Celebrity Parents Why Padma Lakshmi Is 'Strict' About What Her Daughter, 10, Eats: 'I'll Look Over Her Plate' "We try to keep our diet 50 percent fruits and vegetables," Padma Lakshmi tells Parents magazine in the October issue By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 9, 2020 10:15 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Padma Lakshmi and daughter Krishna for Parents magazine. Photo: Inez & Vinoodh Padma Lakshmi knows a thing or two about keeping a balanced diet — and she's passing her healthy habits down to her daughter. The longtime Top Chef host posed with 10-year-old Krishna Thea for Parents' October issue, and spoke to the magazine about how she strives to set an example at home with their diet. "There are a lot of things I'm not strict about, like bedtime, but I've always been pretty strict about what she eats," says Lakshmi, 50. "I believe you set a child's eating patterns by the time they're 4 or 5, and the best way to get a child to eat healthily is to eat well yourself." The mother of one tells Parents that she and Krishna "try to keep our diet 50 percent fruits and vegetables, and Krishna knows that I'll look over her plate" — but they allow splurges, too. "Mainly, I stress balance," Lakshmi explains. "Last night we had takeout pizza, and Krishna finished it off with Häagen-Dazs, so for the next couple of days we'll have to be healthier." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Padma Lakshmi and daughter Krishna cover Parents magazine's October issue. Inez & Vinoodh See the Unique Cake Padma Lakshmi Had for Her 50th Birthday – Plus a Sweet Message from Daughter Krishna At 10 years old, Krishna may still be young, but she's already following in her foodie mom's footsteps in learning how to prepare some staple meals. "The other day she FaceTimed me to ask, 'Mom, how hot does oil have to be to fry chicken?' I was like, 'What? That's too dangerous!’ But she was adamant about doing it, so I walked her through the steps," Lakshmi recalls. Krishna "had prepared the egg wash, the breadcrumbs and the flour, and had the paper towels and tongs all ready. She had even salted the breading," says the proud mom. "When I asked her how she knew how to do it, she said, 'Mom, I've been watching you for years!' " Lakshmi adds. RELATED VIDEO: Padma Lakshmis Secret to Maintaining her Pre-Top Chef Weight The preteen's culinary skills extend to lending her mom a helping hand when she's under the weather, too. "The other day I wasn't feeling well," Lakshmi shares. "And all by herself, Krishna made a dish of couscous, vegetables and Sriracha butter that was exactly what I wanted to eat." But that doesn't mean Krishna won't take advantage of free food she doesn't have to worry about preparing herself — like when visiting Mom at work. "Krishna is very comfortable on the [Top Chef] set," Lakshmi says. "She has her own crew pass and zips around on her scooter. But her favorite thing is to raid craft services when I'm not looking." "I try to get the caterers to rearrange the food so that she can't reach the sugary cereals all the time," she quips.