James Van der Beek’s Daughter Serves As His Sous Chef

01/21/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Marc Cartwright

First time father James Van der Beek‘s 3½-month-old daughter Olivia is proving to be quite the daddy’s girl — and mom Kimberly is happily reaping the benefits!

“She loves her daddy,” Kimberly told PEOPLE at the HBO Golden Globes party.

“I got to say her favorite thing, actually, is to be in the Baby Bjorn in front of him and they cook breakfast for me together.”

And although the actor, 33, raves Olivia is “all smiles” in the morning, the quieter moments are equally as gratifying.

“[The highlight of my night was] when I finally got our 3½-month-old to go to sleep during the broadcast,” he laughs. “It’s a little challenging here and there.”

As a result, date night has never been so rewarding for the new parents.

“Yes, it’s a good night! We’re just kind of enjoying being out — at all!” Van der Beek says. “When we have a babysitter and some place to dress up and go, it’s a lot of fun.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Cynthia Wang

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

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

Showing 40 comments

Emily on

Uhh… Oh I don’t want to be a spoilsport but it isn’t safe to have a baby held in front while cooking! It probably actually says that on the Baby Bjorn literature. They can reach out and grab something hot or sharp, etc…

laura on

I was gonna say the same thing…I hope they are “cooking” cereal or something that doesn’t involve dangling a baby in front of a hot stove, etc.

denise on

I agress, it’s so dangerous, one should always carry the baby on your back if you’re really “cooking”, if you’re just preparing a salad that wouldn’t be a problem.

But the second point is that BB are an ergonomic catastrophe. For the baby’s back but also for the carrier and babies should never be carried facing outwards.

Emily on

It’s funny that people think they’re smarter than everyone else. Do you really think he would be dumb enough to dangle his baby in front of a hot stove. Come on.

CJ on

Emily, I agree. Come on people, how stupid do you think the rest of us are?

Tee on

That’s a sweet article! I love hearing about Daddy’s that enjoy spending time with their babies! I’m not a fan of the BB either, much prefer other carriers but to each their own.

Jane on

Oh, that is not really necessary to say- it’s breakfast and I’m sure it’s cereal or something harmless, or they are plenty careful. Give them credit!

tink1217 on

Olivia is only 3 months old..he probably has her inward facing in the Bjorn and I am sure he wouldn’t “dangle” his baby over a hot stove.

Thanks on

@Emily……..Thanks for saying it before i DID. lol PEOPLE!

jb on

they’ll figure it out with the crotch dangler. Stop being so judgmental.

Meghan on

I think he knows how to keep his own child out of harms way. Good grief, ladies.

ashley on

How do you know that he doesn’t use this Baby Bjorn? This carrier is ergonomically correct…so all of you Negative Nancy’s should stop assuming and making an a$$ out of yourself.

Tinkertoy on

Well, who knows if they are smart enough to not dangle the baby over a stove. Michael Jackson dangled Blanket over a 4 story balcony….just saying. :o)

IMO on

I read the article and thought…..ahhhhhh, how sweet! And ppl find something to be negative about. My goodness. Great father daughter bonding! Yah for breakfast for mommy! And hooray for date nights.

CelebBabyLover on

Tinkertoy- I think most parents would be smart enough not to dangle their baby over a hot stove or a 4 story balcony. Michael was the exception, not the norm. 🙂

Anyway, I love that James and Olivia “cook” breakfast together!

B.R on

@ Tinkertoy really? You are compering James Van der Beek to Michael Jackson? Really? MJ had serious mental problems, and I mean serious mental problems why that man was not in a mental institution is beyond me, let alone have been allowed to keep his children, when clearly he was not what was best for them. But that is another story all together. So you are compering a sane normal human being to MJ to prove that he would harm his own child? Come on I am sure that they both have enough common sense as parents not to dangle their child in front of a hot stove. Plus if the baby is on his hip or back you can comfortably cook and not have much problems with them at three months. I used to do it all the time in refugee camps and with my friends children. I am sure that they are taking great measures to assure that their baby is safe, health and happy. So lets take this for what it is a really cute story about a dad how is in love with his baby girl, and a proud mom who is clearly smitten with both her husband and baby. Just like any mom should be.

Anna on

I’m sure he isn’t holding her over a hot stove. Come on!! Some people on this website are so ridiculous.

I thought it was a cute story.

Amanda on

And let the Bijorn haters come out! It’s so funny, as soon as I saw the Bijorn mentioned I knew there’d be the self rightous commented on them.

I have an Ergo, a moby, a few slings and a Bijorn and I use them all! Babies have been carried in ‘crotch danglers’ for decades, they were definitely around in the 70s and 80s, with no serious conseqences. I was carried in one (not sure it was a bijorn name brand but it looked similar) and the only back problems I have are from a car accident I was in, before that I was fine.

tink1217 on

i was waiting to hear someone say something about Michael Jackson..may he rest in peace but the man wasn’t “all there”…so BAD example!!!

hayley w on

some of you here need to get a grip, your not the mummy police jeeezzzz 20 quid says you are those horrids that looovvee to tell pregnant women that diet coke is just as bad for the baby as crack and of you don’t breastfeed you are in fact the devil lmao

i doubt very much he leans over the open flames while the kid hold on the baby carrier for dear life or lets her hold the chopping knife while he flicks around a pan of hot oil and feeds her uncooked eggs and honey ….

How about stop telling people how to raise their kids and worry about your own….just a thought

i for one thinks thats lovely that he takes the time to cook his wife breakfast and not only that takes their little darling so she gets a rest , its sweet and a very nice thing for mummy and cute daddy and daughter time x

tink1217 on

well said hayley w!

Dee on

I cook with my baby all the time, just like my mother did with all of us. Obviously we take precaution!!!

Emily on

Actually, the Baby Bjorn instruction manual does say that “activities you would normally not consider dangerous, like cooking, biking, … etc… should not be done while wearing the baby in a Baby Bjorn”.

I would love to see how you guys have your infant car seats installed, too 😉 Perhaps you are the 90%…

denise on

wow, some people are aggressive and call others who just noticed something odd aggressiv or weird?? “mommy police”? no, but if you look around a lot of people do things that are dangerous because the parents didn’t know the risks. we all HOPE he doesn’t carry her in front of him when using a stove or using hot ingredients. nobody said he did, the article did sound like he did, though.

and yes, i am 100% sure that our carseat is installed the right way as it gives an alarm sound if it’s not properly secured and has additional lights that show with red and green if it’s safe or not.

BB are worse for boys as it squeezes the testicles and boys might become infertile. and how many people DO have problems with their backs?
calm down. it’s only obvious how well BB PR works. and a second NO, i didn’t breastfeed, my kid was introduced to solids rather early and I always had diet coke.

some people… do you always react like that if someone noticed something you do which isn’t so great or ask if you really do that???

tink1217 on

just because some parents are more “relaxed” than others doesn’t mean they put their children in danger(installing a car seat incorrectly for instance).. Freaking out over everything makes for a neurotic parent and child. MOST parents are doing the best they can…give the mommy police a rest.

Stacy on

I love it that he takes time for his baby girl, and especially cooks for his wife while she gets rest! That is a blessing in a man!! It’s extremely hard to find a man that will think of much more than his needs. That’s great that they have such a loving relationship and work together like that. I agree that people do need to mind their own business, and let people raise their own kids.

Manon on

Great post, Denise – the voice of reason on here!

hayley w on

denise – my point ia read that lovely lovely section of their life and whats the forst thing people pick up on, not the fact that this guy loves spending one on one time with his baby, or the fact he is giving mummy im sure a much needed break or the fact he is doing all that and cooking her breakfast which i am sure we would all love.

No they all say ooooo thats sooo dangerous, i hoe he isnn’t doing this that and the other. And he shouldn’t be doing this that and the other and i am pointing out firstly to even assume that he would put his baby in danger is just plain rude , just because what? he is a man, or he is using a baby carrier you don’t like that means you no better. I think any one that questioned the safty of that child falls into these mums.

If i need advise i ask for it, however if some stranger dared to come up to me and tell me in her opinion i was doing some thing bad because she thought so then hell yes i would be. Advise is one thing but criticizing is quite something else. I once had some horrid troll tell me to remove my babys wrist reins as he was not a dog to be walked…….

while her kid ran into the road, as i said before worry about your own kids thats your job

Taylor on

Wow. So now we know why some men are infertile: baby carriers.

IMO on

Boys might become infertile from a baby bjorn? Omg I haven’t laughed this hard in so long!!!!!

Maybe he cooks her oatmeal in the microwave. There is no problems or danger with her being in front then. Or even cereal.

J on

Just a few articles ago there were people here laughing about how they leave their babies on beds and sofas without barriers and then freak out when they fall off. Yet these seem to be the same people criticizing a father making breakfast with his kid.

jessicad on

I laughed at the infertile comment too, I mean wow.

I just find the randomness of how you guys judge so weird, at least he cooks. Angelina Jolie said she rarely cooks the other day and nobody said a word about it. If that were Katie Holmes people would’ve been calling her a lazy and terrible mother.

Anyhow, cute story. His wife is absolutely flawless, I’d be pampering her too I were him! 🙂

Sheri on

Infertility Specialist: “Were you carried in a Baby Bjorn as an infant?”
Husband: “yes!”
Specialist: “There’s your problem. It wasn’t the marijuana as a teenager, or cigarettes, your weight, or even your undescended testicle. It was the crotch dangler. I sure hope your mom never carried you around while she prepared a meal! Maybe that’s how you got that patch of eczema on your big toe.”

Maddie on

I *knew* that people would zoom in on the cooking with daughter comment and have at it! For God’s sake people, I’m sure he is not putting Olivia in harms way… he is not that stupid.

I’m sure James is more than capable of caring for his daughter… can’t you just see it for what it is, a daddy and daughter spending quality time together, instead of imagining horror stories/fearing for the baby’s safety?

Lighten up, people – the way other people parent is of no concern to you, quit being so judgmental.

Maddie on

Oh and thanks for the LOL re: bjorns make baby boys infertile…hahahaha! The only way that would possible (going with the ‘squished testicle’ theory, that a poster had) would be if a boy spent days/weeks in bjorn consecutively (with no break, just was in there 24/7) … but even then….I am *very* suspect. And baby would obviously not be doing that…. so yeah, that comment is just humorous to me!

If my hubby made me breakfast, *and* gave me a break from the baby, I would be a happy woman! Kimberly’s got herself a good man, lucky thing! They sound like they are loving parenthood, and adoring their little girl 🙂

Sus on

My Bjorn never hurt my back but my baby probably stopped riding in it when she was around 20 pounds.

kezie on

i really hope he doesnt mean actually cooking
and before you say.. come one how can he be that stupid
a friend of mine left her 9 month old son with daddy to have sometime to herself
he thought it would be a great idea to do gardening with baby in the baby born carrier attached to his chest .. baby facing out
he was trimming the hedges.. baby reached out a daddy cut off his little finger…
dont assume that james cant be that stupid..

CelebBabyLover on

I, too, laughed at the comment about Bjorns making baby boys infertile. As another poster pointed out, Bjorns have been around sice at least the 70s and 80s. If they really DID make baby boys infertile, then there’d be a lot, and I mean A LOT more infertile men walking around!

Terri on

You know, I did think when he said that he’s cooking with her in front of him, that the baby would get in my way of the counter or stove. I don’t think anyone is being judgemental for saying as much. Sometimes people are just as judgemental as the people they accuse of being judgemental. There are a lot of posters that could stand to take it down a notch already. Chill out.