“You just have to be a jerk. It’s OK,” Prinze Jr., 47, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, November 9, while promoting his partnership with Libby’s Vegetables. “My mom had zero issues being a jerk, as did most moms in the ‘80s. You bring a little of that last generation in and let it speak for you when you feel you can’t do it yourself.”
Prinze Jr. shares daughter Charlotte, 14, and son Rocky, 11, with wife Sarah Michelle Gellar. Charlotte and Rocky have since gotten used to their dad’s insistence about eating vegetables and other healthy foods.
“I mean, [we] didn’t have a choice when I was growing up. If I didn’t eat my dinner, that was my breakfast the next morning,” he quipped to Us. “So I’m very strict with my kids, especially with stuff in the home.”
Prinze Jr.’s efforts have worked because Charlotte and Rocky now “eat everything” that they are served at mealtime. “My kids were eating sushi when they were super young. They’ve been exposed to everything when they were super young, so it got a lot easier,” he added. “Even if my son doesn’t like something, he’ll say, ‘Dad, it’s not my favorite, but don’t worry, I’m going to finish it.’”
The actor further noted to Us that he is the parent who does “all the cooking” in the Gellar-Prinze household.
“[Sarah does] make some things for the kids sometimes, but I do most of the cooking,” Prinze Jr. told Us of his wife, 46. “We cook about three [or] four nights a week. … If you ask my kids what their favorite [meal is], it’s when I make Mexican truck food. They go really hard on that stuff.”
Prinze Jr. finishes off the Mexican cuisine with green and red chilis, which he has shipped out frozen from New Mexico annually, because Rocky enjoys its kick.
“If I make new Mexican food, I have to keep it a little more mild for my daughter, but my son loves heat,” he noted, “I started crushing that and doing green chili stews and enchiladas, and I [also] eat it with scrambled eggs. I eat it with everything.”
Prinze Jr. is also sharing several of his recipes with Libby’s Vegetables as part of its“Thanks & Giving” program.
“They came to me and asked me for some recipes that would be easy side dishes, something super simple, healthy things like that — and cost-effective with canned vegetables because not everyone can go to the farmer’s market, especially when winter comes,” Prinze Jr. explained. “They had this partnership with Meals on Wheels of America and they said, ‘Every single person who shares, ‘likes,’ comments and uses the hashtag ‘Libby’s Gives Thanks’ on your Instagram page or on theirs, they’ll donate one coupon,’ which is redeemable for one can of food up to 500,000 cans or coupons.”
The campaign, which runs through the end of December, will help Meals on Wheels “continue the good work they do,” according to Prinze Jr.
“That meant a lot to me and if I can be a part of them getting 500,000 cans of food, then that would be awesome,” he gushed. “I don’t know how to dance a jig, but I’ll dance one [if we reach their goal]!”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi