“Kids learn from your actions more than your words, 100 percent, I’ve learned that for good and for bad,” the Flirty Dancing host, 39, told Us on Wednesday, August 26, while promoting her Renew Life probiotics partnership.
Dewan, who sticks to a vegan or vegetarian eating regimen, says her daughter is well aware that she avoids meat and has proudly followed in her footsteps. “She will tell the whole world that she’s vegetarian,” the Connecticut native explained. “If you live with wellness being a priority for you, then in those actions [kids] sort of, by osmosis, create their own opinions.”
Yet, Dewan, who also shares 5-month-old son Callum with fiancé Steve Kazee, said she’s “very big on not pushing my own opinions on Evy,” adding: “She’s watching every move I do and everything I say, so I try not to push anything on her, but I explain to her.”
When the elementary school student inquired about why her mom drinks “green smoothies” each morning, the Step Up star explained why she enjoys the healthy beverages. “I was like, ‘Well, because I want to keep my body strong so that I can be the healthiest mommy and I can have the energy to play with you and take care of you and have fun with you as much as I can,'” she said.
“We talk about snacks that are not as healthy and the better snacks for you and she understands and we’ve learned through experience,” Dewan continued. “If she goes to a birthday party, I don’t keep her from having cake or keep her from eating a bag of chips. I want her to experience life, but I explain to her, ‘If you are gonna eat this and you want to eat too much of this, I just want you to know you might get a stomachache, you might not feel as great tonight.'”
Per the Resident actress, Everly has learned “through experience” which foods make her feel good and which don’t. “There’s been many times where she’s been like, ‘Ugh, I did get that stomachache’ or she’ll think, ‘I kinda want to eat that, but I’m gonna eat my healthy snack first so that I don’t get a stomachache.’ We just work it and it’s a little bit of a way of life,” she said.
The Witches of East End alum added: “It’s important for me that she listens to her body, but she also chooses, or at least tries to choose the healthy choices.”
According to Dewan, the healthy habits she’s encouraging are “getting in there somewhere.” The Gracefully You author recalled one instance in which Everly was less than thrilled with her school’s lunch options. “I had her school call me and say that she went through the lunch line and she was like, ‘I’m vegetarian and this is not healthy!’ And I was like, ‘OK,'” she explained. “So we had to have a conversation. I was like, ‘Evy, … there’s not one way to live in life. I’m happy that you were talking about the apple being healthy, but everyone eats a little differently and it’s all about the choices you make and everyone’s family is different.’ We had to have a lot of conversations like that.”
With reporting by Carly Sloane