The '90s House host credits her Cuban-American upbringing.
If you thought the only advice you’d be taking from Christina Milian was to dip it low and pick it up slow, think again. The singer-turned-actress, host of MTV’s new show 90s House, where millennials have to live in a house where everything (including internet dial-up) is from the 1990s, has a very specific eating philosophy.
Her one rule is this: Eat salad with every single meal. While not entirely revolutionary as a concept, it’s something most of us could definitely do more often. “Salad is a requirement,” Milian told Food & Wine. “Even if I’m eating a regular meal, on the side I will have a salad.”
Milian credits her salad habit to the way she was raised. “My family would always sit down at the table together growing up, and my mom would make salad and we’d always start with that," she said. "We’re Cuban, so that was always hand-in-hand with our meal to help with digestion and staying healthy.”
While eating a salad with every meal might sound like overkill to some, Milian’s got a method to the leafy-green madness. Essentially, if she eats a salad with every meal, then she can justify eating all the other arguably more delicious and less-antioxidant-packed things. This is a compromise we can support.
“When it comes to my overall diet, it’s limitless,” Milian said, of the non-salad portion of her meals. “I think it’s more about listening to your body and everything in moderation. Like If I’m going to get pizza, I’ll get thin crust. I believe in ‘eat what you want.’ Food is life, and when it comes to food, don’t be afraid.”
So what exactly does moderation mean for the actress? Raisinettes and Chuck E Cheese’s. (She recently partnered with the restaurant-entertainment chain.) “Traditionally on date night, I’m a movie girl because everything’s there at the movies that I want, and I’m totally down with that," she said. "Some pizza, popcorn, candy, there’s all the drinks you want—and I have to say, chocolate covered raisin—Raisinettes. I’m super easy. That’s what’s real, and I love the simplicity of it."
To spend more family time together, Milian brings her daughter, Violet, to the most throwback (fittingly '90s) pizza place of all: Chuck E. Cheese’s. “My daughter is 7 years old, and it’s a fun place to go for dinner and game night," she said. "Kids need to be active, and you need a way to get them off of a cellphone because they’re so into that—and pizza is key.”
But Chuck E. Cheese isn’t the only place where Milian brings family time and food together; a lot of that happens in her kitchen at home, as well.
“Cooking together builds the relationship between you and your child," she said. "I always used to watch in the kitchen with my mom cooking, and that’s where we learned the basics of Cuban cooking. My daughter and me do everything in the kitchen together. If you can show them how to do it—minus the stove part—it builds on something with your child, instead of having that empty space.”
Animatronic animals, optional.