What Social Distancing Taught Sutton Foster About Family Time

Sutton Foster’s prepandemic life was full of activity, from her work as an actress and her busy social life in New York City to her role as a mom of a toddler. Since the pandemic struck this spring, though, Sutton’s daily routine has moved at a decidedly slower pace.

Instead of running from appointment to appointment in NYC, she’s spent most of the past six months at her lake house outside of the city with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, Emily. Her days are a bit calmer, starting with coffee and reading time for the whole family (including their dog Mabel) in bed every morning.

While it’s been difficult to adjust to the new pace, Sutton said there are silver linings. We caught up with the actress to find out what a day in her life is like right now — and which newly adopted habits she’d like to keep once restrictions start to ease.

Quality time with her family has been the one bright spot of 2020, Sutton said. She and her husband were able to spend every morning, meal, and bedtime with their daughter, something that rarely happens during their usual busy lives.

Sutton said they’ve also been taking advantage of the hiking trails near the house and spending time with her father, who lives just five minutes away. In addition to alternating host duties for a family dinner every weekend, movie nights have also become a favorite. “We’ve been doing dealer’s-choice movie nights where we each take a turn picking a movie, but it’s a surprise for everyone until you press play,” she said.

“I’m embracing all the time at home, including spending time trying to get creative in the kitchen with Emily,” Sutton said. Her daughter loves helping in the kitchen — even if she can’t do more than salt a chicken breast or help stir ingredients together. “She has a little stool that she pushes around the kitchen to help me,” Sutton said. “When we make cookies, all she wants to do is eat the chocolate chips.” Even though Sutton has a lactose sensitivity, she still loves to bake — she just opts for LACTAID® Milk to keep the recipe lactose-free.

Cooking isn’t just a fun activity for Sutton — it’s really become a way to connect with her family during this time. Her work usually makes it impossible to have family dinners every night, so Sutton has relished in the opportunity to spend more time together. “I think the ritual of all sitting down for dinner is pretty magical,” she said.

Of course, the food she eats is also key to Sutton’s ability to do her job well. “As a performer, I am very conscious of what I put into my body,” Sutton said. Since she has a lactose sensitivity, she opts for LACTAID® Milk — 100-percent real milk without the lactose. “I have always loved milk, but sometimes it would cause me discomfort. I’ve found that drinking LACTAID® allows me to enjoy all of the benefits of real dairy, just without the lactose.”

Sutton’s love for LACTAID®’s lactose-free milk even led to one of her first acting projects this year: a remote video shoot with Cookie Monster. “I have always been a huge fan of Sesame Street and my daughter loves the fact that I get to work with Cookie Monster. She thinks it’s the coolest thing ever,” Sutton said.

This year has really shown Sutton how valuable time with her family is, so she said she’s going to keep prioritizing dedicated time with her husband and daughter as she starts getting back to work. Of course, the pandemic isn’t over, but Sutton said even if more changes are coming, she has realized that the best way to handle them is by taking life one step at a time. “One of the biggest things I have learned has to do with being patient,” she said. “During this time, so much is still so very unknown and you can only really look at things week to week.”

Watch Sutton Foster Teach Cookie Monster About Real Cookies and Real Milk

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