Family Dinner Secrets of Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris plays a deranged lover in his new Netflix series, disconnected— but in real life things are sweet on the family front. Harris and his husband David Burtka just completed their… collaboration with HelloFresh, for which Burtka – an actor, professional chef and the author of Life is a party: delicious recipes to make every day a partydeveloped exclusive, delicious recipes. (Think roasted chicken leg with brown butter, asparagus, and shrimp tacos with “super salsa.”)

The couple has teamed up with the meal pack brand to bring lofty, accessible classics for the whole family. Here, Burtka and Harris dish with the healthy @Reader’s Digest about how they get their 11-year-old twins to eat healthy, the family’s favorite recipes and the role food plays in their lives.

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Before he started dating Burtka in 2004, Harris said his palate wasn’t very arousing. “He’s brought so much into my life, but especially all the new flavors and the new styles of cooking and cooking and new techniques.”

And from one of their very first dates, Burtka could tell that Harris was the one who just got off his lunch order. “I remember Neil ordering the chicken and waffles,” he told the healthy one, “and I knew it had to be that way.”

According to Harris, cooking and entertaining have only become more important to their family since then, especially now that they are raising their children Gideon and Harper. “We view the time we spend preparing the meal, enjoying the meal and even cleaning up after the meal as a great time for the community and reconnecting with the family,” he said. “So that includes our children.”

Burtka says the family takes pride in sharing meals and using it as a time to talk about their days and process their feelings together. “I think that’s how you learn human behavior, and how you learn to communicate.”

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thanks to HelloFresh

Their family lives on an estate in East Hampton they call Funhouse Farm, where Burtka has a garden that supplies fresh produce. From putting together a salad with just-picked veggies to making homemade poke bowls (and especially enjoying Burtka’s homemade bolognese — a family favorite), they view the meal as an opportunity to bring the gang together. “I think it’s always important to teach your kids new skills as they grow, and there’s so much to learn in the kitchen when making a meal,” Harris said.

Burtka agreed. “In my book, I talk about it quite a bit: make a list of things they could do, whether it’s breaking down spices or stirring something in or mashing chicken breasts. It’s great to give them stuff and hang out with you so they can see where the food is coming from and where it’s going.”

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When it comes to nutrition, the name of the game in the Burtka-Harris house is moderation. They say they ‘eat the rainbow’ and make sure everyone’s plate is covered with colors and encourage their kids to try different vegetables and proteins. But, as Burtka says, ‘You have to live life a little. It’s all good to have a well-rounded life.”

“I think being obsessive about health in your diet tends to be harmful,” agreed Harris, “because subconsciously you just crave the things you can’t have anymore.”

Harris added that instead of looking at sugar content or calories, he focuses on how fresh food is. “Eating things that are locally sourced or that don’t come straight from a freezer or can will give you more nutrients,” he said. The Healthy. “If you look at the way the rest of the world eats, you know, they can’t have a lot of food that isn’t in the fridge for nothing.”

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Hydration is also key, Harris says, especially when performing on Broadway. Before a gig, he avoids sugar so he doesn’t crash, and instead of a big meal, he grazes all day long — a little bit at breakfast, a handful of almonds here or there, half a slice of bread — to stay full without being too full. touch.

For Burtka, “I always felt that sleep was the most important thing about working on Broadway,” he said. “It’s so demanding on your body and your mind that you have to take care of it.” Read here how long the best nap lasts, says a neuroscientist

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