The star talked to PEOPLE recently about her four children, highlighting the importance of living a healthy lifestyle herself and how that translates into setting a good foundation at home.
“Family dinners are super important for me,” says Burke-Charvet, 45, who underwent thyroid surgery to remove cancer in 2012 and has since made a full recovery. “I think leading by example — but not only that, exposing them to healthy things that are enjoyable hopefully will stick.”
“And it works for most of them, not all of them,” she admits. “My son would like to eat pasta with butter and Nutella on bread and pizza, and he’s happy and good. So that’s a bit of a struggle, but other than that, the time that I share with my kids in the kitchen, in the gym, in class … at different stages in their life, it sticks and it becomes effective.”
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Motherhood isn’t always easy, as Burke-Charvet admits, “I think I ‘lost it’ a lot before, during and after [my] pregnancies.” But it helps when your kids take after you a little, in the sense that you can share your passions with them.
“My twin … out of the four, probably Rain,” she says. “She’s like a chef already, and she’s 10. We’re practically the same person when it comes to cuisine, and it cracks me up ’cause she’s so young. And we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together.”
“But no joke, she’ll make a butter-lemon caper sauce for the salmon that I’m making at dinner,” the proud mom adds with a laugh. “Like, [by] herself.”
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“It’s basically wrapping your postpartum belly. So I did that and it worked, and then everybody wanted to know not what I was feeding and how I was raising the kids, but ‘How’d you get back into shape?’ ” she says, laughing.
“And I was in a bikini like four months later, and I’m not bragging, but everybody was like, ‘What’s happening?’ ” she continues. “And I wrapped my belly for 40 days, 40 nights. So I tell every woman, ‘Wrap your belly. Wrap the heck out of your belly.’ ”
While Burke-Charvet wants her children to be healthy, just like any parent, her biggest wish is that they grow up steering their own ships in the ways that make them feel the most satisfied in their individual lives.
“I want them to be fulfilled and grounded and driven by happiness, really,” she says.