Sarah Michelle Gellar Shares 3 Food Prep Tips to Get the Pickiest Eaters to Dig In

Sarah Michelle Gellar cookbook
Mike Garten
This celeb mom-of-two is about to give us some advice we can really use. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar's Stirring Up Fun With Food, out now, serves up 115 creative recipes that will definitely appeal to even the pickiest eaters. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, who also helms a line of organic baking products called Foodstirs, shared her strategies for getting kids involved in the kitchen, which, in turn, makes them eager to try new foods. 

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In honor of the release of her colorful cookbook, which teems with fun ideas for the whole family, the Emmy winner visited Good Housekeeping's kitchen (with CafeMom in the audience) and spoke about her excitement in bringing this guide to home cooks.

The Simply Irresistible star explained that she and her friend and coauthor, Gia Russo, were looking for fun and interactive things to do with their kids, and -- naturally -- whipping up yummy snacks came to mind. But Sarah Michelle revealed she found looking online "really intimidating." (It's nice to hear that even celebrities aren't immune to being put off by Pinterest!) So, the mom of Charlotte, 7, and Rocky, 4, went to the supermarket to look for mixes, but was surprised by the lack of healthy baking options for busy moms.

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"I didn't recognize any of the words in the ingredients, or the number two ingredient was salt or dyes and all this stuff I knew in my head we're not supposed to eat anymore," she explained. 

Inspired to change that, the wife of Freddie Prinze Jr. -- a culinary school grad -- teamed up with Russo to bring Foodstirs to families who want to feel good about what they're baking. (And, bonus: Each mix requires no more than six steps -- 'cause Buffy gets it!)

Taking it a step further, the pair partnered again for Stirring Up Fun With Food, showcasing the actress's love of foodcrafting, which she describes as taking basic food prep and making it more fun and creative. 

While the actress admitted her kids will eat everything from "mussels to Brussels sprouts," her recipes and tips will whet the appetites of even the fussiest eaters. 

Sarah Michelle Gellar cookbook
Mike Garten

"This works for kids and adults -- the more aesthetically pleasing something looks, the more likely you are to try it and, oddly, like it at the end," she said.

More from CafeMom: Why You Should Let Your Picky Eater Make a Great Big Mess

Sarah Michelle shared the following easy-as-pie suggestions for "putting a little spin" on recipes to elevate them and make them that much more interesting -- and tempting -- for kids. 

1. Put it in a muffin tin.

"Sometimes it is as simple as putting it in a muffin tin," she said. 

It's true; who doesn't want to eat something that resembles a cupcake -- even if veggies are tucked inside? Gellar's cookbook includes scrumptious-looking mini cheddar-broccoli bread puddings as well as meatloaf muffins that will make you hungry just looking at them.

2. Put it on a stick.  

All parents know how popular lollipops, popsicles, and cake pops are, so why not use the power of the stick to your advantage?

Sarah Michelle offers a cool and refreshing twist on your fruit shish-kebobs by using alphabet cutters to spell out cute messages strung together on sticks, while Russo's latkes on sticks are sure to become a holiday staple. Grilled veggie rainbows are another colorful recipe that encourages kids to try something healthy simply because it looks delicious and fun -- and it's on a skewer.

Sarah Michelle Gellar cooking
Liz Alterman

Sarah Michelle's next tip will appeal to cost-conscious moms. 

3. Put it in a jar

"Make your granola the night before and put it in a mason jar. Then you can have something you feel good about making -- you know the ingredients, and ultimately you're going to save money because every time you go to the grocery store and buy that parfait, it's four times more than if you went to Costco, got all your pieces, and made it yourself," she said. 

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If your kids are reluctant to try some new foods, putting them in jars definitely ups the interest factor. In her book, fans will find an adorable photo of Gellar and her son, Rocky, enjoying wagon wheels and mouthwatering meatballs inside a mason jar. Looking for healthy liquid refreshment? Her tropical green smoothies are packed with pineapple, spinach, and mango and make a perfect after-school snack, she noted.

As Sarah Michelle's sense of adventure extends beyond the kitchen, she said she hopes her willingness to try a new venture can inspire others, including her children, to set goals and work hard to achieve them. The entrepreneur said she often falls back on the phrase "Failure is the first attempt at learning," and she noted that it's when people take the biggest risks that they often reap the largest rewards. 

In branching out beyond the big and small screens to delve into the culinary world, Sarah Michelle said she's thoroughly enjoyed connecting with her family in the kitchen and getting creative in a healthy way.

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