Alison Sweeney's Outlook Forever Changed by Motherhood

05/17/2009 at 07:00 PM ET
Alison Dyer for PEOPLE for use on CBB

Motherhood has completely transformed Alison Sweeney. In the May issue of American Baby, the 32-year-old actress and television personality says that her heart grew exponentially after welcoming son Benjamin Edward, 4, and new baby Megan Hope, 4 months. “I just didn’t realize how having a child would change my outlook on everything,” she admits. “I not only think about my kids, but about all kids.” She adds that she is forever mindful of how blessed her life has been.

“I may have the ability to give my children clean drinking water, but elsewhere, there are people who walk hours to muddy water because that’s all they can find. Okay, I’m going to start crying!”

Hosting The Biggest Loser has opened Alison’s eyes to the importance of setting a healthy example for her kids, and she reveals that childhood obesity is “a huge concern.” When she sees a parent giving their child a doughnut, for example, Alison says she often wants to intervene. “Show him that fruit is desert,” she suggests. “It’s delicious and sweet.”

Lamenting that “it’s so frustrating to see how convenient fast food is,” Alison adds, “I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and I don’t want my children to struggle with it.” A good trick for ensuring a diverse palate involves exposing baby to “herbs and spices so he’s not just used to bland food,” Alison says. That said, she’s also not afraid to lay down the law!

“You need to remember that it’s your job to say, ‘Eat your vegetables!'”

Alison suggests that new, first-time moms keep their perspective. “The best advice I got when I was pregnant with my first child was to imagine that I already had an older kid,” she explains. “If you go into every situation with your brand new baby thinking ‘What if I had a 3-year-old needing attention?’ everything will seem less urgent.”

“Give yourself breathing room. The truth is that if you can relax, the baby will relax as well.”

Ben and Megan are Alison’s children with husband Dave Sanov.

Source: American Baby, May issue

– Missy

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 0 comments

Lisa on

I normally love Alison Sweeney, but the idea that she would want to “intervene” when she sees a child with a doughnut makes my blood boil. Part of raising a healthy child is teaching them about the things that should be “sometimes treats.” A doughnut once a month (or whatever) isn’t going to make a child obese. I saw too many girls in my freshman dorm whose parents had hyper-regulated their diets as children, and they went crazy and ate ice cream for supper at their first taste of freedom. Sure, we need to teach our kids why it’s important to eat right and make sure that their diets are balanced, but to say that a single doughnut is something that requires an intervention is ridiculous. Talk about other mothering.

Megan on

Lisa, I agree with you. Alison doesn’t know how often or why that parent has given their child a treat. You can’t judge a situation you know nothing about. Mommy drive-bys = yuck.

jessicad on

I could understand that feeling if she saw an overweight child eating a doughnut, otherwise it’d be ridiculous. I live in alabama which has a high obesity rate, and I used to wait tables, my heart aches for overweight children. They eat what their parents eat, so many times I’d hear parents talking about how obesity is in their genes, yet they eat large cheese fries, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, and order dessert. Not to mention the meal portions that we have here are huge and out of control. Anyway, I could rant forever on this topic because I think it’s a huge problem in our country, so I’ll stop now:) She sounds like she sets a good example for her kids in terms of eating, it’s better to be strict in my opinion, anything in moderation is ok. I wish we had a new picture of Allison and her kids!

Anna on

Yes I also dislike how people are blaming junkfood for being obese. It’s all about balance and choices. Taking your child to McDonald’s every now and than won’t make them obese, neither will a donut.

Jane on

“A doughnut once a month (or whatever) isn’t going to make a child obese. I saw too many girls in my freshman dorm whose parents had hyper-regulated their diets as children, and they went crazy and ate ice cream for supper at their first taste of freedom”

I know someone who did that with TV and now their kid is an adult who is totally, completely obsessed with TV.

I agree with the sentiment behind what Alison is trying to say – but I find the doughtnut comment really harsh. Particularly in the light of the fact that I know for a fact that Alison has fed her child ice cream and candy before, she mentioned it on her blog. So if she only gives her kid ice cream and candy occasionally, how does she know that doughnut wasn’t just an occasional thing.

Anna on

“I wish we had a new picture of Allison and her kids!”

If you go to Alison’s twitter page she has a recent picture up where she’s holding Megan.

aimy on

My friends use to bug me aboutmy weight, and I hated it. I know it’s a big issue but I’m sure alot of kids wish that people would leave them alone about it.

MW on

I had a friend all through grade school whose family was very strict with their diet. When she got to high school and got a part-time job, she started eating more and more meals away from home. She stuffed her face with all the stuff she was never allowed to have at home and wound up gaining 50 pounds!

I appreciate that Allison Sweeney is trying to teach her kids to eat healthy, but depriving them of all sweets isn’t teaching them moderation, which is what’s really important. And thinking badly of a mom that is giving her kid a donut is ridiculous, because she doesn’t know anything about that family. It could be possible that donuts are a once a week or once a month treat in their household.

Christie on

Did Allison actually SAY she never gives her kids sweets or anything? Why is everyone jumping all over this simply because of one comment in an article? This is someone that seems to have discovered a love of good nutrition and healthy eating and shares that with her kids. In no way does that mean she believes you can NEVER have sweet treats or junk food if eaten in moderation. And as far as her “mommy drive-by” – if she had said something to another mother yes that would have been a bit much but she didn’t say she did that. She was talking about what she was thinking – something I think we are ALL guilty of doing from time to time while observing other moms. You can’t really comment/be critical of HER comments when your comments about her thoughts are kind of the same thing.

She has a point that fast food has become WAY too convenient and accessible and is CONSTANTLY being marketed to children. Yes it’s up to the parents to make the decisions to teach their kids that food like that is not good to eat all the time but a little now and then is fine. Unfortunately I think there are A LOT of parents out there that don’t do that which is what in fact has lead to our childhood obesity problems in this country.

megan on

“You can’t really comment/be critical of HER comments when your comments about her thoughts are kind of the same thing.”

Let’s not pull out the “judging is worse than what she’s done” card. Our comments are not the same thing. It isn’t right to say “I allow my kid an occasional treat, it’s okay now and then” but then look down at someone else for doing the same thing, especially when it is families she doesn’t know personally.

Christie on

I am not pulling the “judging” card – I was simply stating that commenting on HER thinking that IS the same – she is being criticized for criticizing another mom. And as others have commented about her not knowing the situation as far as maybe this mom was giving her kid an occasional treat or what, we also don’t know the situation she was looking at so it’s kind of hard to criticize her for saying this. I just didn’t get why everyone was kind of getting on her case. In the past yes she has implied that she allows her kids occasional treats etc. but she shouldn’t have to say it every time just to make sure she is covering her bases to not offend anyone. I just think sometimes comments on this website can get very critical (it’s been said by others as well) and I personally find that silly, especially when you are being critical of a mom for commenting on another mom. I am sure that we have all seen another mom saying/doing something that we totally think is the wrong thing to do – it’s just a fact. I agree with what another commentor said that if she had SAID something to the woman that would have stepped over the line – but to think it? We’ve all been there and that’s why I didn’t get the criticism.

Anna on

“Did Allison actually SAY she never gives her kids sweets or anything? Why is everyone jumping all over this simply because of one comment in an article?”

I think your missing the point. The point was that Alison has admitted that she occasionally gives her child sweets – so she shouldn’t judge other mothers for giving their child a doughtnut because that could be an ocassional sweet as well.

Christie on

I am not missing anyone’s point actually. I agreed she has said in the past that she lets her kids have sweets on occasion etc. However, I don’t feel the need to see her as “judging” another mom and jump all over her for commenting on this other woman’s kid having a doughnut just because she has said she lets her kids have sweets occasionally. That’s why I said in my 2nd post that we have ALL been in situations where we see other moms doing things or saying things we don’t agree with even IF it maybe something we ourselves have done. I know I have – I am not judging anyone here just saying that the “judging” of her comment seemed a little harsh.

Anna on

“I am not judging anyone here just saying that the “judging” of her comment seemed a little harsh”

I don’t think anyone here has said anything that was harsher than what Alison said. I find it so ironic that whenever a celebrity says something rude, harsh, or judgmental there’s always a couple of poster that jump down the throats of every person who gets upset by the comments. They yell at us in all caps, lecture us about how judgemental we’re being, and all the while they’re defending the celebrities for their judgemental comments. The implication seems to be that if you’re a celebrity you’re allowed to say and do anything you want to and no one should have a problem with it or criticize it, but us common people aren’t allowed to have any negative opinions at all. The double standard is getting really old.

Christie on

“I don’t think anyone here has said anything that was harsher than what Alison said. I find it so ironic that whenever a celebrity says something rude, harsh, or judgmental there’s always a couple of poster that jump down the throats of every person who gets upset by the comments. They yell at us in all caps, lecture us about how judgemental we’re being, and all the while they’re defending the celebrities for their judgemental comments. The implication seems to be that if you’re a celebrity you’re allowed to say and do anything you want to and no one should have a problem with it or criticize it, but us common people aren’t allowed to have any negative opinions at all. The double standard is getting really old.”

I find this ironic considering that I haven’t really done ANY of this. I TRIED to get my point across with out coming across as attacking anyone else’s opinion – obviously I didn’t get that across. I rarely post on this website and now I know why – it was actually MY opinion that differed with everyone else’s and I feel like I am the one being attacked for it not vice versa. I read this site every day and love it and often see things that celebrities say and do that is a little off to me. In this instance I didn’t understand the criticism only because I know I myself have been guilty of seeing another mom do/say things that I dont agree with. Of course I don’t go and SAY anything to the mom – that would be way out of line and I just think we have all been in that situation. Please don’t be so judgemental of ME either – I agree that ALL opinions should be able to be posted and I never said differently.

advertisement

From Our Partners

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters