Jennifer Garner’s Daughters a ‘Disaster’ on Easter

04/29/2011 at 09:00 AM ET
Dave Allocca/Startraks

Little girls may be made of sugar, spice, and everything nice, but that won’t stop them from turning a kitchen into a warzone.

It’s a lesson Jennifer Garner learned firsthand when daughters Violet, 5, and Seraphina, 2, celebrated Easter in their Sunday best last weekend.

“We had them in these sweet Easter dresses. We dyed eggs, they had chocolate, they painted things and they were just a complete and total disaster,” Garner, 39, told PEOPLE Tuesday at the Frigidaire Stain Games in Glendale.

“I thought, ‘Oops! I should have changed them, put on a smock, covered them up.’ That was not the smartest move on my part.”

Fortunately the mom of two daughters with Ben Affleck has a lax philosophy on just how dirty her girls should get. “I would rather them feel free to be messy … Kids should be empowered to be as messy as they want to be,” she explains.

It’s a message Garner holds especially close to her heart as the ambassador of Frigidaire Goes To Bat For Save The Children.

“It’s so important that we remind ourselves to get up and out with our kids and run them around,” she says. “I have to remind myself [too]. Just yesterday, I realized we’d been sitting inside all day on a gorgeous day. I thought, ‘I just have to get outside. Just go and get to the park. Go out in the dirt and muck and be outside and get fresh air and run around.'”

In addition to keeping her girls healthy through physical activity, the actress promotes healthy eating habits by shopping organic at local farmer’s markets, often with Violet and Seraphina in tow.

“The best way to lead is by example, so I like to eat locally grown foods that are organic,” she says. “I think it’s important that they grow up seeing their parents trying at least to take care of themselves.”

Garner, who says she loves the fun atmosphere of farmer’s markets, also encourages her daughters’ love of healthy foods by getting them involved in the shopping process.

“I feel like kids are more likely to eat [fruits and vegetables] if they have a say in what goes into the basket,” she says. “And there’s nothing better than letting them munch on something raw while they’re walking around the farmer’s market.”

In spite of the inherent mess that comes with being a mom, the job is something Garner takes joy in every day. The best part? “Just having these little people in your life to hang out with,” she says.

— Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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molly on

Every time I read articles about her and her family she seems like she has such a “normal” and positive outlook on how to raise kids; it is refreshing. Nice to hear someone talk about kids being kids (aka getting dirty or wanting to help grocery shop) and using every day ways to become teachable moments that are simple to a child. Love her down-to-earth approach to life!

Kristin on


Jennifer on

She is great! Love her! We love the farmers markets too..our local one just opened here (we are in VA) and we are going this weekend…love to stock up on the fresh, local and yummy foods! Kids love going, too!

saydee on

She is so fabulous! Always a wonderful role model for women!

Allegra on

I really love her parenting ideals. I love shopping at farmer’s markets also! Personally, I HATE stains on nice clothes, it drives me bonkers. My kids are 7 and 5 now and thankfully they know they need to change their outfit before they go out and play after school ;). (Just FYI I’m not putting anyone else down by saying this but with the emotion-less internet it may seem like it!)

randi on

She spends so much one-on-one time with her children – it’s obvious from the pap photos, but also from her remarks in this article. It’s nice to see a celeb who is so involved and hands on (I hate that cliche, but I’m using it anyway :)). She seems more concerned that her children are stimulated and having a good time than wearing the latest fashions and accessories.

Vanessa on

Love love love this family! Totally agree with her, kids should be messy and be let to run around freely.

Can she be my mum?!

nan on

Wait, don’t most people dye eggs BEFORE the “bunny comes” they are for him!?! I have always had my kids (who are teenagers now and would have no part in this!) dye eggs the night before. It’s funny they did them on Sunday! Kudos to her for not getting nuts about them keeping their dresses neat though and I’m sure they loved every minute of it!

Nella on

Jennifer rocks! I love her parenting style! She seems to know what she’s doing and seems like a great role model.

Sara on

She is such a great mother. I always love reading about her. She seems like a very sincere person.

Anna on

Love, love her! Wonderful rolemodel and mother!!