The Rancics are in the house! The stars of Style Network's hit reality series Giuliana & Bill (and pop culture's most famous new parents) have joined the Parenting team to bring you amazing real-life stories and the latest celebrity-parent dish. This issue, Giuliana, the host of E! News, and Bill, entrepreneur and season-one winner of The Apprentice, chat with Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser.
G&B: What's been your wackiest parenting moment?
AS: I'll never forget changing a majorly dirty diaper during a radio tour one morning. Radio tours are when you call in to a bunch of different local stations. It's nice 'cause you can do it from home, but sometimes they start at 6 a.m. and go until 10 a.m. So when Ben woke up really early, I had to deal with it while juggling the phone on my shoulder and ear, and trying to not get distracted from the interview. I totally had the bubble over my head, like in US Weekly, “real stars, they're just like us…” LOL. If they could see me now!
G&B: Who's the softie and who's the disciplinarian?
AS: We try to stick to the same plan so the kids know they can't “parent-shop” for the answer they want. That being said, I'm more the disciplinarian and Dave is the pushover.
G&B: The Biggest Loser is about to tackle childhood obesity. Does that have special meaning to you?
AS: I'm so proud of The Biggest Loser for creating a forum for dialogue about this epidemic. People sugarcoat this issue (pardon the pun).Everyone is so busy trying to be politically correct that we aren't getting the word out about how unhealthy kids are.
G&B: You publicly dealt with your weight in the past. How are you encouraging your kids to be healthy?
AS: I use simple terms—lots of Lightning McQueen analogies here—to explain that their body needs fuel, good fuel, to help them grow strong. When Ben's out there sweating, playing sports in the sun, he can have a sports drink, but he cannot when we're sitting down to dinner. They can have treats, but not every night, and I have really worked to keep their portions small. The only hard-and-fast rule I have is no fast food. They do get sweets, mac and cheese, stuff like that…but again, in small portions and along with mandatory healthy veggies!
G&B: How do you explain being famous to your kids?
AS: I don't know…that is such a weird thing!!! I think it's different for me because, to an 8-year-old boy, the fact that Daddy is a police officer is way cooler than me being on TV.
G&B: What's the biggest thing you've screwed up?
AS: Jeez…well, I've cursed in front of my kids. I know, it's terrible, and I try really hard not to. It was a big awakening for me when Ben, at 2, repeated a word I'd said.
G&B: We're obviously new at this parenting thing—what's your best advice?
AS: Parent your first child as if you already had one. New parents are quick to jump when their baby cries. Imagine that you were already holding a toddler in your arms. You would have to put that child down, give them a toy, then go see about the baby. It gives you a moment to breathe and realize it will all be OK. Also, go with your gut—and call me anytime with questions!
When she's not chasing Ben, 8, or Megan, 4, Sweeney is planning date nights with her patrol-officer hubby, Dave.