You won’t find chips and candy at Jennifer Garner‘s house very often.
In this week’s issue of PEOPLE the actress says she is “pretty strict” when it comes to not letting her kids Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6, eat junk food.
“I’m not worried so much about junk food, because we don’t have it in the house—although I don’t want to be a freak about it, so that they just want to get their hands on it at all costs,” she says. “It’s more that you just want to make sure they’re getting a rainbow of flavors and of foods.”
As the cofounder of the organic baby food line Once Upon a Farm, Garner knows a thing or two about wholesome ingredients. In fact, one of the farms where her company—which sells the cold-pressed baby food packets in the refrigerated section of grocery stores nationwide—harvests their ingredients is the farm her mother grew up on in Locust Grove, Oklahoma. Garner’s Uncle Robert is the farmer there now and is getting ready to grow persimmons, kale and blueberries for Once Upon a Farm, she told Martha Stewart during a Facebook Live.
“It’s the first cold-pressed, organic, non-GMO, no sugar added, everything good that you would want to feed your baby when you make your baby’s food homemade, but if you just don’t have time, you know this is as close to homemade as you could possibly find,” she said.
Now as her kids have gotten older, one of her tips for encouraging them to eat healthy is to get them down in the dirt tending to the food they consume.
“I think growing your own food helps,” she says. “When I was a kid, I didn’t like tomatoes, but then my mom grew cherry tomatoes, and if I picked them straight off the vine, they tasted so good. My oldest didn’t like blueberries until we had blueberry bushes. Now in blueberry season we take colanders down every night and they bring their friends over and we pick.”
During dinner time, she takes another page out of her mom’s book, by leaving fresh chopped veggies out while she’s finishing the main meal.
“My mom always said that if the house is smelling good and everyone is hungry,” she says, “your kids will get their veggies that way by eating a bunch of raw broccoli and carrots and tomatoes.”
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Though the star of the upcoming movie Peppermint has been sharing her love of food on Instagram and Facebook lately with her “Pretend Cooking Show,” she says she only considers herself a “mom cook” and has no plans to share her knowledge with a cookbook or longer form cooking show.
“I don’t think I’m someone anyone should be listening to for recipes—I like to follow recipes,” says Garner. “I’m happy to do exactly what I’m doing, which is to say, ‘Hey, this is a recipe I like. If it works for you, try it.'”