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Interview With Camila Alves McConaughey About Making Healthier Choices at Home

Interview With Camila Alves McConaughey About Making Healthier Choices at Home

Find out what she and husband Matthew McConaughey love to cook together!

Camila Alves McConaughey, mom, model, and wife of actor Matthew McConaughey, launched her company Yummy Spoonfuls® with the mission to change the American food system. She and her partner Agatha Achindu want to emphasize that nutritious food can also be delicious.

Yummy Spoonfuls is frozen baby and toddler food brand made from selectively sourced organic food items. It contains no preservatives, additives, or fillers. Yummy Spoonfuls' founder Achindu and Alves McConaughey, co-owner and chief brand director, aim to change the way kids eat from their very first spoonful and create a simpler way to provide delicious, just-like-homemade food for babies and tots.

They recently launched their LoveUnprocessed website, which will host exclusive content and be the home for the Healthy Firsts council of Registered Dietitians sharing actionable, real-world advice on how to introduce foods and establish healthy eating habits throughout the first formative years. The site will also serve as the hub for Yummy Spoonful’s social community, where parents can share their own #LoveUnprocessed moments.

We talked with Alves McConaughey about how we, as parents, can start incorpating these healthy choices at home and what she and her husband, actor Matthew McConaughey, love to cook together. Check out the interview below:

What is your favorite thing to cook for your family?
One of my favorites is slow cooked beans. I always have a pot on the stove or a cooked batch in the freezer as a backup. It's a simple dish filled with fiber and protein; it takes me back to Brazil. I love sharing delicious and nutritious dishes that I grew up with as a kid with my own children. The kids absolute favorite is the honey chicken I make—but that’s a whole different story!

How can parents make healthier food choices at home?
A few things I like to follow at my home: READ the ingredient panel. This is so important—manufacturers have to list ingredients in order, from the highest to lowest amount. So even if the front of the box says "whole grain"—if you’re seeing one of the first three ingredients listed as sugar, you know it’s not really that healthy for you. The food industry can be very misleading with claims and advertising, and make you think you are getting something that you are not. That's why we make our food with zero additives or preservatives—what you see on the label is what you get. Stay away from over-processed foods as much as possible. Avoid any ingredients you can't pronounce—if it wouldn't be in your home kitchen, it doesn't belong in your store-bought foods.

If possible, always buy organic, and if you can’t do organic for everything, try and follow the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen.” Clean out your pantry and refrigerator: Have a checkup every so often and clear out any unhealthy items in your kitchen. If you know it’s not a good choice, keep it out of your home! Despite what they may say, kids will eat what they have at home. They will complain at first, but if you stick with the healthier choices, after a week or so they will understand that there will be no other options and their taste buds will get used to it. That way you control when there's a "treat day"—and make those moments feel special.

What are some ways parents can use food to connect with their kids?
I love to cook with my kids and have been doing so for as long as I can remember! It is very important I believe to start involving them with "real foods" instead of just doing the cooking with them when it is cookies or cupcakes.... Get the kids involved and show them that cooking can be fun and creative. It's great to see what they come up when they start putting ingredients together. My oldest’s first love was grilled avocados!

Why should parents choose organic foods?
I don't think growing bodies should be exposed to toxic pesticides, added hormones, and antibiotics. There are so many unknowns when raising our kids, and if we can take steps to protect them then I think we should each do what we can.

How do you manage "me time" with three kids at home?
I am still trying to manage! If you have a secret I will take any recommendations you have! One thing I have learned is that I used to think that "me time" would require taking a vacation. The reality is that even if I take just couple hours once a week of doing something that is meaningful and replenishing, it makes a huge difference!

Do you and Matthew McConaughey have a favorite meal you like to cook together?
We usually split the cooking duties...but we always have fun creating something together when we do pizza competition parties with friends and family! We have been winners a few times in a row!

Tell us about the #LoveUnprocessed movement.
As parents, we’re constantly getting messages that we’re doing it wrong. We guilt ourselves for everything—whether it’s store-bought foods or screen time or having too many activities or not enough. What we really need is to let childhood be simple, and unprocessed. So we’re out to encourage and celebrate those unforced, natural moments with our kids and create a community of parents who value clean food, natural nourishment, and getting a little more time back to enjoy your family. Let us at Yummy Spoonfuls do the hard work for you!


Find More Kids' Health Resources

6 Reasons Why Me Time is Good for Your Health

Main image: Camila Alves McConaughey of Yummy Spoonfuls
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Yummy Spoonfuls

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