updated 09/29/2009 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/29/2009 AT 4:45 PM ET
As the new spokesperson for Save the Children’s “Make Time for CHANGE” campaign, Jennifer Garner is helping develop healthier lifestyles for kids living in poverty by implementing resources for healthy eating and exercise habits. In her personal life, the actress also promotes healthy eating at home with daughter Violet, 3, by creatively sneaking vegetables into her meals.
“One healthy snack that I love to make at home is a smoothie with spinach,” Garner tells PEOPLE. “You use a banana, a bunch of mango and a huge handfuls of spinach so it’s green. But it tastes like mango and banana and the kids are really, really into the color. They also don’t taste the spinach at all.”
Though Garner says her daughter “mostly does alright” in terms of eating her veggies, the Invention of Lying actress, like many busy parents, is the first to admit that it’s difficult to consistently eat and prepare healthy meals. However, she says it’s crucial for children living in poverty to develop healthier lifestyles. As a mom of two, Garner says she feels even more dedicated in using her time to help the non-profit organization.
“The main realization that I had is that every mom wants the best for their kid,” she says. “Some of us may have more opportunities with time or financial cushions than others so it s important that we just spend a minute of our time to help other kids in our own country.”
Save the Children’s CHANGE program (Creating Healthy, Active, and Nurturing Growing-up Environments) is teaming up with Frigidaire which will donate $1 to every pledge made to raise funds to help at-risk children in need in the United States. Garner hopes the program will all children including her home state.
“I grew up in West Virginia, which is a state that has struggled a lot,” says Garner. “It needs so badly the exact kind of support that Save the Children offers, which is helping kids perform better in school because they are healthier and not worrying about food.”
For more information about Save the Children visit their Web site.