What You Will Learn In This Episode: 

Dreena Burton is a five-time best-selling author and mom of three! Her latest book, Plant-Powered Families is a wonderful cookbook that helps busy parents learn their way around a plant-based lifestyle that kids will enjoy. In this podcast, Dreena shares her favorite recipe, what a typical night at her house looks like and offers some great tips on how to help your children adopt a plant-based lifestyle!

Items Mentioned In The Podcast:

  • Dreena has five published books. They are: Everyday Vegan, Vive le Vegan, Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, Let Them Eat Vegan and her latest book Plant-Powered Families. Just click on any of the titles to be taken to her book in Amazon!
  • Dreena has been vegan for over 20 years.
  • Diet is learned. We learn it from our parents and what we eat as kids becomes the norm for us. Starting your kids out young on healthy, plant-based diet can make it easier for them starting out. If this is your family’s first time trying a plant-based diet, don’t make a big deal out of it. Slowly transition a few foods at a time and take baby steps to get where you want to be as a family. Remember, kids don’t love change, so adding things to the food they are familiar with and talking about it after the meal could work well for you.
  • Kids will follow your food likes and dislikes, so try to set a good example by continuing to try new things.
  • Try making delicious plant-powered treats like cookies and treats to get them excited about eating this way.
  • Stay with your familiar foods. If you kids like potatoes, make a plant-powered potato dish.
  • Cinnamon is Dreena’s go-to spice in her morning latte and surprisingly, some of her Mexican dishes.
  • Smoked paprika is absolutely amazing. Once you try it, you will never go back to plain paprika.
  • Lime and lemon juice work well for Dreena when she’s cooking. Citrus flavors are really great with many dishes. Keep lemons on hand in the kitchen!
  • How do you get kids to eat greens? Green smoothies are great, but you need to add fruit to them to keep them nice and sweet! Greens have a bitter taste naturally, so it’s important to get creative by giving them some extra flavor. Romaine tends to be a bit sweeter, but keep in mind that there are other greens out there that are not just leafy greens. Anything green is good!
  • When your kids say they don’t like something, make sure you dig deep into it and see if they are trying to get something else just because or if they truly don’t like the taste of what you have prepared. Sometimes you have to say “you know what, I am sorry you don’t like it, but this is dinner tonight!” You shouldn’t have to cook a separate meal just for your kids unless you are eating something super spicy and you want to leave the spice out for the kids. Consider giving them a portion of the food before you add the heat. If the dish is too hot for the kids, consider adding some avocado to it to tone down the spicy flavor a bit.
  • Making the transition to a plant-based lifestyle with your partner can be wonderful if you do it together. If you have a partner that might not be on board with eating a plant-based lifestyle, consider making a compromise to meet them half way or asking them to work with you to at least give it a try. Working together in a relationship is extremely important.
  • Dreena has a huge sweet tooth and always has had a passion for making healthier desserts. She uses more natural sweeteners. Pure maply syrup, dates, brown rice syrup and coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index. It has a great flavor. Veggie and fruit purees for texture work really well.
  • One of Dreena’s favorite recipes is her Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake. You have got to try this one folks!
  • Follow Dreena on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram!
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Cory is a husband, father of three and vegan athlete. His blog, Lean Green DAD™, is a lifestyle blog about food, family and fun that helps passionate people, mostly parents, who have over-scheduled, busy lives maintain a healthy balance of plant-based nutrition, fitness and overall wellness.
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