Her house, her rules.
Padma Lakshmi is keeping it real when it comes to her parenting. The Top Chef star recently opened up about how tries to lead by example for her 10-year-old daughter, Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell.
That means the reality TV personality has a few rules set in place, including the type of meals her baby girl eats.
"There are a lot of things I'm not strict about, like bedtime, but I've always been pretty strict about what she eats," Padma told Parents for its October issue, which she's the cover star for. "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 50-year-old author explained that she and her daughter "try to keep our diet 50 percent fruits and vegetables, and Krishna knows that I'll look over her plate."
Padma also revealed that she'll ask catering to "rearrange the food" when she and her pre-teen are on the set of Top Chef.
"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," Padma explained, and jokingly added, "I try to get the caterers to rearrange the food so that she can't reach the sugary cereals all the time."
However, the Bravo star admitted that she and Krishna like treat themselves every once in a while. "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," the proud mom shared, adding, "Mainly, I stress balance."
Given that Padma works in the food industry, her mini-me knows her way around the kitchen. In fact, she recalled a recent memory of her 10-year-old daughter preparing a meal.
"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," Padma expressed, noting that her daughter also "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," she added. "When I asked her how she knew how to do it, she said, 'Mom, I've been watching you for years!'"
That wasn't the only time Padma's daughter showed interest in cooking. As she explained, "The other day I wasn't feeling well. And all by herself, Krishna made a dish of couscous, vegetables and Sriracha butter that was exactly what I wanted to eat."
When Padma isn't enjoying kitchen adventures or eating healthy with her daughter, her little one is inspiring her next project. "I'm ready to publish my first picture book, Tomatoes for Neela. It came to me when Krishna asked for pomegranates in July and I had to explain that it's not their season here," the author said.
"I guess I've always loved books about food. When I was little, I had a fantastic book of poetry called Let's Marry Said the Cherry, by N. M. Bodecker. I was fascinated by the references to foods I had never seen growing up in India, like watercress and clover," she continued. "I recently found an out-of-print copy, and it's as fantastic as I remembered."
Read all about the mother-daughter duo on Parents' website.