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Tamera Mowry-Housley Talks Family Dinners

Tamera Mowry-Housley Talks Family Dinners

We chatted with Tamera Mowry-Housley about work-life balance, family dinners, and dealing with picky eaters.

You may know her as Tamera Campbell from the ’90s show Sister, Sister, or you may know her as a co-host of The Real. Regardless of how you were introduced to Tamera Mowry-Housley, one thing is for certain: This mom of 3½-year-old son Aden and 10-month-old daughter Ariah puts her family first because, as she says, “once you become a mom, you’ll do anything to make [your kids] happy.”

We chatted with Mowry-Housley at the launch of Ragu Homestyle pasta sauces about balancing work life with family life (both now and when she was growing up), having nightly family dinners, and dealing with picky eaters.

Growing up, how did you, your sister (Tia Mowry), and brother (Tahj Mowry) balance being “typical” kids with your acting careers?

I have to give the credit to my parents. They made sure that when we were at home, it wasn’t about acting. It was just about life. So my mom put us in dance classes and sports on the weekends, and even if we didn’t have a team we were consistent with, we would do those things at a park. That kept us grounded. Not only that, we couldn’t watch TV twice a week. When you can’t watch TV, you find things to do. We would play with each other. We’re natural actors, so we would act out things. We would read. That’s where my sister and I are really big into reading.

How do you balance work life with family life now that you’re a mother?

I try my best. I don't think you’re ever going to balance it 100 percent of the time, so you can’t be too hard on yourself. What I’ve found that has helped me: Organization is key. You save a lot of time. And when you have two kids under 5, your time is limited.

The other thing is: I prioritize. I prioritize what’s important to me, to my husband (Adam Housley), and to my family, and definitely putting them first. So whenever I have down time, it’s putting them first. I love to cook, and we just have bonding time in the kitchen. I get Aden involved. He likes mixing ingredients, measuring ingredients, pouring things, and stirring things. He loves to help with the clean up—he actually likes to help with the dishes. I don’t know how long that’s going to last, but I’m going to take advantage of that while I can.

Do you regularly have family dinner?

We do. Honestly, I try to cook every single night. It’s easier for you when you want to loose weight because you can actually count the calories. It’s cheaper [than dining out]. And I love to cook, but I have to have it pre-prepped. That’s why I love Ragú, because you have this amazing, hearty sauce ready in a jar—all you have to do it heat it up and serve. In my pantry, you’re always going to see some kind of tomato sauce, truffle oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt, and salt and pepper. Those are my go-to items.

The key to prepping is: You’re going to be front-loading, meaning you’re going to do a lot of the work in the beginning like going to the grocery store—make sure you plan for the entire week—and prepping some of those meals, so that when it’s time to cook after you come home from work, everything is done faster.

Are either of your kids picky eaters, and how do you deal with that?

Aden is a very picky eater. I’m learning how to deal with that each and every day. Some days he will be open to trying new things. You really just have to be consistent, like putting the same thing on his plate, at least five to ten times, no matter how many times he yells or screams or whatever. Around the fifth time, he’s going to at least try it. He’s a little bit more intrigued about trying new foods when he’s involved in the cooking process, whether it’s helping measure or stir things. He may not like [the food], but at least he tries it.

I’ve learned my lesson with Aden, and now with Ariah, she eats everything. I’m introducing newer flavors with Ariah that I didn’t do with Aden. She’ll literally eat tomato sauce with basil onions, all those flavors, by itself. So that makes me feel better. Really start introducing different flavors—zesty, bold flavors—at a younger age, so that when [your kids] get older, they're not going to be too picky.

Main image: Tamera Mowry-Housley, co-host of The Real, enjoys a fresh bowl of pasta featuring the new thick and hearty RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauce at The Bowery Hotel, Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in New York.
Jason DeCrow/AP Images for RAGÚ


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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. When she’s not learning about the latest parenting trend or kid-friendly NYC attraction to write about, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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