Celebrity chef and mom Giada De Laurentiis talks to TODAYshow.com about her plans for Mother’s Day, how she romances her husband, Todd, and whether she’s thinking about having another baby.
Q: What are your favorite Mother’s Day traditions?
A: Usually I spend it with my mom, my aunt, my sis — basically all the women in my family. Traditionally, we all make something and then we pick a house to be at. And everybody brings one dish, which I think is fun. It’s always interesting to see what my sister makes because she’s not the best cook on the planet. One year she tried to make brownie cupcakes and she obviously did not follow the directions and she burned the living bejeezus out of them. When she brought them, they were just like rocks.
Last year, Jade wasn’t feeling well on Mother’s Day, so this year I’m really excited that she can come. She’s 2 now and she’s just a little chatterbox. She loves to sing, so I’m planning to have her sing a little something to my mom.
Q: Any particular tunes?
A: Right now she’s perfected “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and her ABCs, so it’s going to be one of those two, whatever she’s feeling that day.
Q: What tips do you have for busy moms who are trying to balance it all?
A: I always say to people that working full time and being a mom is probably the hardest job, because as a mom you think about your child 24/7. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s like another full-time job — even if you have all the help in the world.
The best thing to do, as hard as it sounds, is to take a little time for yourself, whatever it is that you like to do. Some women just like to take a bath. They take that 20 minutes after their kids go to bed. I love to do yoga, even if it means getting up at 5:30 in the morning. It helps me breathe and stop all the chatter in my head. That can help you get through everything.
Q: How do you make time for your husband, Todd?
A: When I’m not working or traveling, I want to be home with Jade. People always say to me, “Why don’t you have another child?” And I say to them, I have another child — he’s my husband! That’s another full-time job. In order to keep your husband, you have to make time for him. Rather than going out to dinner, I like to spend time for just the two of us. Luckily Jade is still young enough that she goes to bed early, so we do have that evening time together to sit and relax with a meal. When I’m not working, I love to make dinner at home for Todd. That’s the most romantic thing I can do for him — to make his favorite meal — farfalle with turkey sausage, mushrooms and peas. It reminds him that, oh yeah, that’s the person I married, that’s the woman I fell in love with.
Q: Speaking of another child, is that something you’re thinking about?
A: I’m turning 40 in the summer. Until that day, I’ll be thinking about it!
Q: How did you lose that baby weight and keep it off?
A: Number one is portion control, number two is yoga. I took a break from sugar and dairy for six months. The first couple weeks were really, really hard — especially giving up the sugar, I lived on sugar. After I got through the first hump, it got easier. I started substituting agave for sugar. There’s still sugar in it, but it’s not processed and it’s easier to digest. I didn’t want to yo-yo, so I didn’t go cold turkey.
Q: Is there anything that Jade doesn’t like to eat?
A: Jade is not a fan of potatoes — she can’t stand them. I’ve tried them many different ways — mashed, with tons of butter and cheese. I don’t know if it’s a texture thing, but she won’t touch them, which is very sad for her father, since he’s a meat-and-potatoes man.