Raising Plant Based Kids: Plant Based Pediatrician, Dr. Yami Answers All Your Questions (video) + Kid Friendly Veggie Loaded Lentil Fried Rice (oil free)


When I was little I hated “unyings”. If I saw or smelled an onion I would freak out. Growing up, my mom cooked all of our food and it was always healthy. When I asked her if there were “unyings” in my food she would always assure me that, “no Mol, your portion has NO unyings, I made sure of it”. With that, I was satisfied and I ate whatever she put in front of me.

A few years ago I was talking to my mom about “unyings” and she spilled it that she never separated my food when I was little, she just made sure to always chop the “unyings” super fucking fine so I wouldn’t notice them.

Well played, mom. Well played. I was eating onions all along and I never knew.

My takeaway from this is that kids are super easy to trick, you just have to get creative and play them. I don’t have kids of my own, but if I did, I would use my mom’s trick because it totally worked. Because I don’t have kids this topic isn’t frequently on my radar, so today, I brought in an expert to school us on raising plant based kiddos.

I learned a lot chatting with plant based pediatrician Dr. Yami Cazorla-Lancaster and every single parent should watch this video, plant based or not.

Dr. Yami is a board-certified pediatrician and a passionate promoter of healthy lifestyles, especially the power of plant-based diets for the prevention of chronic disease. She founded VeggieFitKids.com where she provides information on plant-based diets for children and hosts the podcast Veggie Doctor Radio.

She obtained a certificate in plant-based nutrition in 2013, is a certified Food for Life Instructor through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and is a certified health coach. She has been teaching live cooking and nutrition classes since 2014.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Yami founded Vegetarians of Yakima in 2013 and co-founded the Yakima Health and Wellbeing Coalition in 2016. She owns Nourish Wellness, a pediatric practice in Yakima, WA.

Enjoy our chat!

Did I tell you she was awesome?! Thank you to Elyse, over in our Facebook group for connecting us! Dr. Yami, you were a pleasure to talk with, and I thank you for sharing your knowledge and spreading the gift of plant powered knowledge.

Today’s recipe is kid-friendly and parent-approved. When you dice your veggies for this dish, dice them small so your kiddo doesn’t find big chunks of veggies. If you need ideas on how to get your kids to eat more plant-based, check out Plant Fueled Life. You also might enjoy reading about Guide to Plant-Based Baby-Led Weaning if you have a wee one, or our 18 Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters.

Kid Friendly Veggie Loaded Lentil Fried Rice

Author: Molly Patrick


  • ¼ cup very finely diced red onion (30g)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 very finely diced celery stalk (about 1/3 cup / 45g)
  • 1 cup very finely sliced and chopped red cabbage (100g)
  • ½ red bell pepper, very finely diced (about 1/2 cup / 65g)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame beans (180g)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (140g)
  • 2 cups Black Rice and Lentils (350g)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • Diced avocado


  • Note that you will need to have cooked Black Rice and Lentils before you whip this recipe together. See notes below for the link to the recipe. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about two minutes, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water when it starts to stick.
  • Add the garlic, celery, cabbage, bell pepper, and a pinch of salt and stir. Place a lid on the skillet and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring a couple times during this process.
  • Take the lid off and add the edamame, corn, cooked Black Rice and Lentils, soy sauce and coconut aminos and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until everything is cooked and heated through. 
  • Top with avocado and have your little one dig in! 

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with fueling your little ones with plants and knowing that everything is going to be okay.


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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Julie on May 5, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    5 stars
    My mother tried the same trick with chopping onions super small when I was a child. The difference is, I wasn’t fooled and would spend over an hour picking every single tiny onion piece out of my food before I would eat it, LOL. I still can’t eat raw or cooked onion without gagging and my home is still an onion-free zone (except for onion powder and everything but the bagel seasoning – for some reason dehydrated onion flakes or powder don’t seem to bother me).

  2. Sharla June on May 6, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Molly, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! What a great and inspiring interaction. We parents need this.

  3. Pamela Patrick on May 6, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    What an amazing interview with Dr. Yami. And what an amazing job of fielding questions from parents who have concerns around their children’s nutrition. I am so impressed with Dr. Yami’s responses to questions about protein, omegas, micro nutrients, and growth curves. Whole Food Plant Based is the way to promote adequate growth, healthy weight, well supported puberty, energy and robust good health in both children and adults. I loved her remarks about bone strength being more favorably impacted by kids playing and engaging in weight bearing activities than in drinking cow’s milk. Thank you for this insightful interview which supports the value of a Whole Food Plant Based way of eating for children. As she says, don’t force feed, let kids eat when they are hungry, offer a variety of Whole Plant Foods, and relax! What a powerful, supportive and delightful interview! Thank you!

  4. Lauren on May 28, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    5 stars
    Just made the Lentil Fried Rice, it is delicious and beautiful! The video is a great resource. Thanks!!

  5. Alex on June 7, 2018 at 10:24 am

    5 stars
    Hey Molly,
    Thanks a lot! This is very important. I always tell to my readers: now go and teach your kids everything you’ve learned! It all starts with forming healthy habits in the childhood.

    I’d like to add that food processor can work wonders to hide some veggies that kids don’t really like (read: broccoli) and make delicious cream soups.

    Thanks again and keep it up!

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