Shiri Appleby: Natalie Is Already a Foodie Like Her Father

02/05/2014 at 11:00 AM ET

Shiri Appleby Barneys Cocktail Party Donato Sardella/Getty

At 10 months old, Shiri Appleby‘s daughter Natalie Bouader is already a bonafide foodie.

But that’s no surprise considering the baby girl’s father is Jon Shook, eclectic chef and owner of Los Angeles eatery, Animal.

“She eats everything, as you can imagine,” the Girls actress, 35, told PEOPLE at the Barneys New York cocktail party celebrating designer Irene Neuwirth on Tuesday.

“If she’s sitting at the table eating her baby food, but you have your own food, she goes ‘Eee! Eee!’ until you give her what you’re eating!”

All that food tasting may explain how Natalie has already developed a palate that would put most adults to shame.

“She’s very opinionated and super, super curious. She loves curry,” says Appleby, who has been engaged to Shook since 2012.

What goes great with curry? According to Natalie, root beer. “The third thing she ever had was root beer. She loved it. She knows what she likes!” Appleby adds.

And the new mom knows what she likes as well: spending as much time with her daughter as possible.

“At the end of the night, we jump in the bath and play in the water. Just me and her. It’s beautiful,” Appleby shares.

“I’ve learned not to be concerned with the emails or phone calls. This is what matters. You learn from your children to try and stay as present as possible.”

Well that, and the joys of curry and root beer!

— Matthew Cole Weiss

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Showing 29 comments

Sawyer on

Not sure about anyone else, but a 10 month old child having soda seems a little too young.

guest on

I agree but I’m more worried about the curry a ten months belly is not ready to handle something that spicy

Jen DC on

Start ’em early!

She probably didn’t have a whole rootbeer to herself. Secondly, you can tone curry down with potatoes, rice, breads, yogurt… and literally billions of South Asian babies are raised on curries.

Nancy on

Seriously? Both of you CHILL out. She may like the taste of curry; I’m sure her mother doesn’t give her spoonfuls of it. Same goes for the soda . . a taste. God . . people get so worked up! LOL.

Heather on

Seriously. My 10 month old has tried numerous things…. Indian food, chili, nachos, pasta…etc. I don’t give him mouth fulls and a plate of it…but he gets to try things and he enjoys it. It’s why all my children are open to trying new things…because I let them. They are not like a lot of children I see/know who refuse to try anything but chicken nuggets and pb&j sandwiches because that’s all their parents would let them try.

evarector on

What do you think babies in places like India and Taiwan eat? I’m sure she’s not making her daughter’s food with as much kick as an adults, but I think it’s awesome that she’s not limiting her to just “kid food”.

me on

Of course, the “perfect moms” are always quick to judge. Leave her alone.

Elara on

It’s a proven fact that the more foods your baby tries, the less picky they will be as toddlers. There is no reason to give your baby a different dinner than you. It just has to be in tiny pieces and portions.

Pinky on

I think it is fine for a little one to try lots of things. But be prepared even if they do try things as a baby they can go through a picky stage. Being picky is often about asserting control and not about taste buds you can do everything to make them perfect and open to new foods but they are going to be kids. So go easy on yourselves.

Catherine on

evarector, your post cracked me up. So true!

Hello on

Ew- root beer for a ten-month-old? So bad- I won’t even give that to my five-year-old!

Anonymous on

root Bear has no Cafeine not an issue she has strong taste buds

Jeanne on

My children were always given things to taste at that age. I remember my oldest eating creamed onion soup and shrimp at 11 months. I introduced them early and now at 15 12 and 9 my children love all kinds of foods. they love Sushi and try everything. good for her!

Ann on

I have always been a big Shiri fan going back to her Roswell days and motherhood really suits her.

Anonymous on

You people do realize there is a world full of other peoples and cultures who grow up eating spicy food? It’s good she gives her baby different foods, t will encourage the kid to try other foods as she gets older.

Andrea on

Lol I knew as soon as I read that article there would be comments about giving a baby root beer and curry.

Claire on

I agree with you, evarector!! It’s not like kids all over the world just eat pasta and hotdogs like we Americans seem to think our children will only eat. With some allowances for foods that one simply doesn’t like, children will eat what you give them if you start them early enough. If you eat lots of curry in your family, there’s no reason not to give it to your baby! In this country we so readily accept picky eating as an excuse for toddlers eating an extremely limited diet. We seem to think that children will only like and eat a handful of very bland foods, where actually, they will eat whatever you feed them if you start them on it as soon as they are eating solid foods. I never gave my kids food from jars, or even puréed food myself. I just started them on tiny tiny bits of real food. Soft ones at first, then on to different textures. I’m not at all saying purée is bad for babies, just a step that is not 100% necessary.

Brit on

Although I wouldn’t give MY baby these things I doubt she’s give her cups full of root beer and bowls of curry!!!! Why do people have to discredit other people’s parenting about something this petty?

YG on

Calm down, it’s not like she have her the whole can! Ugh, people just love to judge. Especially the sanctimommie…

Emma on

You just have to love the pretentiousness and self-righteousness of mommies judging mommies for judging other mommies. Lol! I’m not quite sure what in the world makes them think they are any better. Anyone giving a 10 month old soda should be judged. Come on…soda…to a 10 month old. I’m severely addicted to Mello Yellos because my mom started letting me drink them at a very young age. I drink 6 to 8 20oz. bottles a day, and when I’m not drinking them I crave them constantly. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. My little boy didn’t have a soda until he was about 5 and now he only has one with his happy meal on Fridays.

CripplerQueen on

Emma please just take responsibility for your own actions. No one is holding a gun to your head as you drink Mello Yello (or maybe I’m wrong in which case we can come up with some kind of safe word for you write back with some information on where you can be rescued from). Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? My mother raised me on Pepsi, I can’t remember the last time I had one. If I can do it, you can do it, I believe in you. Christ.

Cindy on

This may seem like a silly question (I don’t have children), but if she’s breast feeding and eats those foods, wouldn’t it be possible for the baby to also develop a liking for those flavors anyway? I agree with everyone who said that babies in other countries don’t eat like Americans, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with what they’re doing.

Ala on

Kids all around the world start eating spicy food at a young age, simply because the local food is traditionally spicy, so that doesn’t bother me. I’m more concerned about the root beer. But that’s because I don’t like the idea of giving kids soda.

lori on

@Emma, I’m sorry but LOL!!! Where in the world do you even find Mello Yello?? Good God woman, get a hold of yourself! !

lori on

@CripplerQueen, I cannot stop laughing at your comment! Thank you for that!

freya on

I’m Asian and had a biracial child my child’s favorite munchies when he began teething is a boiled beef ligament and he’s just fine. I find that American children are so protected and cuddled and isolated from the world no wonder most of them grew up to be more prone to stomach irregularities than any other children of the world.

Me on

I love Shiri to pieces, but is she giving her sweet soda at all? And especially at her age?

Anonymous on

I wasn’t aware that feeding a baby seasoned foods and/or giving them what was likely a tiny sip of Root Beer was child abuse. You learn something new every day! 😉

Anonymous on

Oh, and FYI, I was being sarcastic (I know that’s a difficult concept for a lot of people here to grasp!)!