How does she do it?: Jessica Seinfeld

The mom of three, author of two cookbooks and president of Baby Buggy (celebrating its 10th anniversary this month) tells us how she juggles so many roles

Who: author and president of Baby Buggy, age 40
Kids: Sascha, 11, Julian, 8, and Shepherd, 6
Marital status: married

On career:

What is your job status?  
I’m the president and founder of Baby Buggy, a charity that collects new and gently used baby gear and clothing. Every December, we have our annual fundraising gala at Lincoln Center where my husband and other amazing stars perform. Right now, I’m deep in the process of planning this event, but the long hours are so worth it.

On relationships:

What’s your favourite me-time activity to do?
I spend many hours a day cooking, so once the kids are in bed, you’ll often find me on the sofa with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk, reading the paper or a great book.

What three things do you carry with you at all times?
A healthy snack like organic almonds and raw carrots, an iPhone to take photos of kids and food, and a bright-coloured lipstick that is an instant pick-me-up  for my often tired-looking face.

On food:

It’s 6 p.m. and you haven’t thought about dinner: What do you do?
I make a very quick tomato sauce with canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes, garlic or onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh basil, fresh Parmesan, ricotta cheese and whole wheat spaghetti.

On parenting:

What is your parenting philosophy?
There are so many theories about how to raise happy children — I just try to concentrate on the basics. If I can shape them into good people who care about others, have solid ethics and learn to take responsibility, I figure the happiness will take care of itself.

Do your kids sleep through the night?
They do now, though for years they didn’t. Sometimes my baby (not really a baby — he’s six!) comes into bed with us in the middle of the night when he’s scared. Since he’s my last, I’m happy to have these moments with him before he doesn’t want to be seen with me.

What are your family’s favourite bedtime stories?
We love Shel Silverstein’s poems.

What is the one parenting tool or trick you can’t do without?
Putting raw vegetables (crudités) on the table before dinner. It staves off hunger and gives kids a healthy dish to snack on until dinner is ready. I also have a response to  “I’m starving. When is dinner ready?”

Please continue reading to find out about our Jessica Seinfeld cookbook giveaway!
What’s the best parenting advice you ever got?
Don’t let your kids rely on you for everything. In the long run, they are better off with a little well-placed “benign neglect” from their parents.

What is the most unexpected thing you discovered only after you became a parent?
The incredibly wasteful, dysfunctional and inequitable cycle of baby gear.  Some families have more than they need, or things they no longer need, while others don’t have what’s required to keep a baby healthy and happy.  And that there was no way to recycle … I had trouble finding an organization that would put her gently used clothing, toys, and gear in the hands of those who needed them most, so I decided to start my own – Baby Buggy.  Ten years later, we now donate an average of 40,500 items each month to over 50 sites across the U.S., over 19,000 people have volunteered with us, and we’ve donated over 6,200 cribs to babies who might otherwise be put to bed in drawers of boxes.

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?
We love to be active outside and play sports together — especially tennis, and baseball. Our favorite family vacation is skiing in Colorado.

What do you do that makes your kids say, “You are so much fun!”
We are very sports oriented and like to have a little healthy competition in the family.  My kids love it when I am good at sports — they get very excited (and surprised) when I hit a homerun or ski a very difficult trail.

When was the last time you looked around and thought, “This is a good moment”?
Every year, Jerry compiles a video for my birthday of the year’s best family moments caught on tape. We laugh so hard we cry. So, on September 12, at the end of each viewing, Jerry and I look at each other and think, “This is a great moment.”

To donate to Baby Buggy or to learn more, visit babybuggy.org. Jessica’s cookbooks, Deceptively Delicious and Double Delicious!, are available at chapters.indigo.ca.

Want to get your hands on a copy of Jessica’s cookbooks? We’re giving away a few copies of Deceptively Delicious and Double Delicious!. Both books are filled with lots of healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes the whole family will love.

For a chance to receive a copy of each book, please sign in and answer the following question in the comments section below: It’s 6 p.m. and you haven’t thought about dinner: What do you do?

To find out what else is in store from Harper Collins Canada, check them out on Twitter @HarperCollinsCa.

*NOTE: Please ensure that you are signed in to be eligible for this giveaway

* This giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 11, 2011.