in the kitchen. “When kids are involved in the cooking process, they’re more invested in the food and more likely to try it,” she says. “Have your kids cut veggies!” she suggests. You might just get them to eat them… Her favorite meal to cook with her kids is roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. “I let my daughter baste the chicken,” she says. But while everyone needs their veggies, a little dessert never hurt anyone. The sweet treat that always keeps her kids at the table? “Ice cream!” Jen also keeps a go-to snack handy in the fridge for her family. “I always try to keep cut-up veggies handy- sweet peppers, yellow peppers. I’ll let my daughters dip them in ranch [dressing].”

Jennifer is currently working with Frigidaire to launch the Kids’ Cooking Academy to inspire families to get cooking together. In this spirit, Frigidaire donated $500,000 to Save the Children. Right now, if you join the Kids’ Cooking Academy at Frigidaire.com, $1 will be donated to Save the Children.

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