Hilary Duff’s Favorite Mother-Son Activity: ‘I’ve Been Trying to Get Him into Cooking’

04/01/2015 at 02:15 PM ET

Hilary DuffJim Spellman/WireImage

Hilary Duff has already found a sous chef in her 3-year-old.

The busy mom chatted Tuesday at the New York City premiere of her new series Younger about the delicious mother-son activity she’s discovered with her son Luca Cruz — cooking!

“Lately I’ve been trying to get him into cooking because I love to cook,” Duff, 27, tells PEOPLE.

But the Disney Channel alum isn’t leaving her toddler alone to man the kitchen. She mostly lets Luca mess around with the pots and pans while she takes on the hard labor.

“I try to cook things that involve lots of different bowls where he can be dipping stuff in,” the singer and actress explains. “It’s nice for him to touch the food and work with it and then eat it.”

And the hobby can be a nice break when Duff needs to stop and breathe.

“That has been my new favorite activity because it’s somewhat mellow and he’s actually getting into it,” she says of their culinary pastime. “He’s so into trains and cars and hide-and-go-seek and tag and chasing and racing — I never sit down!”

The pace of motherhood has picked up since Duff separated from husband Mike Comrie, 34, last year. But the actress still manages to mix work and play with the help of her ex, who would bring Luca to set while Duff was filming.

“She’s a mother that is always thinking about her child even when she’s not with her child,” Duff’s costar Debi Mazar, 50, tells PEOPLE.

“She was always filming him, bringing him to set, introducing him to people. She’s very hands-on,” Mazar says. (She also says she never once met a nanny!)

The first-time mom has a full plate with a busy career and family, but she “wouldn’t change too much,” she says, which is a key theme in her new show.

“[The message] we are really striving for is to not have too many regrets. To take whatever comes your way, bumps in the road, move past them, figure out how to reinvent yourself, persevere forward,” Duff says.

Younger airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TV Land.

— Jacqueline Andriakos with reporting by Maggie Parker

RELATED VIDEO: Hilary Duff’s Changing Looks!

FILED UNDER: Babies , Hilary Duff , Kids , News , Parenting

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Ivixen on

Now there’s a hair color I’m never going to try.

Michelle on

I’m sorry but man that hair color is God awful. Does nothing for her. It makes her hair look ratty and dried out.

Barbara on

I’m normally a total non-troll/non-hater type and in fact scold those who insult celebrities for sport HOWEVER . . . wow . . . what kind of a junior mid-life crisis is this woman going through that would make her do this to herself? That hair! That off the charts weird tan lines/kind of saggy cleavage (and I’m super liberal about showing off the good bits) . . . wow. Hilary . . . take some time off and regroup, or get a new stylist cuz this look is B A D1

dd on

not a good look, not really her

Pat on

What has she done to herself? She was a pretty, fresh-faced girl, and now she looks plastic and fake. And she is still so young!

Valerie on

That hair color doesn’t look good on her, makes her looks older.

Tara on

can someone please tell this chick her look is awful. it screams mid-life crisis, dying for attention, missing male companionship.

Mrs. B on

Gosh, I didn’t even recognize her! She is such a pretty lady, but the green hair is not doing her any favors. Her face also doesn’t look the same. Whatever she’s doing needs to be stopped immediately!

sue on

That hair is so awful. She looks like a scarecrow, all hay on her head. Go back to blonde!

Kate on

Not her finest look. She looks so different now. I’m not even sure it’s in a good way. She used to be so pretty. What happened?

Doreen on

She’s doing the gray hair now too?! Whhhhhy?!?!

Mandy on

She looks so different than few years ago. She looks so young in her old pictures.