Our Pledge To You

News

Sara Evans credits milk for making kids a little bit stronger

BY CINDY PEARLMAN | BIG PICTURE NEWS INC.

Country star Sara Evans knows a typical mom’s juggling act. She has seven kids, which means that mealtimes could be your typical frenzy of Mc-choices.

The Birmingham, Alabama, resident refuses to sing that high-carb, trans fat tune. “I grew up on a farm, which gave me the best work ethic because basically you do work 365 days a year and it’s never 9 to 5. I approach life the same way,” says Evans, who doesn’t live on a farm anymore.

“There is always something to be done,” says Evans, who recently guested on the series “Nashville.”

That something starts in her own kitchen. “We don’t eat fast food,” Evans says. “I know sometimes families feel like they’re on the run and have to eat fast food. But I also know of moms who feed their children every day on the run. I can’t do that with my kids.”

“We’re as busy as anyone, but I make sure to prepare meals before we go to the games. And with seven kids, and six playing sports, there is always a game.”

Evans has found the healthy way to compromise when it comes to kids and fast-food begging.

“There’s always food at home prepared for afterward, and once a week we go out,” she says.

Evans is actually on a campaign these days supporting America’s dairy farmers through Dairy MAX, a non-profit council that represents more than 950 farm families.

“I never abandoned milk and I believe in drinking old-fashioned cow’s milk,” Evans says. “It’s the healthiest milk because it’s full of protein, calcium and potassium.”

Did she grow up milking the cows? Evans laughs. “My stepfather milked. That wasn’t one of our chores. I worked in the fields and drove a tractor or hauled hay. Cooking was also a passion of mine.”

That’s why she’s encouraging moms to cook for the health of the entire family. “We don’t cook enough for our families these days,” says Evans, who adds that it doesn’t have to be complex. “I like to do salads, a side of fruit, some simple veggies and potatoes. I try to cook farm foods that I ate — at least a few times a week.”

How does a busy country star find time to get into the kitchen? “It’s easy,” she says. “I try to cook as close to what God provided us to eat. I put in some chicken to bake this morning. I made mashed potatoes, too. It’s all ready and in the fridge, so we have dinner waiting.

“I’m always baking things because it’s so easy. You have a little meat. A few veggies. It’s dinner. I always make salad, and my kids love it. We eat a salad at nearly every dinner.

“My son who is 15 still drinks milk with his meals,” she says. “It’s so much healthier than soda.”

She also pays close attention to lunches for school. “I pack natural bread, a meat or chicken, and put yogurt in there, string cheese, blueberries or raspberries.”

Afterschool snacks are smoothies vs. cookies and processed foods. “It’s so easy to blend milk, orange juice and fruit. It’s also a great way to send them to school feeling great. This is so much healthier than something frozen you put in the toaster.”