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Alison Sweeney on nutrition and her son's eating habits

10/15/2007 at 10:08 PM ET

Days of our Lives star and The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney was recently interviewed by BabyTV in regards to her son, Benjamin Edward, 2 1/2, with husband Dave Sanov, and his eating habits.

Click below to learn what Alison does to make sure Ben eats healthy and his favorite foods.

Alison has made it know that she has struggled with her weight most of her life and now that plays an impact on how she raises her son.

My own struggles with my weight are always on my mind as a parent.  I worked (and still work) very hard to stay consistent with my eating habits, and to overcome some of my life-long bad habits.  But as I said, it was all about my will power, my mind set.  When I committed myself to losing weight, to getting healthy, I was able to succeed.  Ben’s eating habits and health are a top priority for me. 

I admit to totally overthinking it sometimes too…I work really hard to make sure that he has healthy nutrition, and good eating habits. He almost never has processed sugar, but we always have fresh fruits around.  And I love that the Graduates snacks are his favorites because they are so easy to take with me on the go, because it’s also important to have a snack available so that a) he doesn’t get moody! And b) we aren’t stuck with needing to get fast-food.

The 31-year-old and her husband are trying their hardest to teach their son not to turn to food for comfort and the actress admits it is not the easiest thing.

The best advice I got on this subject was to make sure that sweets are never offered as a reward.  I try to never force him to eat if he’s not hungry — and sometimes I am secretly panicking on the inside that he hasn’t eaten enough but my pediatrician promised me that he won’t starve himself!

Also, even though ‘dessert’ is usually a fruit, we don’t have it every night.  And then every once in a while, Dave will swing by the Pinkberry near our house, or those graham crackers.  We let him have sweets once in a while, but not as a ‘reward’ just — a fun surprise.

When negotiating with her son, Alison does her best to keep food out of it.

Yeah, I try to make sure I never negotiate with food.  There are so many other things in his world that he loves or hates, and I just try to keep food out of it.

Ben loves certain vegetables but Alison is learning to make her son try different foods.

Ben loves peas and corn.  Gerber taught me that you have to let them try foods at least 10 times if not more before they might grow to like certain foods, so not to give up too easily.  And he slowly eased into sweet potatoes, though still not his favorite.  He goes through phases when he won’t eat pasta, and then randomly he won’t eat chicken.  But he loves salmon, just loves it!

But what does Alison do to get Ben to eat foods that he doesn’t care for? She lets him dip.

He loves to ‘dip’ things.  So I get him to eat green beans like French fries and he dips ‘em in a light dip I make.

Alison and Dave also try to never order off of the children’s menu for Ben.

We do take Ben out with us because we want him to become comfortable and used to eating with us out, so that he is used to being on good behavior.  I almost never order off the kids menu.   Since he was able to eat regular food I’ve tried to encourage him to try different tasting foods. 

I use a lot of spices and herbs in my cooking so that he is accustomed to new flavors, so at restaurants Dave and I will order and usually portions are so big that we have no trouble creating a third plate from our entrees and sharing with Ben.  And that way he has plenty of options.

When asked what her opinion is on the number of times per week kids should eat foods like chicken fingers and french fries, Alison replied,

Yikes!  As few as possible!!  I admit that Ben loves fries, he definitely knows what they are.  And it’s good because I’ve had to clean up my own ‘ordering’ at restaurants to set a good example for him.

With two shows and a son, Alison is constantly on the go so her snacks need to be also.

Ben visits both sets all the time.  It’s so much fun having him around, we get a time to play and hang out in between scenes. My favorite to-go snack is dry-roasted almonds.  I love ‘em.  The crunch is so satisfying.  In my dressing room I also have Ezekiel bread and all-natural peanut butter on hand for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up when I really need it!

I keep those mini boxes of raisins around, but his favorite are those Graduates mini-fruits.  They’re little pieces of dried fruits and he loves them.

Source: BabyTV

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Showing 7 comments

Marie on

I LOVE that Alison is teaching her son healthy eating habits from the start! We need to see more mothers taking after her.
I, too, did the same with my now 3.5 year-old son. He still doesn’t have sugar in his diet on a regular basis. He has been known to sneak baby carrots, yogurt and apples from the fridge when I’m not looking! He LOVES fresh food, and a variety of different foods. And he doesn’t even ask for treats unless we are out and he sees it, or sees other people having it.
Babies and children don’t crave junk food if they learn how yummy a well-balanced diet is :)

gianna on

That’s great after her weight struggles, she is teaching her son to eat and enjoy healthy food. I notice jen garner always seems to be, giving violet healthy snacks in the pics I’ve seen.

Lisa on

There is nothing wrong with chicken fingers or french fries. I BAKE my own, don’t fry or salt either. I also dip the chicken pieces in a sweet potato puree before rolling them in breadcrumbs. Bake in oven then offer a variety of dipping sauces for my kids to try. Yumm.

Kristin on

Great info, but she’s obviously acting as spokesperson for Gerber.

Kate2 on

Kristin: Yes, Ali is a spokesperson for Gerber. But she has only been a spokesperson for a few months and she has been very vocal since Ben was born about how important instilling good eating habits is to her, so I believe that she is sincere.

legemc on

Wasn’t this same thing posted on here before? A couple months ago?

Sarah’s note: No. It was similar though. Another part of her Gerber promotion.

lilly on

Funny how she keeps talkin about gerber graduates and shes a spokesperson for that, so i guess thats why she talks about it so often, that stuff is just expensive and its much cheaper to go buy apples and give them to your kid instead.

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