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Nutritional Yeast For Kids: Benefits + 20 Recipes

Trying to serve nutritional yeast to kids? These nutritional yeast recipes are easy, nutritious and great for the whole family!

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I’ve talked before about gravitating towards eating more plant based foods (in general), and in doing so, nutritional yeast is one ingredient I’ve come to pretty much throw on everything. 

I’m excited to share this recipe roundup with you to give you ideas for the myriad of ways you can use our friend, nutritional yeast, in your kitchen.

Whether you’re searching for easy recipes with nutritional yeast, like a nutritional yeast dressing or nutritional yeast pasta recipes, these family-friendly recipes using nutritional yeast will spark some creativity. 

What Is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast, also known as “nooch,” is a type of dried yeast. It comes from the yeast family, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the same type of yeast that’s used to bake bread and brew beer.

However, since nutritional yeast is inactivated, it wouldn’t work for those purposes.

Instead, it is a major seasoning agent and go-to for those who follow the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, since it is naturally vegan.

Nutritional yeast provides a savory, umami, cheesy flavor, it’s vegan and gluten-free, and the fortified nutritional yeast is chock full of B vitamins, zinc and protein.

braggs nutritional yeast

Is Nutritional Yeast Safe?

Yes, nutritional yeast is safe to consume.

You may be freaked out by the idea of using “yeast” on your food, but nutritional yeast in recipes offers a nutritional punch, vegan substitute, adds flavor and packs a nutritional punch. 

It’s a staple in many plant-based and vegan diets, and those doing some vegan meal prep

It’s easy to start by adding nutritional yeast to foods that you already eat, like soups, pastas, salads, toast, etc.

pasta made with nutritional yeast

How to Use Nutritional Yeast

While nutritional yeast is a great substitute for parmesan cheese and acts as a vegan cheese substitute, it is an easy swap for any recipes calling from parmesan or shredded cheese.

However, there are also many other ways you can incorporate it. Personally, I throw nutritional yeast on everything, from smoothies to desserts, and you can too.

Here are some of my favorite recipes to add it to.

Crispy Turmeric Parsnip Fries sprinkled with cheese.

Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Here are some of the nutrition facts and benefits of nutritional yeast. 

  • Protein – Two tablespoons offer 6-8 grams of protein for just 40 calories. Adding nutritional yeast to your breakfast is a great addition to help meet 25 grams of protein at breakfast.
  • B-Vitamins – Nutritional yeast provides the daily allotment of Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, and nearly all of your B12 recommendations, though amounts may vary per brand. Considering Vitamin B12 is typically found in animal foods only, nutritional yeast is a very important nutrient option for those following vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
  • Fiber – Offers about 3 grams of fiber per 1.5-2 Tbsp. The type of fiber it offers (beta-glucan) is a very beneficial type of fiber and has been studied and recognized for its effect on cholesterol
  • Micronutrients – Provides respectable amounts of micronutrients, like selenium, zinc and iron, which are important for growing children.

Nutritional Yeast for Kids

Nutritional yeast is safe for kids and is very versatile in that you can add it to dips, salads, soups, spreads, cereals, bowls, sandwiches, smoothies, popcorn, etc.

popcorn made with nutritional yeast

This makes it a secret weapon for kids, especially picky eaters, and offers a great back-up to get necessary nutrients in.

Nutritional yeast for kids can be a powerhouse of nutrients.

Whether you have a picky eater, plant-based eater or just need protein ideas for kids lunches, don’t forget about nutritional yeast!

chocolates made with nutritional yeast
air fryer chickpeas in bowl

Nutritional Yeast FAQ

Can you put nutritional yeast in smoothies?

Yes, nutritional yeast in smoothies is a great way to add nutrition. I love adding it to my favorite greek yogurt smoothie recipes and pregnancy smoothies for an extra punch of protein, fiber and micronutrients, like iron, zinc, selenium and B-Vitamins.

Are there alternatives to nutritional yeast?

Here are some common alternatives to nutritional yeast. Keep in mind that which one you choose will be dependent on if you are trying to mimic flavor, savory/cheese texture, flour texture, etc.
– soy sauce
– chickpea flour or oat flour
– liquid aminos
– vegan parmesan cheese (or regular parmesan cheese)

Where can you find nutritional yeast in the grocery store?

Depending on your grocery store, you may find nutritional yeast in the bulk bin section, with nut butters, dressings/condiments, baking goods or spices. If your grocer has a “natural” foods/health foods or supplement section, it could also be there. You can also find it on Amazon (I love Bragg’s) or Thrive Market!

Is nutritional yeast like bakers yeast?

Nutritional yeast is not the same type of yeast you would use in baking or brewing – it is inactive and doesn’t foam. Therefore, it won’t cause dough or bread to ferment or rise.

Bulk product offerings at Sprouts Farmers Market

Nutritional Yeast Recipes for Kids

Hopefully, these recipe ideas can help spark some creativity or help you try to incorporate this gem more.

You may also decide to keep it on hand as a pantry staple, when you realize how versatile it is.

Here are some of our favorite nutritional yeast recipes for kids! Make sure to share your own in the comments.

15 Recipes for Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a healthy, plant-based food that gives things a savory, cheesy flavor. Here are some easy recipe ideas for using nutritional yeast.

What’s your favorite use for nutritional yeast?

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  1. Yay for nutritional yeast! All of these recipes look so good! :] I’m going to have to find a place that sells it in the place where I’m moving to! :O

  2. Those cheese crackers look like a must try! I haven’t used nutritional yeast in a long time, but I realize that I am missing out. I may have to try the brand you recommended as I found the one I would buy a little too strong.

  3. So many delicious creations, I can’t wait to try some especially the desserts! Thank you for including my Zucchini Rolls.

  4. I just recently bought some nutritional yeast so this is super helpful on how to use it. So far I’ve just been throwing it in with scrambled eggs but I just need to start throwing it on everything.

  5. Every time I re-read about the nutritional elements of nutritional yeast I am blown away. How can such a little quantity, of such a humble little topping, give you SO much vitamin B12? And everything else it has. Its truly a magical ingredient.
    I’ve been all about NY in my sauces and casseroles, but I’ve never ventured into dessert territory! Holy moly! Pinning this entire thing. I need to try those chocolate pb bars stat.