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Tia Mowry Gives Moms the Lowdown on Vaccines

Photograph by Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock

Tia Mowry has got her holiday planning down—especially when it comes to what she'll be serving on Christmas.

The mother of 4-year-old son Cree with husband Cory Hardrict, who recently made headlines for slamming body shamers, is busy prepping for the holidays, but she also wants to make sure that she keeps her household healthy—and to share those tips with moms everywhere. So the host of the Cooking Channel's "Tia Mowry at Home" and star of Nickelodeon series "Instant Mom" has partnered with FluMist Quadrivalent to encourage other parents to get their kids vaccinated against the flu.

Mowry talked to mom.me about her holiday plans, how her son helps out in the kitchen and what she wants parents who are against vaccines to know.

MORE: Tia Mowry Reveals Her Most Embarrassing Mom Moment

How are you prepping for Christmas? Do you have some favorite recipes that you're planning for your family?

I am going to do a beef tenderloin, and I'm just going to roast it, and then I'm going to make my infamous garlic mashed potatoes and then I'm going to do these delicious Brussels sprouts that I roast. It's so good!

How do you have your son Cree help out in the kitchen?

He loves helping Mommy out in the kitchen. He has his own stool that he sits on or stands on, and he just sits and watches Mommy. Sometimes he'll help with cracking the eggs. Sometimes he'll help with stirring and combining ingredients together. He loves being in the kitchen. Sometimes he'll do his own project. It's so funny. He'll take a glass of water and start pouring it in a bowl and tell me that he's making his own concoction. It's really cute.

The best way to protect your child from the flu is to get vaccinated. Period.

What are your tips for keeping the flu out of your house?

I'm really excited that I've partnered with AstraZeneca and FluMist Quadrivalent, and have launched the Mom Nose Best campaign. And with this campaign I've launched a website. On this website are tips on how one can prevent themselves from getting the flu.

One way is just make sure that you wash your hands. Always have a hand sanitizer handy, whether that's in your purse, whether that's in the car, especially with kids, whether that's in their play room, in their backpack. Another thing is when you make an appointment to get the flu vaccine, try to go early in the morning or later in the day to avoid crowds, because when you're in a doctor's office and there are a lot of people, sometimes people are coughing and not covering their mouths. Another thing is just make sure you eat foods that are high in antioxidants, like bananas, oranges, avocado, stuff like that.

MORE: Tia Mowry Slams Body Shamers

Vaccines are such a hot-button issue. What do you think parents who are against them should know?

I think parents who are against them should know this: No. 1, the best way to protect your child from the flu is to get vaccinated. Period. The other thing is the flu is not like the common cold. The flu is a respiratory illness that can lead to hospitalization. So when you know the seriousness of what the flu can cause, I think maybe it can change your perspective about it.

What meal would you recommend as a go-to dinner option for working moms?

I always like to go to my quinoa stir-fry. Quinoa cooks in like 15 to 20 minutes. It's really delicious. It's very healthy. It's high in protein. It's easily digestible or digested. Stir-fry, you can do whatever you want. You can throw in your favorite vegetables, whether that's carrots, whether that's cabbage, whether that's broccoli, and then you can throw in whatever kind of protein you want. You can cook it with chicken, you can cook it with beef, you can cook it even with shrimp, and it's just really simple, easy and quick. It's a nutritious meal. You have your protein, you have your vegetables, so you have it all in one.

How do you carve out family time when you have such a busy schedule?

I make time, and that is Sundays. They are catered to my family. Every Sunday, the family—that means my husband and my son—will do something that's family-related. So we will either go out for pizza, we'll go see a movie, we'll go to the park, we'll go to the museum, we'll do something that the whole family can enjoy. It's all about making time.

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