Giada De Laurentiis Celebrates Jade's First Steps

07/31/2009 at 04:00 PM ET
Michael Williams/Startraks

Some milestones are worth the wait. During a special screening of Julie & Julia on Monday in Los Angeles, Giada De Laurentiis revealed that daughter Jade Marie, 16 months, recently took her first steps! Instead of reacting with cheers, however, a very relieved Giada promptly burst into tears. “Why is it that we all do that?” she asks. “Do we really think that our kids are going to go to college and not be able to walk there?” Like most moms, however, Giada’s normally good judgment was temporarily clouded with worry.

“I think it’s that stress…I think that since she was about a year old the question is ‘Does she walk?’ And the answer has been no. So I think that fear sort of sets in that there’s something wrong with her.”

The biggest surprise of motherhood? Just how much Jade absorbs each and every day. “I never realized how much goes on in those little brains and how they really are sponges,” Giada says. “Everything that you say to them comes back to you, even if it doesn’t come back right away.” Watching Jade’s brain work is “unbelievable,” she adds. “It’s like a little steam engine…There’s steam coming out of their ears. It’s really cute.”

One thing is for certain, with a celebrity chef for a mom that brain is being fueled by good food! Before leaving for the screening Giada, 38, whipped up a meal of ground beef with onions, a dash of garlic and fresh lemon juice over brown rice for baby girl. “She definitely eats like a queen,” Giada concedes.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen when she gets older. I’m not sure that I’ll have a daughter that only eats yellow food or something. She has a gourmet sort of palate.”

Jade is Giada’s daughter with husband Todd Thompson.

— Missy with reporting by Scott Huver

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Catherine on

Giada is so lovely, and she sounds like an even lovelier mother. I love how real she is. She’s such a rational mom, despite the typical worry reflexes!

And I’m jealous…I wish I was eating as well as her little girl! ;0)

fuzibuni on

giada should make a baby food cook book… i bet it would do really well.

Marie Snyard on

For a gourmet chef that is what she comes up with for dinner..

Her husband Todd is a designer for Anthopologie store and catalogue
For a childs first steps you would smile and encourage her to do
more..!! Her daughter really responds to Todd. She is always smiling at him when he is on the set of the Today Show..


I LOVE Giada and her show is my favorite cooking show!

Jade is so cute!

I love it when she is on the show, her little UGG boots are so cute! lol

cas on

i love giada!!

Gracie on

Don’t worry Giada. I went through the same thing with one of my children. My oldest daughter did not walk until she was 16 months old, too. She didn’t sit up until she was 10 months old. She didn’t have any medical issues, either.

Tilly on

Oh my gosh Giada….I feel the same stress about my son. He is 20 months and still not walking yet. He’s had every possible test and nothing is medically wrong with him, he’s just taking his time.
It’s nice to know that we moms are not alone and that even celebrities have the same worries:)

brannon on

I love when people feed their babies/toddlers “real” food rather than bland baby stuff and my son has a gourmet pallate too… But that’s hardly a gourmet meal 🙂 surprised me! Love the name giada and jade is a cutie. I think she should be grateful – my son was walking at 7 months and it was a nightmare!! :)not encouraging the next one to walk until they are 5!

sara on

I too had a late walker and looking back, I feel like I had the baby phase longer than those whos babies walk at 8 or 9 months! It does worry you if you are at the park and other babies are walking!

I love Giada….she can have it all. I wonder if Rachael Ray will have a baby. She is too focused on her career and she may regret it someday. Giada has the perfect balance of career and family. I wonder if they will have another?

danigirl on

I went to a book signing in May for Giada’s book and she is breathtakingly gorgeous and her smile is as dazzling as on tv. I felt like a sasquatch compared to her! A bad attitude can really ruin a beautiful face and I was glad that wasn’t the case with Giada. She autographed 150 more books than she originally planned to. And was really down to earth with her fans and was cooing at all the babies that the mothers had brought with them to the signing. She was extra enthusiastic when a mother came up with her twin babies (about 8 mos) and was talking with the mother about mommy/baby stuff.

P on

Sara- I think Rachael Ray has said in interviews that her darling dog is enough of a child for her; children are a wonderful gift but not everyone wants them and it is up to her.

Giada sounds like a wonderful mom and how lucky Jade is to have a mama that will teach her about good food and a father to teach her about good fashion!

Kat on


I didn’t walk until right before I was two. Nothing medically wrong with me, I just evidently didn’t see the need to do it when I knew someone would come along and put me where I needed to go eventually!

I’m not sure my mother was stressed out about it, as much as as she was freaking out because she was about to deliver my brother and didn’t want to have to carry both an infant and a 2 year old!

Sarah M. on

One of my cousins started walking at 9 or 10 months. But he has 3 older brothers and 3 older cousins by his aunt, so he had to learn to get out of the way early. Either that or get stepped on constantly! This is a great example of why the age ranges are as long as they are. Every child develops in their own time.

As for Jade’s meal, it sounds delicious to me! Just because Giada is a chef, doesn’t mean that every meal has to be fancy and special. And I would be highly surprised if Jade was a picky eater. With a chef for a mom, she’ll be exposed to many different types of foods.

Giada seems very down to earth.

Tilly on

Thank you for that Kat:) I’m relieved that they haven’t found anything medically wrong w/ my son also, but at the same time it is frustrating to see others his age and younger doing so much more. I feel like we are both kind of left out. That is just me being a stressed/neurotic mother though:-)
I respect Giada for actually coming out and saying her daughter didn’t walk until 16 months. I think mothers hide that sometimes so people won’t think something is wrong. I know I get sick of explaining things to people, so for a celebrity to share her story makes me feel better:)
On another note…That would be great if Giada came out w/ a cookbook w/ recipes for children!!

Angelique on

Walking is definitely one of those things where earlier is not better. Your child is in no way more advanced if he/she is an early walker. Things like the child’s height are a factor. And developmentally, some research has shown you really want babies to get a good stretch of crawling in before they walk.

That’s a yummy and healthy sounding dinner for Giada’s little one. Marie Snyard, you have to consider that Giada is cooking for a 16 month old who doesn’t have all her teeth and needs to be able to eat things that are somewhat soft. Giada was able to accomplish this while still making something wholesome and flavorful.

I agree Giada should do a baby food cookbook!

christina on

7 months? I highly doubt that.

brannon on

Doubt away. As I said, wouldn’t wish it on others.

KiKi on

My husband jokingly refers to her as a Q-tip.

Tee on

Christina, I don’t see any reason to doubt that Brannon’s baby starting walking at seven months old. Every child is different and I don’t see a perfect stranger behind a computer making up stories just for the heck of it.

emily on

My sister began walking at 7 months. My mom says the same thing, Brannon, she wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

mochababe73 on

I was worried that my two children walked too early (ages 9 mths and 10 mths respectively) until my father told me that I was cruising at 7 mths and walking by 8 mths. I guess that as parents we worry either way when nothing is wrong with our children. I really thought that something was going to be wrong with their legs. Now, I have one son playing his fourth year of football and one that is starting his secon year.

CelebBabyLover on

Tee and emily- I agree! I once knew a little boy who started walking about about 7 months old! It’s rare, but it DOES happen!

Angelique- Actually, some babies skip the crawling stage, and it’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. My mother never craweled. Instead, she rolled to get from place to place until she learned how to walk! From what I’ve read, as long as a baby is using SOME form of locomotion before walking (whether crawling, rolling, shuffling along on their bottom, doing the crab crawl, etc.), there’s nothing to worry about. Crawling is, in fact, a stage that babies don’t HAVE to go through. 🙂

Oh, and I hope people keep this post in mind the next time they see a celebrity baby under two being carried and wonder why s/he never seems to walk. It’s very possible that some of those babies (especially the 18 month and younger crowd) CAN’T walk yet!

Jessicad on

I’ve seen babies walking at 8 months, it does look kinda freaky haha. Mine started walking right before her first birthday, and I almost wish she waited a bit longer, she was getting into everything. Now at 21 months she’s a great runner and I seriously get winded chasing her! Giada seems so sweet and down to earth, she’s so tiny too!

Question, how do you guys get pics next to your post?

melania on

Both of our younger girls started walking at 9 months and they are petite anyway, so it looked hilarious. Younger sibling do tend to do everything a lot earlier because they have to keep up with the big ones! Not only that, but you can’t hold the younger ones as much when they have older siblings because you need to do things for the big kids too. So they end up having more time to explore. But I agree with everyone who says that younger is not better. The bragging rights are greatly outweighed by the insanity of chasing a running baby all over the grocery store!

lola on

Brannon i know what you mean. All my children walked before their 1st birthday,but my eldest was walking at 8 1/2 months!! and it was a nightmare also. Everytime she would round a corner someone would knock her down because they didn’t see her. By her 1st birthday she was running!! Now she has a daughter and her 1st birthday has past and she’s just learning to walk!! HA,HA!! My son in law says all the girls in his family are late walkers. Don’t want to believe it Christina? I have plenty of pictures and video. She’s so little and walking everywhere. Every child is obviously different.

Ann on

I loved that both of our kids didn’t walk till 14 & 15 months. No worry of them hurting themselves or overly babyproofing. So fun, I loved the army crawl that both did. They are now 7 1/2 & almost 15. It goes by so quick! So, enjoy all those stages!

CelebBabyLover on

jessicad- They’re called gravatars. Just go to and follow the extremely simply directions (scroll down to where it says “How do I get a Gravatar” and click on the link that says “Sign Up” to get started.). 🙂

Diane on

Our oldest daughter Meghan took her first steps when she was 15 months old, our middle daughter Amanda started at 9 mos and our last child Michael started at about 11 months…Have to say, rather the 11 and 15 mo time frame…9 mos is much too soon to begin chasing them….As they say, “babies do not come with instructions”…With all the books that are out there for new parents to read from the moment they know they are expecting, it can be a good/bad thing..Once parents read that their child should be doing such and such as such age, and they aren’t, there must be something medically wrong with them…so stressful for them…they will start when they are ready to…

Lin on

Don’t watch cooking shows that much anymore — they’re all getting so similar and boring — but caught Giada’s show recently when her daughter was on. Guess it’s no surprise, but I must say, that is one extraordinarily beautiful baby!

robin on

Giada and Todd, You have such a lovely family and a cute daughter. I have all your cookbooks Giada and use them almost every day. Thankyou for all your wonderful recipes.

Sheilz on

My oldest son was 15 months and 4 days old when he started walking. And when he started walking, he actually walked…no toddling, taking a few steps and falling on his bum, nothing. I didn’t worry or stress when he wasn’t walking at his first birthday. That kid was like lightening when he crawled, he could get across a room in a matter of seconds! I figured he realized it was quicker to get where he wanted by staying on his hands and knees rather than trying a few steps, falling, getting up, trying again.