Chrissy Teigen’s life seems like the stuff of which dreams are made. She’s got, after all, a top modeling career, a chart-topping musician husband and a luxurious life in Beverly Hills. But the model is also still a working mother dealing with many of the same issues facing parents everywhere. So when it came to coping with her fussy toddler, she took a novel approach that had other moms cheering.
Teigen has become one of the celebrity parents to whom other moms almost always warm. This is probably because she generally appears to be refreshingly honest about her body issues and the ups and downs of parenting. In the past, for instance, she has shared a look at her post-pregnancy belly and asked for tips on how to respond when kids are mean.
Yet it was Teigen’s modeling career that had first propelled her into the limelight. Surprisingly, though, Teigen, who was born in Utah to a father of Norwegian heritage and a Thai mother, hadn’t initially seen a future for herself on the catwalk. “I always wanted to be a teacher or wanted to do something with food. But modeling, I just never thought I could do it myself really ever,” she told The Daily Beast in 2014.
That all changed, however, when she was “discovered” at the age of 18. Teigen was in fact working in a surf shop in California when a photographer spotted her potential. Then one thing led to another, and the teenager was soon taking her first steps on the path to an illustrious modeling career.
“I got an agency and did regular catalog stuff, nothing too glamorous,” Teigen told The Daily Beast. Still, in 2006 she took part in TV’s Deal Or No Deal alongside none other than Meghan Markle, and men’s magazine Maxim made her a cover girl on a 2007 calendar. And soon, it seems, big brands started to notice her charm and appeal. In fact, Teigen started to work for the likes of Nike and Billabong.
But it was Sports Illustrated that really put Teigen on the map. In 2010 the model first appeared in the magazine’s prestigious swimsuit issue, and a star was born. You see, the newcomer went on to win its coveted “Rookie Of The Year” title, which is voted for by the publication’s fans.
This started a long-running partnership between Teigen and the brand, and she has gone on to feature in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition on many occasions. In 2014 the stunning star, now 33, even bagged the cover alongside two other models, an honor typically reserved for the crème de la crème of the industry.
And while historically the modeling industry has arguably been known for celebrating certain body types, Teigen felt that Sports Illustrated embraced her curvier figure. “Your body type isn’t important to them,” Teigen told Elle magazine in 2015. “It was way more about having a personality and being able to represent this iconic brand, which was really exciting.”
Teigen’s success as a print model then led to some TV work, and the star has subsequently appeared on programs such as Watch What Happens Live and America’s Next Top Model. She is also known as a commentator on hit series Lip Sync Battle, which sees celebrities miming to famous songs in a series of contests.
And as if appearing in magazines and TV screens weren’t enough, Teigen has also emerged as something of a foodie. She often, in fact, shares tips and recipes and waxes lyrical about her love of food and cooking. So, despite being a model, the multi-skilled star is seemingly happy to indulge in her favorite treats. “I have never been ashamed to say that I love really dirty food that maybe has high-fructose corn syrup, maybe the ingredients have stuff from old yoga mat parts or whatever,” she told The Daily Beast.
“I’ve always loved snack food; it’s very comforting to me,” she added. So it was a natural progression for Teigen to sign up for some food-related TV shows. She has so far, for instance, appeared on the programs Cookies And Cocktails and Chrissy Teigen’s Hungry. She has even penned a couple of cookbooks, entitled Cravings and Cravings: Hungry For More.
And while her career has taken off, Teigen’s love life has also bloomed. The star is happily married to singer John Legend, in fact, and the couple’s life together appears blissful. The A-list pair had first met in 2007 when Teigen had cast been in the music video for Legend’s song “Stereo.”
They had apparently got talking on set and quickly made a connection, with Teigen later telling Cosmopolitan magazine that they had “hooked up.” However, they didn’t officially start dating for a while. “I let him be himself for a while,” Teigen told the publication, adding that she had “played it cool for a long time.”
But the pair had stayed in touch and communicated via phone while Legend had been on tour. Eventually, then, Teigen had joined the singer on the road, and they had become a couple. They had subsequently dated for four years before, in 2011, the singer had popped the question during a vacation in the Maldives.
Legend had apparently planned a romantic surprise proposal and hidden a ring in his luggage. But his plan had almost been ruined when airport security had asked to look in his bag. “I was, like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve hid it so well this whole time. Now as we’re just about to get to the Maldives she’s going to find out I have a ring in this box, and it’s going to ruin the surprise, and I’ll have to get on my knees in the airport,’” he said in 2013 on TV show Oprah’s Next Chapter.
But it proved to be just a minor bump in the road, and Legend had asked Teigen to marry him over dinner during their trip, hiding the ring in a pile of salad leaves. “I see the little box and then, you know, your heart stops and you get so excited,” Teigen later said on talk show FABLife. “There was no big grand speech or anything. I think it was just very lovely and sweet.”
The couple had later exchanged vows on September 14, 2013, in a picturesque ceremony beside Lake Como, Italy. And when in 2018 the couple celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary, Teigen wrote on Instagram that Legend was the “man of [her] dreams.” “My everything, I love you and am so proud of the story we’ve created,” she said in a touching post.
But Teigen’s perfect life had not been complete until she’d had children. But the model had found that conceiving did not come easily. In 2015, in fact, she revealed on FABLife that she and Legend would have liked to have started a family sooner. She said, “John and I were having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened. But my gosh, it’s been a process.”
But finally, on October 13, 2015, Teigen announced that she was expecting. Posting a stunning black-and-white shot of herself on a sofa with Legend’s hand resting significantly on her stomach, she told her fans, “John and I are so happy to announce that we are pregnant :).”
“As many of you know, we’ve been trying to have a baby for a while now,” the star continued. “It hasn’t been easy, but we kept trying because we can’t wait to bring our first child into the world and grow our family. We’re so excited that it’s finally happening. I look forward to all the belly-touching!”
The star then appeared to embrace every step of her pregnancy, proudly sharing images of herself sporting a baby bump. One posted on Instagram ahead of the 2016 Academy Awards showed Teigen’s delicate dress stretched over her stomach while two people adjusted it. “#Oscars belly,” wrote the mom-to-be.
The couple later revealed that they had undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) and hand-picked the gender. “I’ve made this decision. Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo,” the presenter told People magazine. “I picked her and was like, ‘Let’s put in the girl.’”
Little Luna Stephens was then born on April 14, 2016, and her ecstatic parents both posted messages on social media announcing her arrival. However, their family had evidently not been quite complete. In the summer of 2017, in fact, Teigen told Cosmopolitan that the couple were gearing up “to do something super hard, which is the IVF process, all over again.”
And in November that year the couple had some wonderful news: they were expecting. In a touching Instagram video, Luna even helped them announce the pregnancy. In the clip, Teigen points the camera pointing at her tummy and asks, “Luna, what’s in here?” “Baby,” the toddler replies. Son Miles Stephens was subsequently born in May 2018, and since then both of the adorable tots have become fixtures online, with their excited mom sharing plenty of sweet anecdotes and cute pictures.
But Teigen has not shied away from sharing any of the downsides, either. And it was no different when the TV presenter was finding it hard getting Luna to eat the meals that she had cooked. She even told Rachael Ray that Luna’s objections “kind of breaks [her] heart.” But the foodie had an ingenious way of overcoming it: she made Luna her own menu.
In December 2018 Teigen shared her cute menu on her social media. It is laminated and features a handful of kid-friendly recipes for her two-year-old daughter to choose from. “I made a restaurant for my two-and-a-half-year-old,” she tweeted. “Trying to get Luna to eat by being psychotic.”
Each page of the menu has a picture of the meal on offer along with the name of the dish and a little description. The choices include cereal with bananas and crispy fish sticks, which Teigen enticingly says is served with Luna’s choice of “dip-dip.” Chicken tenders also come with “tomato dip-dip.”
There is also a cheese quesadilla “in a warm fried tortilla” and ham-and-cheese “Lunables.” The latter is described as “ham and cheese sandwiched between two buttery crackers.” Chicken spaghetti is on offer, too, served alongside some healthy broccoli. A grilled cheese is further served with a portion of juicy-looking blueberries and raspberries.
Upping the appeal even further, Teigen has made sure that the food looks as attractive as possible too. Each plate is styled differently, but they are all clearly designed to tempt a toddler. One dish even bears the tot’s name, and another is in the shape of a cat with little pink ears.
Teigen has even added prices to the dishes to complete the restaurant effect. So the cereal with banana will set Luna back four dollars, while the grilled cheese is a steal at three dollars. When someone online quizzed her about the prices, the model explained, “I feel like if she pays she will eat it (fake money!).” “Yes, she is my boss,” she quipped, when another person asked if Luna had a job.
The entire menu is also neatly wrapped in plastic to protect it from those sticky fingers. “Buying a laminator is the best thing to have ever happened to me,” Teigen admitted in the caption for the video, which shows her flipping through the pages as she jokes, “I have a problem!”
But the army of fans who follow Teigen online did not agree that it was a problem. Quite the opposite, in fact. The star’s accounts were flooded with messages from people saying that the menu could be the answer to their own meal-related troubles. Many even said they’d be following in her footsteps.
“This is awesome!” said one excited fan on Twitter. “I’ll be starting one for my two-year-old today. He (naturally) loves to be in charge of his meals, and this will make things so much easier. Thanks for sharing!” Another said, “Publish this. Need one for my daughter. For realz.”
Another grateful follower said they were “so tired of the ‘what do you want for a snack/lunch/breakfast?’ every day,” calling Teigen’s toddler menu idea “brilliant.” “Limited options, choose one. Done,” the person said. One mother called it “genius,” tweeting, “I am currently in the ‘loves it’ one day & ‘hates it’ the next. You aren’t psychotic. Toddlers are.”
One parent said on Instagram that they would be making one for their son, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The person wrote, “Thank you for posting this. My son has some delays in communication due to frustration/ADHD and some other things.”
They continued, “He struggles with making choices and getting overwhelmed. And choosing what he wants for dinner/lunch, an easy task for most, can create anxiety for him. I am going to make him one of these visual books for meals so it will be easier for him to choose! Thank you!”
And one of the best reactions of all has been from Luna herself. Teigen has since revealed, in fact, that the menu seems to be doing the trick for the picky toddler. She even updated her fans by tweeting an adorable video showing Luna paying $3 for the tasty-looking meal she had ordered.
The clip shows Luna standing beside her dinner table, peeling off bills for her mother, before sitting down to eat. Mom even received a tip from her satisfied customer. “It’s working!!!!” the thrilled model told her followers. “She now eats all her food when she orders from the menu and pays for it.”
Teigen’s menu didn’t just appeal to parents, though. In fact, it also caught the eye of some food companies. Kraft even suggested that she add its macaroni and cheese to Luna’s list. It also revealed a picture and details in the style of Teigen’s menu, describing the meal as “delicious macaroni noodles covered in gooey cheesy goodness.”
And Teigen’s “Lunables” – apparently a twist on the Lunchables brand – went down a storm with the brand, which tweeted, “Okay, your spelling of Lunables is so cute we’re considering mixing things up by going for a rebrand.” It certainly looks as if Teigen’s idea has captured the imagination. So could it become another cookbook idea for the multi-talented star?