It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Celeb Scoop: Reed Alexander

By It's My Life on February 6, 2012 5:00 PM | No TrackBacks

reedalexander.jpgIf you watch "iCarly," then you know 17-year-old Reed Alexander as Carly's nemesis, Nevel Papperman. But did you know you can find Reed 24/7 in a virtual online kitchen he designed especially for kids and teens?

Reed's website is his labor of love, filled with recipes, exercise tips, videos, and other information aimed at helping young people discover that a healthy lifestyle is actually doable...and fun. We think it's a pretty cool thing, so we wanted to find out more from Reed himself.

IML: Where did the idea for KewlBites come from?

Reed: A few years ago, I was overweight and always really tired. I didn't have much confidence or energy. I wanted to make a change. I'm a huge foodie and I love cooking shows, and cooking for others has always been a big part of my life. I couldn't really find anything out there from the kids' POV that would have been right for me. I didn't want to join a diet program or something targeted at adults, I wanted a lifestyle thing. So I set out to make my own way. I got outside and made exercise a priority, and I took those traditional kid food classics I loved but lightened them up, morphed them into something I could feel great about. I also have a family history of heart disease and diabetes so I really needed to open my eyes. I ended up losing 15 pounds and people would say, "You really made a change! What's going on?" So that continued to motivate me, and I came up with the idea for KewlBites. I wanted to spackle up the hole I'd found when I was in this position, and provide a resource and a platform for kids and families who are like me. It's been great to hear reactions from different kinds of people!

IML: It does appeal to everyone! We found stuff on there we could use! You mentioned that you've always been a foodie. How did you first get interested in cooking?

Reed: After many years of great get-togethers with my family, as I got older I wanted to have more of a role in the kitchen. Then I'd watch a food show on TV and pick up these really interesting tips. Now, when I'm on the set of "iCarly," we have a great team with a lot of great taste buds. I bring things to the set that I make and I get a lot of feedback from the cast and crew. It's a great way to connect with people. This past Thanksgiving it was so fun to have people over and make a great spread for them, and see their reactions as they grabbed their forks and dived in.

IML: What do you think are the biggest misconceptions young people have about nutrition and eating well and cooking? Why aren't more tweens excited about that?

Reed: I think there's that old idea of, "Oh, we're eating nutritiously tonight, does that means steamed chicken and broccoli?" Healthy doesn't have to be boring in any way. Sometimes it's difficult because we're all so busy that it's sometimes it seems impossible to get a hold of the information and simple knowledge. Cooking is not at all a chore, and I don't think it's something you have to have a natural knack for in order to make something delicious. It's something a lot of us can tune into and enjoy on different levels. There's this notion that in order to feel great about yourself you have to go on a "diet." But that's not true.

IML: When young people want to start making their lifestyle more healthy, it can seem overwhelming, like they have to change everything at once. What would you say is a great first step for someone?

Reed: The name of KewlBites is about that -- you go one bite at a time with this stuff, integrating easy-to-do activities. Maybe it's 20 minutes where you're outside jogging or walking the dog. Then maybe it's a trip to the supermarket; see what's in the fridge and then say, "Hey Mom, take a look at this, I really want to try this."

IML: You mentioned the importance of exercise. What kind of exercise do you enjoy?

Reed: I'm a huge tennis fan, I've been playing for a couple of years. But you know what I can always turn to if I wake up early and I look at my day and see that it's going to be pretty crammed? I can always get in a walk. Walking is just one of my favorite things to do. It's really cathartic. You only need sneakers! I also love to go for bike rides with my dad, and I love swimming too, especially when it's hot.

IML: What's next for you, acting-wise?

Reed: I'm happy to say that "iCarly" is coming back for a fifth season, and I can't wait to get back on the set. We'll be doing a brand new set of special episodes. I'm working on a brand new show that I'm writing as well, and I can't wait to share that.

IML: On "iCarly," your character Nevel is a little villainy. That seems so out of character since you're clearly a very a sweet guy. What would be your dream role?

Reed: Yeah, I would definitely like to branch out. I have so much fun with the comedy, I'd love to try drama or something with a totally different feel. What's been interesting in Neville's case is that at first glance he is a little bit of a looney, but some interesting sides of him have unfolded over the past few seasons. There are so many different aspects of him and I love to play that.

IML: Thanks for chatting with us, Reed! Good luck with KewlBites and "iCarly" and everything else!

Reed: Thank you!

Here at IML we have our own section on Food Smarts that's also a must-read for anyone wanting to make a change!

Main Index