The Modern Family star also tells PEOPLE about splitting parenting duties with husband Justin Mikita

By Benjamin VanHoose
October 27, 2020 12:30 PM
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Jesse Tyler Ferguson's transition to fatherhood has gone smoother than expected so far, but he doesn't want to jinx it.

"He's been pretty amazing," the Modern Family star, 45, tells PEOPLE of his first child Beckett Mercer, a son he welcomed on July 7 with husband Justin Mikita. "People are asking if I'm getting enough sleep, and he's actually sleeping through the night. I guess my expectation was that he wouldn't be this easy — I feel like I'm waiting."

"I said that and now I'm going to go home and it's going to be a nightmare for the next three months!" Ferguson, who is partnering with OZO Foods, says with a laugh.

Becoming a parent is something Ferguson says was "always in the cards," however, he explains the timing had to come naturally for both him and 35-year-old Mikita.

Credit: Jesse tyler ferguson/ instagram

"My husband's 10 years younger than me, so I sort of was waiting for his timeline to catch up with mine," says Ferguson. "I think I would have done this 10 years ago, but whatever, it's fine. Better late than never."

The couple — who tied the knot in July 2013 — have an organic approach to splitting their parenting duties, an "unspoken thing," Ferguson says: "We can sense when the other one needs a break. It's been a very 50/50 thing. We don't really talk about it too much. It's just been very natural."

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The first-time parents aren't opposed to expanding their family in the near future, either. Ferguson says 3-month-old Beckett might be a big brother soon enough.

"It's never too soon, I guess," the actor says of thinking ahead to baby No. 2. "It feels like we're in the thick of it right now. The idea of starting the process again is a little intimidating. But, you know, if we want to do another one, I'm 45, so tick-tock — we gotta get this going if we're doing another one!"

By teaming up with plant-based protein brand OZO, Ferguson is diversifying the ingredients he uses at home and in the recipes he shares. The actor (who has previously expressed that if the Hollywood route hadn't pan out, he'd likely have pursued a culinary career) will debut a cookbook in March titled Food Between Friends, which he co-wrote with chef Julie Tanous.

"I love being in the kitchen. It's a passion of mine so I'm always looking for ways to use food in my kitchen in new ways," says Ferguson, adding that he is "flexible" with the types of foods he serves.

Credit: Ashley Burns

"When I'm cooking food for my family, and for Justin, for my mother-in-law and father-in-law, who come over once a week for dinner, I'm always looking for really clean ingredients that are rich in nutrition," he adds, "but most importantly, they need to taste great. And OZO is definitely that. It's a very versatile ingredient to work with."

What Ferguson is most excited about with the OZO partnership, though, is that the company is donating $1 million worth of products to food banks across the country to support people in need, a cause he says is "so important to me."

Currently, Ferguson is looking forward to the day he can cook for his baby boy. Beckett has a limited diet at the moment, understandably. "He's a pretty boring eater right now — he's really into breast milk. I'm looking forward to the day when he can let that go and move on," the star jokes.