The actress gets real about healthy eating, sneaking veggies into her kids’ meals and her new collab with Nutri-Grain.

Tiffani Thiessen may have gained some pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the Saved By the Bell star is stressing out about losing them. In fact, the 47-year-old told HollywoodLife that she refuses to “panic” about the unwanted weight.

“What is panic going to do?” Tiffani said during a recent interview. “They say stress actually adds pounds, so if I stress it’s going to be worse, right?” While the mom-of-two didn’t divulge how much weight she gained, she did note that her husband, actor Brady Smith, actually got slimmer during the pandemic.

“I think when you’re stuck at home and no one’s going to the gym and certain times of the year it’s harder to workout outside,” Tiffani said, referring to how the pandemic affected her eating habits and lifestyle. “My husband was the only one who lost weight during COVID. Damn him… And now I’m in full competition. I’m like, ‘All right. I got this.’ I got up at 5 o’clock this morning. I went to the gym. I can do this. I can get this COVID weight off.”

Healthy eating is on the actress’s mind at the moment thanks to her partnership with Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain. On July 14 the company launches its “Getaway From Negotiation” competition, which is giving five people the chance to win a dream vacation worth up to $10,000.

“I feel like all of us parents can definitely use a break from having to negotiate with our children and [their] meal choices and the snack choices…” said Tiffani, who is mom to Harper, 11, and Holt, 6. “[Nutri-Grain] actually told me – which was kind of mindboggling to understand the statistic – that half of parents spend about nine days [per year] negotiating about meals with their children.”

To win a chance to spend “good quality, fun time with their family,” rather than trying to navigate the choppy waters of food, people just have to reply on Instagram to a Nutri-Grain sweepstakes post from July 14-28.

When it comes to her own children (and her son in particular), Tiffani has a few tricks up her sleeve to inject fresh produce into their diet. “[My] son’s a little pickier with vegetables,” said the actress who also grows fruit and vegetables at home.

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“He’s been my hardest one with vegetables. My daughter is really good with it. But I’ve had to do the sneak [with him]. I’ve had to put it in [tomato-based] sauces, put [frozen kale] in smoothies. He’s getting it, it’s just not how I would like for him to have it. So, I’m hoping that he’ll appreciate roasted vegetables someday soon. They’re always on his plate. I haven’t given up, so one day.”

As for herself, healthy eating means embracing food, rather than deprivation. “I always try to live my life a little bit in balance,” the host of MTV’s comedy clip show Deliciousness said. “I’ve never been one to go extreme either way. I’ve never been one to eat bad all the time and I’ve never been one to always be healthy.

“I’m like an 80-20 percent kind of person. I try to be because I love food. I love to cook… Eating a salad three times a day is not always what I want to do. So, I think it’s all about balance and that’s the way to go with my kids too. I want to say, ‘Look, if you’re going to eat your broccoli on your plate, I’ll have something fun for you to eat after.’ There’s a reward in that. Why not? You’ve got to have a little fun.”

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