How to Cook Vegan for Kids, with ‘Plant-Powered Families’ Author Dreena Burton

Dreena BurtonAs any parent knows, getting your kids to eat healthy isn’t easy. Raising them on a plant-based diet? Seems a lot trickier, but it doesn’t have to be.

Which is why I love Dreena Burton’s cookbook Plant-Powered Families. She takes a simple approach to feeding your kids, with whole-food, oil-free, plant-based recipes that they’ll actually eat (maybe even enjoy!).

In today’s episode, Dreena and I talk about what it takes to raise healthy, plant-based children, with lots of ideas and tricks that even non-parents can use to streamline their cooking.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter the Plant-Powered Families giveaway!

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why Dreena started writing family-friendly recipes
  • Should parents worry about oil or soy?
  • The supplements and nutrients plant-based children need
  • How to introduce healthier foods
  • When to let your kids try unhealthy foods
  • The allergy problem in schools

Click the button below to listen now:


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  1. I LOVE Dreena Burton and have gotten so many wonderful recipes from her. She makes vegan totally approachable and delicious at the same time! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  2. I love learning new and healthy recipes for my children (and myself too)! I stumbled upon No Meat Athlete at the beginning of my vegan journey and now listen all the time!

  3. John howell says:

    May not have kids but I did marry a New Yorker so more than used to needing recipes for a picky eater. Excellent interview.

  4. Cooking for kids? Any hints gratefully accepted!!! Would love Dreena’s book.

  5. This was a good interview that offered good tips on how to get my kids interested eating this way. They like tofu a lot so that is a good spot for us to start!

  6. Great episode! As a mom of 8, I am always on the lookout for ways to get the good food in :). I think my favorite part of the episode was her approach though. Taking the pressure to be perfect off and realizing that kids do not have the same love of kale for example that we adults do.

  7. I think the greatest change in plant based foods is the effort to present approachable recipes for recognizable foods. It’s been a delicious shift to the simple and the familiar!

  8. I love Dreena’s cookbooks and cooking blog. Most of our family’s go to recipes come from her earlier cookbooks. I’d love a copy of her newest cookbook! Great podcast!

  9. it is very important topic. Many parents struggle with feeding their kids plant-based/vegan/raw diets. I would like to read her book.

  10. I love Dreena! She’s down to earth- her recipes are always spot on! I like how she doesn’t sweat the small stuff and looks at the bigger picture. Thank you two for this podcast! All parents should listen to this! Great advice!

  11. Dreena Burton is such an inspiration to me as I try to feed my family well and have recently started teaching others about how to cook on a whole-food, plant-based diet. Her recipes are so accessible and every one I have tried has turned out so well. All of her writing aside from the recipes is so useful and relevant.

  12. The Conference Call Podcast says:

    It’s such a relief to find a podcast like this one at the beginning stages of my new found diet. My family and I have been vegetarian for 3 year and finally took the plunge into the vegan culture. Thank you so much for making the transition so much easier for my family and I. It’s definitely a lot easier to handle with such great information and guidelines. Cheers!

  13. Great podcast, lots of good information. We recently switched to plant based whole food, and I have enjoyed following Dreena on Facebook. My kids mostly enjoy out new way of eating, but family-friendly recipes and tips are always appreciated!

  14. I am so glad I found Dreena!! I love how her recipes are not boring, they are fun, tasty and healthy at the same time. I made the sweet potato cake and loved it! Nobody could believe that it was vegan. I would love to get the book and try more recipes. Thanks, Dreena, for being the pioneer and paving the road for us!!

  15. Always looking for ways to inspire my picky 13-year-old daughter — thanks very much!

  16. I was very excited to listen to this podcast when I saw the subject. My daughter, Lily, became a vegetarian when she was 5 after witnessing a typical American Easter feast. She saw the ham and asked if that was a pig. She gave up meat from that instance and her 3 year old brother followed his big sister and also gave up meat. Two weeks later when she continued her stance, I started researching and and started following a vegan diet. Almost 4 years later we are still holding strong. The kids follow more of a vegetarian diet, eating cheese and eggs, however my daughter recently started asking me why I don’t eat cheese and eggs. As she is a bit older now I started talking to her about the practices to get eggs and milk and now she is starting to follow more of a vegan diet. My kids don’t complain but our rotation of recipes are sparse, especially when it comes to packing school lunches. I am looking forward to the seeing the ideas in Dreena Burton’s cookbook, How to Cook Vegan for Kids. Thanks again for the podcast! Jen

  17. Great interview, Matt!! My wife and I are always in search of help for our 4 little veggie heads.

  18. Ariana Timmerman says:

    I think Dreena Burton is great! Her Festive Chickpea Tart has become a permanent holiday tradition for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Even the omnivores loved it! Her zesty almond sauce with noodles and veggies is another family favourite. Keep up the good work and thank you Dreena. Would love my own copy of PPF! It would get well used in my house!!! 🙂

  19. I have 4 kids and they think it’s weird that there Dad is a vegetarian. Think this book will help them see that it can be good and healthy to eat that way. Just a footnote – made them an Aloha protein powder coconut milk shake last night, which they enjoyed! Thanks for letting us know about that!

  20. This is awesome. Though I did not hear about Dreena before, it is very exciting to listen to her and very thoughtful tips on how to make healthy vegan meals for kids! My kids (6 & 4) love to eat veggies as they are (carrots, cucumbers etc). Adding these recipes to their meals plans would be a great benefit to them. Would definitely check out this book.

  21. I love Dreena Burton. Every recipe of hers that I’ve tried tastes great! So wonderful to hear her on this podcast. Thank you!

  22. Michelle Powers says:

    Great podcast! I am new to vegetarianism and flirting with going vegan. I am at a loss as to what to feed my family of four! Thank you for your help!

  23. Great episode! Would LOVE to win a copy of the book!

  24. Andy Smith says:

    Sounds like a handy book! Good stuff, as always 🙂

  25. I wasn’t too familiar with Dreena before listening to this episode, but now I really want one of her cookbooks! I liked hearing that her recipes are mostly oil free!

  26. My original post no longer appears, so I figured I’d post it again. We are trying to get our kids to eat more plant-based and this would be a good guide to help us do that. The interview was interesting, but wish it would have been longer to last my whole run!

  27. Thank you for another great podcast! I listen when I run and when I cook because you inspire me to do both things better and smarter. I’ve been familiar with Dreena for a few years and it was awesome to learn more about her. 🙂

  28. This is exactly what I need. As a plant based, oil free momma of 3, our dinners have become fairly boring. I’m looking for inspiration and this cookbook seems to be the right place!

  29. Thanks for making this podcast. No Meat Athlete radio rocks!

  30. I love hearing more about getting kids to eat healthy. Its an ongoing struggle and these ideas are fantastic!

  31. Loved hearing about plant recipes for children. As the caregiver of my nephew, I know how much of an influence I have on his healthy food choices. I am always on the lookout for new recipes that he is interested in trying.

  32. Your podcasts are awesome! Your podcast is actually the 1st podcast I discovered. Now I am hooked and listen to podcasts and not the radio at work. Great job guys.
    I also love trying to raise my running family vegan.

  33. Jonathan Fuentes says:

    Great advice and tips! Currently working as an Au-Pair and have slowly managed to incorporate vegan food into the family’s meals!

  34. This was a very interesting and informative episode. Well done! Will definitely take the advice back to our kitchen.

  35. I was great to listen…really like the tips on oil, sweetener and the over relaxed feel about being vegan and getting you kids into it. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to getting the book.

  36. It’s great to hear from a family who is successfully raising a vegan family. It’s difficult to swim against the tide of pizza and birthday cake!

  37. This is a very good interview especially because of kids nutrition. It becomes very hard when you follow a Plant Based Diet and kids do not. Many tips from her interview will help make same dishes for both adults and kids. Thank you.

  38. Thanks for all of the information!! I am definitely interested in more oil free recipes and kid friendly food. I just made Dreena Burton’s creamy artichoke spinach dip last night for the 2nd time and it is THE BEST! My friend said she liked it better than the dairy versions she has had and I have to agree. I’d love to win a copy of her new book!

  39. Mandy Savin says:

    I’d love a chance to win this book, too! 🙂

  40. Great episode! Keep up the good work!!

  41. I don’t have kids, but I do have a husband that eats like a teenager. I’ve been working on going plant-based for the past couple of months and my husband, unknowingly, has been starting as well. He has just been eating what I make 🙂 This would be great for bringing variety and expanding my abilities in cooking like this. Thank you so much for the tips!

  42. This was my first time listening to No Meat Athlete Radio. I am already a vegan, and it gave me a lot of good ideas. Thanks!

  43. Machelle Dorsey says:

    I really enjoyed the podcast with Dreena. As a mother, granmother, and childcare provider it is challenging to provide healthier choices for the kids in my care. Dreena’s evolution and approach is what I have been experiencing on my road to plant based living. It gives more confidence to keep on trying and experimenting. Thank you Matt for bringing her story and recipes to your listeners.

  44. Absolutely loved hearing from Dreena! Lots of great information shared and discussed. I was particularly intrigued by her avoidance of oils and am really interested in reading her books and trying out her recipes.

  45. I really liked this episode. This was my first time listening to this podcast and I like the idea of not using oil in this cookbook.

  46. Love when you offer information about raising vegan kids. It’s so hard to fight all the negative responses to being vegan and when directed at your child it’s even more difficult. I am always re-inspired when i listen to things like this. I know I’m doing the right thing :). Thanks!!!! Winning the cookbook would be great too 🙂

  47. great episode, my little one is just about to start eating, i’d love to win the book to start him off on the right foot 😉

  48. I, also, was not familiar with Dreena prior to this, but would definitely love to have the book!

  49. I LOVE Dreena Burton. I’m always looking for ways to get more nutrition into my kiddos! I also love listening to your podcasts!

  50. Great episode! Lots of helpful info.

  51. Great podcast!!! She has some great ideas to feed your family. Can’t wait to check out her book.

  52. What a great episode! As mother to a picky five year old, meal planning can be a challenge. I’d love a copy of the book!!

  53. Eric Chaney says:

    Thanks for the work you do and being a friendly vegan. So glad I don’t have to cook for any children just yet, though cooking for my meat-loving parents might be just as difficult!

  54. June Jenkins says:

    If only all kids could have such a talented, caring Mum to cook this way for them. I can only hope to learn from Dreena’s great recipes. Thanks for the great interview and a chance to win a copy of the book !

  55. I really enjoyed this episode. As a mom to three kids I am always looking for tried and true recipes!

  56. arcelia castillo says:

    As a mother to a 3 and a 5 year old this book would come in very handy, thank you for the opportunity! & thank you for the episode!

  57. Mariah Dragolich says:

    This is great! I am always in need of helping my kids eat the plant powered way….although the best way to do that is through example. I started eating nutritarian and with all the fruit and veggies in the house and easily available even the youngest will easily pick up an apple and eat it!

  58. Michelle Bryson says:

    Great podcast! I am a new vegan and would LOVE to win Dreena’s book! I would love to try Dreena’s recipes so that I can expand my family’s palette and show them that plant-based can be delicious!

  59. Dude! Perfect timing on this. Just starting to work out stuff for my baby girl to eat now that shes ready for more than just milk

  60. Really great episode. Will look for this book to feed our young guy!

  61. I enjoyed this episode and all other No Meat Athlete radio episodes I have listened to. Nice work!

  62. Sheena Sullivan says:

    Great information! Can’t wait to use this information with my non-vegan family!

  63. Such a great and helpful podcast. Would love to have a copy of this book. Finding kid approved plant based recipes is difficult.

  64. As my wife said when I sent this to her: “For the win!” This is the struggle we have day in and day out. Thanks for this interview.

  65. So who got the book? 🙂

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