Eva Longoria Lets Her 4-Year-Old Drink Her Coffee; Here's Why

Award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist Eva Longoria doesn't talk to her son about whether food is "good" or "bad." Rather than label certain foods as healthy or unhealthy, she wants him to remain curious. "I want his relationship to food to be very healthy," she tells POPSUGAR, rather than get bogged down by negative associations.

"He's at an age where he eats everything," she says about 4-year-old Santiago Enrique, whom she shares with her husband, José "Pepe" Bastón. "If I'm eating something, he'll ask me about it. For example, he's obsessed with my morning coffee. He'll ask if he can have some, and I'll say, 'Absolutely, but you might not like it.'" From there, he goes through his five senses, first smelling it and then touching it ("It's too hot!"). She says, "That curiosity, I support."

At a barbecue recently, Santiago was able to accurately label everyone's drinks. "My friend had a margarita, my husband had wine, and someone had a beer, and he just goes, 'That's a margarita, that's wine, that's a beer,'" she says, laughing. "I don't know if it's a good thing that he knows the name of these drinks, but it was very funny."

His curiosity goes beyond tasting: Santiago loves to be part of the action in the kitchen, too. "I love cooking with him when he gets involved," Longoria says. "You can't care about the mess or if eggshells get in the bowl. It's like free play." She encourages him to taste ingredients and have fun with it. "So he's really comfortable in the kitchen."

Eva Longoria with son Santiago
Courtesy of Eva Longoria and Kellogg's

The two of them have travelled together as part of CNN's new show "Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico," where she tastes the unique cuisines across the country. In Mexico City, her son tasted his favourite dessert of churros and hot chocolate. Back at home, breakfast remains close to their roots. "We're a Mexican family, so we make flour tortillas every morning," she says. "Santi loves the masa and rolling out the tortilla. He'll take his cookie cutter and make a heart-shaped one."

She's taken Santiago with her to India to give food to orphanages and to Mexico to provide clothes to children. "He asked me, 'Why don't they have shoes?,' and so I explained to him that not everybody is as fortunate as we are to have shoes," she says. "That's what you want, to spark that curiosity. I'll never tire of answering his questions."

Philanthropy, like food, has always been close to Longoria's heart. She's partnering with Kellogg's Breakfast For All initiative, which donates $1,000 (equal to 10,000 meals) to No Kid Hungry for each purchase of an Eva's Breakfast For All Bundle (which includes several breakfast items as well as something signed by Longoria). "I don't think people realise that hunger is such a big issue in the United States," she says, adding that one in eight children live with hunger in the country. "I was excited to be part of this effort to relieve some of the burden on families."

Above all, she aims to set a good example for her son. "You have to show them the human you want them to be, because you can't talk to your children about charity and philanthropy, but you can show them. That's what my mom did with me, and now I'm doing it with my son."