Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves cook at home with their kids

Family comes first! Camila Alve and husband Matthew McConaughey cherish every moment with their three children—especially when the little ones cross into teenage territory.

The couple, who wed in 2012, share sons Levi, 14, and Livingston, 9, and daughter Vida, 12. Having recently celebrated their eldest child’s birthday, Alves, 40, exclusively told Us weekly how different it feels to raise a teenager.

“You know, it’s interesting because when you have little kids you’re physically exhausted, aren’t you? And I feel like when you get to the teenagers… it’s almost like you need more energy,” the Brazilian native said Us on Tuesday, July 12 while promoting her Taco Sundae ice cream creation, which she developed with Whole Foods. “You need more brain power because it’s all about the mind, right? It’s like a teenager [is] trying to find their identity and figure out how to get on with their lives. So I think it’s more challenging for me in a good way.”

Alves joked that she missed the days when her three children still needed her constant attention. “When they’re little, I’m like, ‘Oh, I can do this day and night.’ You know, it’s go, go, go.”

Though she felt “physically tired” raising toddlers, the difficult conversations she’s had with her would-be teenagers presented a different kind of challenge. “When it comes to more of…the ability, a young man or a really leading a young woman takes a different kind of brain, you know, brain power [and] conduct [or] to navigate through it,” said the model Us. “But it’s beautiful. It’s inspirational. It also makes you look at a lot of things that you do as an adult too, you know when you get to that stage. … It’s a beautiful stage.”

Alves celebrated Levi’s 14th birthday on Monday July 11 with a sweet Instagram tribute. “Time flies… whatever brings you joy, experience fully because that exact experience will never happen again,” she captioned a family photo. “Levi just turned 14 the other day!! He changed my life forever and still does for the better! Thank you my dear! Vida in this pic 12 now and look her admiration to her little brother Livingston who is now 9 years old…time flies…

Though her children are growing up, the designer and her 52-year-old husband are still committed to forging strong bonds with Levi, Vida and Livingston. One place where the family of five likes to spend time together is in the kitchen.

‘You’re in charge of breakfast,’ explained Alves Us their children. “My oldest just makes scrambled eggs with kale and turkey and he’s really into it. And tomatoes and onions and cilantro. He mixes everything and it’s really good.”

For his part, McConaughey is the grill master at home. “Matthew really is in charge of meat. … I don’t bother with the grill department”, the former minion genius host teased. “I can tell you that much. … He loves to cook on the grill. It’s there, so let’s honor that.”

Alves and the Oscar winner also like to turn their kitchen into a taco bar, which partially inspired Alves’ Whole Foods ice cream confection. “I just stopped for a moment and I was like, ‘Well, what are we doing in our house?'” she shared Us finding the “fun twist” on a traditional treat. “I looked in my pantry and saw the taco shells. And I thought, ‘This is perfect.’ I say, ‘Let’s create a taco sundae.’ … It’s just a really, really beautiful combination.”

Customers can now purchase the recipe ingredients on Amazon with the launch of a sundae menu at Whole Foods Market. In honor of National Ice Cream Day, fans in Los Angeles, New York City and Austin can sample the creation for free at pop-up ice cream experiences at three Whole Foods Market stores on Sunday, July 17.

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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