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Jessica Biel on Clean Medicine and Self-Care as a Parent

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Verywell / Photo Illustration by Amelia Manley / KinderFarms

Amid her busy schedule as an actor, producer, entrepreneur, and parent, Jessica Biel is working on making time for self-care. For her though, the term isn't about trips to the spa or sheet masks; it's a high-wire balancing act where the goal is to recharge and emerge as the best version of herself possible.

"I can be a better mom if I can take some time alone," Biel tells Verywell Family, adding she is actively learning to "release the guilt" that comes with focusing on her own needs. "I'll be more present with my family after I've done something nice for my body or moved some endorphins around. I try to keep this in my attention."

Like many parents, Biel notes this isn't easy. She often finds herself putting her own needs below everyone else in her family. "I'll make sure everyone else is taken care of first, and then realize, 'Wow, I'm exhausted, I haven't had a second to myself,'" she shares. "I'm still trying to find the balance."

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and Biel keeps both top of mind in her personal life and her business. The mother of two and "Candy" star is also the co-founder of KinderFarms. It's a health company focused on providing non-toxic, plant-based alternatives to over-the-counter medicines and other children's health products. Biel explains both she and her business partner Jeremy Adams had identical experiences where they were searching for medicine for their respective children at 2 a.m. and finding themselves frustrated by labels full of impossible-to-read ingredients.

"I just felt like, 'this is crazy,'" Biel reflects. "Why can't there be effective medicine with natural ingredients that I can actually pronounce? Jeremy and I agreed that there should be an alternative option out there for parents who don't feel great about giving stuff to their kids when they simply don't know what's in the box."

Co-founders Jessica Biel and Jeremy Adams launch KinderMed November 15, 2022 in New York City
Co-founders Jessica Biel and Jeremy Adams launch KinderMed November 15, 2022 in New York City.

Noam Galai / Getty Images Entertainment

From there, KinderFarms was born, with options for parents ranging from plant-based protein shakes to fruit-flavored drinks with electrolytes. The brand recently launched KinderMed, a clean medicine brand that includes items like pain and fever relievers with acetaminophen, cough solutions with agave syrup, and cold/cough combination medicines. Everything sold is produced without artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors, and are all vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.

"I knew that if I wanted this for my family," Biel says, "there must be other parents who were hoping for the same thing."

Biel recently spoke with Verywell Family about the process of launching a business as a parent, what clean medicine means to her, and how she enforces boundaries between her personal life and her role as a celebrity in the public eye.

Verywell Family: There's no doubt your business will inspire other parents with innovative ideas of their own. What have you learned since starting your own company and branching out into this space?

Jessica Biel: I've learned so many things. I knew nothing about how to create or market a product. This is all very new for me. But if there's something that you are missing in your life, or an idea that makes you go, 'Why doesn't this exist? I need this to make my life easier.' Then most likely, other people want that too. Don't be fearful of a possible failure. Go for it.

VWF: If there was a parent on the fence about making the leap from traditional OTC meds to a brand like yours that features clean medicine, what would you want them to know?

JB: We have the same effective medicine that's been formulated by doctors and scientists, the same medicine that's inside what you've been buying for a million years. We just take out all the extra stuff that you don't need: the dyes, the artificial colors and flavors, extra preservatives, allergens. So it's the same base medicine that you need to help your child in the moment, and we add purified water, organic agave syrup, and that's it. We've simply removed all the stuff you can't pronounce.

A close friend gave me this advice: When you're mom, be mom. Don't take a call. don't text anyone, don't email anyone. Just be there.

JESSICA BIEL

VWF: Did you start thinking about medicine differently after you had kids?

JB: Absolutely. It's easy to go through life and put yourself at the bottom and think, 'Oh, it's okay. I'm not going to read these medicine ingredients. I'm healthy enough.' But then you have a baby and you start to realize, 'Oh my gosh, I am responsible for everything that's happening to this child. And what I put in their body, that's on me.' You start to make some different choices. You start to read the labels. And that can feel overwhelming as a parent, moment-to-moment.

VWF: When it comes to that crucial element of self-care, what are some things you do for yourself? And how does prioritizing self-care impact your relationship with your family?

JB: It really makes a difference, even it's just an hour of exercise or taking a walk or reading a book that I'm excited about. I always come back to my kids and I'm like, 'Okay, let's wrestle on the floor! I'm ready to go.' Even if I'm physically exhausted, I still feel like, 'Okay, I'm back now. I am mentally here with you guys,' as opposed to my mind being pulled in a million directions.

I think every mom could be a little more selfish about their self-care.

JESSICA BIEL

VWF: If you could go back in time and talk to your pre-mom self, what would you want her to know?

JB: However hard you think it's going to be, it's going to be a hundred times harder.

VWF: That's real.

JB: Right? I'd also tell her: You know it's going to be tough. You've seen your friends do it, your family, cousins, sisters. But you have no idea how much it's going to require, how much patience. You think you have a lot of patience now? Well, triple that. It's simultaneously challenging and rewarding. It'll push you beyond anything you ever thought. It's also going to be great.

And on the point of self-care, I'd tell her to prioritize it. Don't make yourself the last priority. Know that self-care is an important element of your entire family's well-being. Be selfish about that. I could be a little more selfish; I think every mom could be a little more selfish about their self-care.

Jessica Biel attends the Los Angeles Premiere FYC Event for Hulu's "Candy" at El Capitan Theatre on May 09, 2022 in Los Angeles
Jessica Biel attends the Los Angeles Premiere FYC Event for Hulu's "Candy" at El Capitan Theatre on May 09, 2022 in Los Angeles.

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

VWF: You've spent a great portion of your life in the public eye. How do you set boundaries between work and home?

JB: This is another balancing act. I don't think I do it perfectly, but I try to keep them separate. My choice for my career was my choice. My kids had no say in that, and they obviously had no choice of the parents they were born to. I aim to be thoughtful about the fact that I've chosen this life, not them, and try to create as normal as an existence as possible. We don't currently live in a big city, which feels really good to me, and there's a great community of friends and family around my kids.

When I have to work, I try to be working fully. And then, when I'm home, I'm home. I try not to do both at the same time. A close friend gave me this advice: When you're mom, be mom. Don't take a call. Don't text anyone, don't email anyone. Just be there. It's a constant struggle to keep it separate and balanced. But I take it day by day, keeping these kids alive and keeping myself creatively fulfilled in my own work because that's important to me too.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About mental health.

  2. Andreozzi L, Giannetti A, Cipriani F, Caffarelli C, Mastrorilli C, Ricci G. Hypersensitivity reactions to food and drug additives: problem or myth?. Acta Bio Medica. 2019;90(3-S):80-90. doi:10.23750/abm.v90i3-S.8168

By De Elizabeth
De has been writing and editing for over five years, and has covered a range of topics including pop culture, mental health, parenting, wellness, LGBTQ+ issues, and politics.