The mom makes homemade baby food for her 9-month-old Harlow Winter

By Lisa Ingrassia and Marisa Laudadio
Updated October 10, 2008 10:00 AM
Matt Sayles/AP

Look who’s handy in the kitchen now: Nicole Richie!

“Food tastes better coming from your Mom because it’s made with love,” says the new mom, 27. So Richie purees steamed vegetables to make homemade baby food for the couple’s 9-month old daughter, Harlow Winter Kate Madden.

Though Richie told PEOPLE in 2005, “I’m not domestic at all. I can’t cook, I don’t clean,” she now mashes up everything from apples to green beans and bananas for her daughter.

Her boyfriend Joel Madden backs her culinary efforts 100-percent.

“We talk about it all the time,” says the Good Charlotte frontman, 29. “It’s an energy thing. I know exactly what’s going into [Harlow’s] body.”

“Her first food was sweet potatoes and she loved it,” recalls Richie. “She ate the whole thing and it was all over the place – in her hair, on her nose, everywhere!”

Madden proudly declares he feeds Harlow “all the time,” but adds that she has an independent streak.

“She likes to do it on her own,” he says with a smile.

For the complete story, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday