Zooey Deschanel Uses Her Garden to Get Her Kids Eating Healthy

Deschanel (in Malibu on July 24) and her husband launched an ATTN series, Your Food's Roots, which explores food origins.
Deschanel (in Malibu on July 24) and her husband launched an ATTN series, Your Food's Roots, which explores food origins.  Lance Williams


Zooey Deschanel had pregnancy down to a science, thanks to her chemical engineer husband Jacob Pechenik.

“He kept asking what I was eating,” the New Girl alum tells Us. “He was extremely curious about how we could optimize the baby’s health by investing time into and researching what the best foods were to eat.”

As their family grew — they have kids Elsie, 3, and Charlie, 15 months — so did their expertise. “It wasn’t like we were eating unhealthy and then we just cleaned up our act,” she says. “We ultimately landed on what was healthiest for us and the planet.”

At home, the 38-year-old is teaching her kids to try — and love — hearty food. “When we started keeping a garden, our daughter became more interested,” she explains. “She sees broccoli growing and we say, ‘You can eat this!’”

Zooey Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik
Zooey Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. INSTAR Images

Another trick: Experimenting with spices. “It’s a wonderful way of changing their minds about things they’re not ordinarily attracted to,” says Deschanel, who launched the ATTN series Your Food’s Roots with her husband. “It you put lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt on anything, it’s going to taste delicious.”

She serves up sweets sparingly. “It’s hard with birthday parties,” she tells Us. “But we don’t want to be the parents that are like, ‘No, you can’t have that!’ We try to be reasonable.”

After all, growing up, she had to earn her sugar rush. “If I wanted something sweet, I had to make it,” confesses the actress. “The process of making something teaches you how it’s precious. You can’t replenish it easily.”

Today, she savors that notion. “I make zucchini muffins with my daughter,” she adds. “She puts the little cupcake liners in the tins. It’s easy for her and she feels like she’s a part of it. It’s always fun!”

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