Celebrity Baby Scoop: Padma Lakshmi says ‘Motherhood is a very humbling experience’

Jenny Schafer

It’s been one year since celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi welcomed her first child, daughter Krishna. Known for her ability to create flavorful dishes, the Top Chef judge is partnering with Frito-Lay and their campaign to create all-natural snack foods.

The gorgeous single mom opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the joys of motherhood, her sweet girl who “eats everything” and has a knack for re-arranging their home, and how parents can give their kids “the gift of a good palate and eating healthy.”

Celebrity Baby Scoop: How’s baby Krishna doing?

Padma Lakshmi: She’s doing great! She’s walking around and getting into everything. She’s been re-arranging my CD collection. I’d like to think she’s learning the alphabet, but she doesn’t know they’re all alphabetized and they’re not going to be now that she’s getting into them. But she has great taste _ she’s always pulling out the Eagles and The Rolling Stones.

She’s walking around like Godzilla through Tokyo! And she’s got a lot of toys. This is a kid who gets so many presents that I hardly have to buy her anything. And yet she doesn’t want to play with all of her brightly-colored toys _ she only wants to play with mommy’s stuff. Mommy’s makeup brushes and my shoes. She also loves to re-arrange my shoe closet! I try to keep her away from that and I wash her hands all the time!

People always ask me, ‘How do you stay in shape? You eat all that food and you just had a baby.’ And I think it’s just running after her all the time and lifting her constantly because she’s getting heavy now.

CBS: How has motherhood changed you?

PL: Where do I start? I don’t even know what I can tell you that covers it. I could take up all day talking about it. In small ways and big ways it changes every aspect of your life. Everything is better and more meaningful. Motherhood is a very humbling experience. It changes every day and you learn and do the best you can. It’s a process and there not one rule that applies to every mother, every family and every baby. That’s what I’ve learned.

And I hate to make any grand statements because often I’ll read quotes from celebrities who have just had babies 4 minutes ago and suddenly they’re experts and gurus about motherhood. So I don’t want to come across as any kind of expert. I just know about my experience and my baby and I don’t pretend to know about anybody else’s. Everyone’s got advice and everyone wants to chime in and the only advice I would say is listen to your heart and then get a lot of second opinions from people you trust and who have been through it.

CBS: What are some of your favorite mommy moments?

PL: Just the quiet moments are great. I love to take pictures of her and take her to places like reading groups, music class and toy stores. But honestly, just watching her go down the slide for the first time is great. Or just spending time with her on the floor and just doing silly little things.

CBS: Is she a picky eater?

PL: She’s not a picky eater. Our little Krishna is still breastfeeding and loves all kinds of food. She wants to eat everything that mommy’s eating. And a lot of times when I’m eating something too spicy and can’t give it to her, she gets really mad. She’s got a little attitude. She doesn’t eat baby food. She eats softer, regular food. But she never got store-bought baby food and I doubt she would eat it if I tried now.

Her diet is predominantly Indian food. Most of her diet is rice and beans and lentils and vegetables and a little bit of curry, just not spicy curry.

CBS: Will you ever write a cookbook for kids?

PL: I would love to! I’m already thinking about my next cookbook. I really think the more you get children involved in cooking, the more likely they are to eat well and you’ll give them the gift of a good palate and eating healthy for the rest of their lives.

CBS: Tell us about partnering with Frito-Lay.

PL: Frito-Lay is committed to taking half of their products and by the end of the year making them with all-natural ingredients. No artificial flavors, no MSG, no preservatives, no trans fats. That’s a huge deal for a big snack company, a multi-national corporation such as Frito-Lay. And they also made a really nice donation to the ESA which is a women’s health foundation that I have a lot to do with.

They already have Garden Tomato and Basil and Barbecue Lays and all the Sun Chips and the touch of Jalapeno Chips _ those are all natural and already available in stores. And not only do they have the Classic Lays Barbecue they also have the Tangy Carolina Barbecue.