Ciara is passionate about health and wants to pass her healthy habits on to her three children.
But that doesn’t mean she always says no to sweet treats for Future, 8, Sienna, 5, and Win, 2.
“I think life is about balance. In general, and especially when it comes to our health, you have to be realistic, right?” she told TODAY Parents over the phone. “What good is life without some good treats in it?”
The singer-songwriter loves to snack on Rice Krispies Treats with her kids; she said flavored chips and popsicles are two of their other go-tos when they’re in the mood for a treat.
“Then we like to throw some good candy in the mix, too. We like to do it all, honestly. I try not to use candy as a thing to get things done in my house with my kids, but I will tell you it does make the kids really get in line,” she said.
Pleasing kids at mealtime is no easy feat, but Ciara and her football pro husband Russell Wilson have come up with a few ways to keep their brood happy, like sneaking spinach into smoothies and finding calcium/vitamin D alternatives (like cheese and cereal) for their 2-year-old who doesn’t love milk.
“I just try my best to find items that are neutral across the board so we’re not all over the place and try to make everyone happy,” she said. “They can’t have three different, unique meals all the time; that’s just not normal. And I tell them, ‘You know what, guys? Mama didn’t grow up like that.’”
The 36-year-old mom has partnered with Instacart to launch the grocery delivery and pickup company’s new initiative, “Instacart Health.” As part of the partnership, Ciara curated her own shoppable cart with some of her favorite foods: healthy options like strawberries, mangos, mixed nuts and chicken, as well as some sweets like dairy-free ice cream and peanut butter cups.
“Sometimes it really is trial and error with kids,” she told TODAY Parents. “There are so many unique ways to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients that they need.”
Ciara said she doesn’t care if her kids end up loving any particular health food, as long as they’re willing to give it a try and find something that works for them.
“All my kids have a vegetable they like. Maybe one doesn’t like what the other one likes, but they do like vegetables. Win was eating salad with nothing on it the other day, it was so cute,” she said. “The more that we’re able to let them try different things, we do end up finding things they like.”
On the healthy side, Ciara’s children enjoy snacking on carrots, cheese sticks, cucumbers and seaweed, and it makes her proud to see that they’re already forming healthy habits.
“When I look at them, I think about how there’s so much opportunity to impact their lives and for them to make better choices than the generation before me and my generation,” she said.
The singer said that she wasn’t as good about eating healthy foods when she was her children’s ages, and hopes that she can teach her kids that they can still enjoy food and be healthy at the same time.
“As I’ve gotten older and have had kids, I’ve come to understand the importance of total wellness, which is really about balance. So you can have a little fun while making healthy choices,” she said.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com