Chrissy Teigen stands in a kitchen with Miles and Luna Legend making Chex Party Mix.
General Mills

Chrissy Teigen Thought Her Kids Would Be Adventurous Eaters, But They Just Want Nuggets

“Luna would enter a hot dog eating contest before she would eat a casserole from me right now.”

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As in many households, food takes a starring role in Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s home during the holidays. For instance, during a recent phone interview with the couple, Teigen tells Romper she always makes scalloped potatoes, a dish her Thai mom used to make on special occasions for her “meat-and-potatoes” loving, Nordic husband and her “growing girl.” It’s a Christmas table anyone would appreciate... unless you happen to be Luna, 5, and Miles, 3. The couple’s children, like so many other kids their age, are in what you might call a “picky phase.”

“I feel like our kids are so lucky that they get exposed to all these different cultural and culinary traditions,” Legend tells Romper. “It's going to be cool for them to grow up with that, but right now they just want their food pretty plain.”

“Our kids are no different than anyone else's when it comes to their love of chicken nuggets or a good old fashioned Happy Meal,” Teigen agrees with a kind of good-humored resignation in her voice. “As diverse as I thought their palettes would be, nope, they're just kids. Luna would enter a hot dog eating contest before she would eat a casserole from me right now.”

“She really does love hot dogs,” Legends adds with a laugh.

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The irony (or, perhaps, stubborn reality) of having picky children when you’re a best-selling cookbook author and overall kitchen doyenne isn’t lost on Teigen, but she and Legend try to meet their kids where they are, food-wise. They may not want to eat much less help prepare casseroles, but Luna and Miles love Chex Party Mix, and the kid-friendly recipe has at least gotten them in the kitchen. They’ve put their own twist on the original recipe, adding mixed nuts, marshmallows, popcorn, mini peanut butter cups, caramel cubes and white chocolate flakes to the more traditional mix.

“They love making it with us,” Legend says. “I think it's the act of creating it together too, because they feel like they can be a part of it and then share it with our friends and loved ones.”

The couple recently partnered with the company to curate (with Luna’s help) a “12 Days of Chexmas Holiday Countdown” — a kind of digital advent calendar full of hosting hacks, crafts, gift ideas, recipes and a chance to win “John and Chrissy’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Haul,” including (among other goodies) Teigen's new cookbook and kitchenware apparel and Legend’s Christmas album, which was inspired by the music traditions in his own family.

“We would gather around the piano either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and sing at my granny's house,” Legend recalls. “That music has always been such a big part of the holiday tradition for us. It's why I love making holiday music so much.”

And that includes playing host at the seasons various parties, dinners, and general festivities. In fact, when asked if they prefer hosting or attending holiday parties, their answer is immediate, emphatic, and in unison. “Hosting!”

Ironically, the urge to host comes from that somewhat antisocial instinct for Teigen. “The reason why I got into cooking was kind of started so I wouldn't have to talk to anybody honestly,” she admits. “But then I started realizing quickly that people love to socialize in the kitchen and then everyone's in and everyone wants to help you and offer help.”

Regardless of motivation, the pair have very much established a vibe: cozy, casual, and often impromptu. Friends drop in to escape their kids for a bit (celebrities: they’re just like us!) or watch reality TV (Selling Sunset and Vanderpump Rules are favorites), or play Mario Cart.

“We have an open door policy at our house,” Legend explains. “There's always plenty of food. There's always kids that are excited to see them, that just want to show them their rooms.” Cooking, entertaining, and just hanging out: it’s all good for Legend and Teigen. But, sometimes, it does leave a sense of mystery in the air. “I've got to say, I am starting to get curious as to what our friends’ homes look like,” she jokes. “I haven't seen some of my best friends’ homes truly.”

Christmas will be, predictably, homey and hospitable as their pair hosts family and friends.

“We truly lean into the holidays,” Legend says. “We love being around our family. We love cooking together. We love celebrating with music and, being in the same space together and enjoying each other.”

And if that means they spend hours in the kitchen so their picky kids can eat one roll, gag on a taste of the actual dinner, and follow it up with their body weight in Chex Party Mix, well, so be it. At least they’re still making memories...

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