Salma Hayek: I’m Crafty In the Kitchen

11/04/2011 at 09:00 AM ET
Phil McCarten/Landov

Salma Hayek has a secret: Her 4-year-old daughter loves vegetables!

The catch? Valentina Paloma is completely clueless about her healthy habits.

“I camouflage them. They love pasta … [so] I put [them] in tomato sauce,” the Puss In Boots star, 45, reveals during a Friday appearance on the Rachael Ray Show.

“You know what you can hide really well? Aubergine [eggplant], roast carrots, roast bell peppers [and] you can put a little bit of greens if you put enough of the other stuff.”

However, Hayek has learned to cover her tricky tracks well because if Valentina were to find out, all bets would be off, the actress laughs.

“There’s got to be no clue that you lied because then she’ll find it, like, ‘Aha!'” she says. “You have to really puree [the vegetables]. It’s the way to do it.”

The hands-on mother’s tips don’t end in the kitchen; Hayek, who globetrots with her family, including husband François-Henri Pinault, understands children aren’t always the best travel companions.

“She’s on the plane a lot and in the car a lot and sometimes they get cranky. Really, you know what that is? They’re getting carsick,” Hayek explains.

“I have these bracelets that are for motion sickness that I used while I was pregnant — because I was carsick for 9 months nonstop! I put them on her and it’s made a huge difference.”

But whether they’re stateside or overseas, Hayek makes spending alone time with Valentina a priority.

“We have our dates that it’s just her and I, we have to have them,” she shares. “They’re always at night, you know, we go to the movies or to dinner just her and I.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 28 comments

Sara on

I’m lucky b/c I never have to hide anything. My kids love vegetables.

BTW, Salma looks a little skinny to me.

alicejane on

It’s funny, the aversion that some kids get to vegetables. When my nephew started eating solids, he loved every type of vegetable, and my sister and her husband are very health-conscious so they were always making meals with lots of vegetables, protein, etc.

Then just before he hit 2 years, it was like the flip of a switch and he refused any vegetables, so we were doing the same thing when cooking for him. I remember chopping yellow peppers up really, really fine and putting them in eggs for him and he found them and picked each piece out. He’s 3 now, and again, it was like a switch being flipped. He can’t get enough of vegetables, especially avocado and raw broccoli.

I’ve never actually paid much attention to Salma but I watched an interview with her recently and she is hilarious!

Romy on

pretty dress

Ang on

its a lead by example kind of thing-if you eat vegies, chances are your kids will grow to enjoy them too. if you dont eat them, dont be surprised when your kids push them away in a fit.

me on

Maybe it’s because my kids love fruits and vegetables (and most of the time choose them over junk food), but I never understood hiding foods. Sure I put vegetables in foods, like cauliflower in mashed potatoes, but my kids know what it is. It’s not like an adult goes to a restaurant and asks for them to hide the vegetables. Glad to hear kids eat their vegetables, even if they have to be hidden, though.

Magi on

I have that problem!! I’m not a vegetable lover, not at all..and in consecuence I didnt introduce them to my girls when they where younger, and now they dont eat them as well, and i get very froustrated about that.

dee on

That would be “She and I” not “Her and I”. To be able to earn soooo much money; some of these actors/actresses have such bad grammer!

Jay on

Try vegetable Korma it is an east Indian dish but make it mild or request it to be made with less spice. Some kids may like the veggies prepared that way. Eat it with nan or chapati rolled up and kids may really enjoy it.

casey on

@dee Get a life, loser. Was that grammatically correct enough for you?



Ha Ha!!! Loved your answer. English is not her 1st language and even if it was this is an “add a comment” page. Calm down. I mean really who cares? Not me.

Very pretty dress.

Kristine on

Dee, it’s grammar – if you’re going to criticize, you should probably try to get it right yourself.

I’d hide vegetables in dishes if I had to. At least then the kids would still be getting the vegetables and the flavor, so at some point in the future it wouldn’t be a totally foreign taste when they started eating vegetables in whole form again.

As somebody pointed out, some kids will go from eating most vegetables to none at all. Usually in the toddler/pre-school years. It’s part of their attempt to exert control on their own life. My son ate everything as a little guy. Around 3 or so, suddenly most vegetables made him “want to frow up.” Including dramatically spitting things out in the garbage can.

We’re just riding this phase out. He still has to TRY a bite of everything (even if we run the risk of “frow up”), and we always have a vegetable side that he WILL eat. I do hide onions in dishes – very finely minced. He doesn’t like them. But only if he can see them.

Lol on

Dee, that would be “Grammar” not “Grammer”. Some of these compulsive commenters have such bad spelling skills.

MommytoanE on

Troll Dee has her panties in a twist today. Poor dear, has to pick how people word things.

I agree with Alicejane! When my DD was an infant, I couldn’t get enough veggies into her. She actually turned away things like applesauce, because she would much rather have veggies. Then she hit a phase where she wouldn’t touch veggies. Even spaghetti sauce was a big no to her.

All of a sudden around 5, veggies were her best friend again! Now she eats a veggie with just about every meal, and loves it.

I did find that letting her pick the veggies and help prepare them helped a lot….but kids go through phases. Tho…if you think about it, as adults we do too. Sometimes something like cottage cheese sounds delic to us…then a week later its nasty.

Kandee43 on

Veggie pancakes! My Grandson eats them and very happily. His mother makes a huge batch. She prepares pancake batter (as per box directions) and she steams the veggies then grinds them up in the food processor. She adds the pureed veggies into the batter and cooks them as you do regular pancakes.

She serves them to him for breakfast or lunch. She puts applesauce on them, which he loves. Since he’s over two and a half she will sometimes put honey on them. (Doctor’s recommend NO HONEY to children under the age of one) She stores the rest in the freezer or another day or more.


I like to read what actors and actresses say about their personal life including hiding vegetables from their children. It’s entertainment that’s why us men and women read right? Most interesting are these women who like to throw in, she’s too thin, she isnt dressed appropriately, or scruntinize them for being them. It’s called jealousy, this is what happens to chubby house-wives, that have nothing going for them, but bratty toe-headed children. Be positive ladies, KNOW YOURSELF worth, be strong, confident, and grow self-esteem, so you don’t come back to this message board, being jealous of someone that accomplished their dream.


Re: Sara

Are you a chubby lonely house-wife, with a cheating hubby? Salma has curves, she’s beautiful, and got her body back after having a child. You must have not got your pre-pregnant body back huh?

Girl, get some confidence, know what your worth, because I bet you are a lovely woman. Comment about what the topic is about not what the actress looks and doesn’t look like.


In this society we as females are lacking comraderie. We should congratulate someone for thier parenting skills, even if its not what you or your hubby would do for your own children. Not make remarks regarding their physical appearance.

Kandee43 on

Dee, about Salma’s grammar. What’s the big deal? Have you never made a grammatical error before? I know I does, always! LOL!

Allison on

As others pointed out, it is kind of funny that Dee criticized Salma’s grammar when speaking in her 2nd language, yet Dee misspelled the word grammar.

Jillian on


You should take your own advice. Be positive ladies, KNOW YOURSELF worth, be strong, confident, and grow self-esteem. Worry about the post and not about bringing someone else down because you don’t like or agree with what they say.

Sara said, Salma looks a little skinny to me. There is nothing rude, degrading or insulting about this. But, you comment back with pure negative nastiness and tell people to be positive? If putting down someone else by name calling makes you feel like a positive, strong, confident person, then I am very sad and sorry for you.

Cyn on

Sara is right – for what Salma generally looks like, she’s looking a little thin in this picture. Maybe it’s the way the dress is sitting, I have no idea.

But your reply, Gabby, was a little unnecessarily over-dramatic. She was simply making an observation, not criticizing her figure.

cris on

Dee-English is her second language so if you ask me she’s doing just fine… especially those who criticize with English as a first language cannot spell. From the comments I’ve read I see everyone is in agreement.

I adore Salma. She is an amazing inspiration to Latina women like myself. I don’t do the Hollywood thing at all but she has contributed so much of herself to charity and not just within the Latin community. Aside from her obvious beauty on the outside I truly believe her inner beauty is extraordinary.

DVH on

This forum is a free for all, and if someone wants to critique grammar or body weight or hair of the person in the story, so what? Why do we have so many officers of the anti-negativity law out there? If you don’t like what someone wrote, move on to the next post! I enjoy reading the snarky comments because they’re real. You can only read ‘Oh good job, God bless you and your family we love you!!!!’ so many times. Let them let their hair down, pull up a chair, and dish a little. You can always go to another site.

smiavs on

I don’t understand why parents are so afraid to (within reason) upset their child over something like food. What ever happened to clearing one’s plate or going hungry? Honestly, the kid’s not going to starve, and they’ll get over the vegetable aversion faster that way. I didn’t touch vegetables as a kid, and nobody made me. Now I love them, but I was fifteen before I would eat them again.

I’m glad some parents (like Ms. Hayek) at least make an effort to see that their children still get the veggies (far too many simply give up) but I don’t think I’d put up with that. Certainly didn’t with the kids I nannied, and they ate much better with me, when their parents (who did put up with their refusal to eat vegetables) weren’t around.

Anonymous on

smiavs- As someone who had such a severe oral-sensory disorder as a toddler that she baby food or otherwise pureed food was the only food she could tolerate (and I went through a couple of really rough patches were I couldn’t even tolerate that…resulting in hospitalization due to what was, effectively, self-starving), I can tell you that sometimes getting crafy in the kitchen like Salma does is the only way to get a kid to eat.

Luckily, I was able to overcome my condition (which also affected my ability to speak) with the help of a speech therapist, but some kids aren’t that lucky and struggle with oral-sensory issues throughout childhood, and somtimes even into adulthood. Obviously most cases of picky eating are just that, but my point is that it’s not always a matter of parents simply being afraid to feed their kids veggies in their natural form!

Anonymous on

I also don’t agree with the whole “clean your plate” deal. Telling a child they have to clean their plate can actually do more harm than good, as it can be a great way to teach a child to ignore their body’s natural hunger/fullness cues, leading to overeating (and that, of course, often leads to being overweight or even obese and all the health issues that can come with it!).

I think it makes much more sense to use the method my parents used: You have to try x amount of bites of everything on your plate, but after that you can stop eating once you get full, even if there’s food still on the plate.

soph on

“In this society we as females are lacking comraderie.”

And you’ve proven that splendidly, GABBY.

Joanne on

People saying that Salma looks thin here, well good for her! I am about the same height, build, and ethnicity as Salma, and people told me the same thing when I started walking and looking thinner. Salma is skinny for her frame, but she is still curvy and healthy. She look great, and I love how she does not spend money on clothes. I know some people want to buy designer clothes and hand bags, but not me. I like that Salma says she spends money on art, because that is what is important to me too. I actually like to create my own art, but I love to hear about people buying art. A beautiful painting will be around for years to come, whereas certain fashion trends might not.