"I'm just teaching them about being healthy and strong, not about being thin," Burke tells PEOPLE

By Dahvi Shira
January 31, 2013 07:15 AM
Donna Svennevik/ABC

A healthy home is a happy home for Brooke Burke-Charvet.

The mother of four kids – Neriah, 12, Sierra, 10, Rain, 6, and Shaya, 4 – hopes her lifestyle rubs off on them.

“I always tell other parents to lead by example,” Burke-Charvet, 41, told PEOPLE on Tuesday. “My kids know I’m always working out and I love to cook. I’m always preparing healthy meals. I think it’s also about giving them healthy options, which is so, so important. My little ones, especially, grocery shop with me. They’re in the kitchen. They love to cook.”

Part of what she believes helps guide her children down the right path is being as cautious about what comes out of her mouth as what goes into it.

“I try to never use words like ‘fat’ or ‘diet,’ ” she says. “I try to choose my words carefully with my kids. It’s just about making good choices and enjoying what we eat and making delicious flavorful foods that are healthy. I’m just teaching them about being healthy and strong, not about being thin.”

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But a mom who is always “working out super hard” deserves a break.

“I love my red wine,” the Dancing with the Stars co-host says. “I think every mom deserves a glass of wine. I eat so healthy, but I listen to my body when I have cravings and I think that’s why I’m able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If I’m really craving something, I have it. The next day, I’m back on track.”

Brooke Burke-Charvet doing her Kleenex duties
Michael Simon

Burke-Charvet, who began filming her own line of workout videos over the summer, isn’t only healthy when it comes to her weight. She already feels “back to normal” following a thyroidectomy in December, and it shows. She was recently spotted looking radiant and smiling with husband David Charvet at brand new members only spot 41 Ocean in Santa Monica.

“I’m so blessed and fortunate with the way things worked out with my surgery,” she says. “Now I’m back in the swing of things, working and feeling great.”

Now that she’s no longer on the mend, she wanted to help someone else who is. Burke recently teamed up with Kleenex to deliver a special care package (tissues, sanitizers, lip balm, a cozy blanket and music downloads) to an ailing Malibu sweepstakes winner during flu season.

“It’s the perfect sort of recovery care package. It was a really thoughtful gift to send to somebody. The winner was really surprised,” Burke says.

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