Drew Barrymore on Going Through 'Difficult Phases' with Feeding Daughters a Flexitarian Diet

The mother of two talks to PEOPLE about the struggles of finding vegan and vegetarian food for her picky eaters

The Drew Barrymore Show At The Empire State Building
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty

Drew Barrymore, like many parents, often faces the dinner dilemma of trying to find food that her picky eaters will actually eat.

Making the hunt for something that will ensure a clean plate even more challenging is the fact that her daughters Olive, 9, and Frankie, 7, are flexitarians - a diet that is predominately plant-based with some occasional meat and other animal products.

"The worst feeling is when they're so excited and into something, and you're like, 'A new thing to bring to the table!' Then the next day, they hate it, and they never want to touch it again," Barrymore, who is the new "Chief Mom Officer" of ChiQin and vegetarian and vegan-friendly food brand Quorn, tells PEOPLE.

"That's a typical parent experience. I relate to any parent who just wants to keep their kids' mood and chemistry up by getting food for them."

The talk show host, 46, says when kids go "through difficult phases" it's always hard as "you will do anything to feed your kids because getting to feed them is a luxury and a privilege."

Trying to please her children's young palates while also making sure they eat a well-balanced meal, especially as flexitarians, can be a delicate balance, Barrymore tells PEOPLE.

Drew Barrymore Quorn Partnership
Drew Barrymore. Douglas Levy

"I try to get them to eat some fish, always driving the fruits and vegetables home. I think they would eat ice cream, 24/7, if they could," she says.

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"I think you'll grab anything to help keep the mood in check, it's a lot," the Scream star adds. "So, I've ridden the crest of several different ways where my kids would only eat one thing for a while. "

And one of those things was the classic parent go-to, chicken nuggets.

"I could never find them something that was an alternative that they loved and ate," Barrymore, who was raised vegetarian and has not eaten chicken for 13 years, tells PEOPLE. "So, I was always on the McNugget and the tender train."

"I am looking for an alternative because who doesn't want that delicious, basic protein, but I'm sort of all over the place, and I think a lot of people are. So, why don't we meet them where they're at, instead of telling them what they're supposed to do."

In her hunt for a meatless chicken nugget alternative, the star discovered Quorn's ChiQin in the freezer aisle – and now she is joining forces with the brand to help other parents on similar food journeys.

Drew Barrymore
Douglas Levy

As, according to Barrymore, well-balanced meat alternatives should be easy, simple, and affordable: "I'm a mass girl. I'm not niché."

"And this is something that means a lot to me. It speaks very much to who I am. This is a very deep partnership. It is not just CMO. I'm coming into the brand to build with this company and collab with meaningful partners. I mean, this is what keeps me going."

RELATED VIDEO: Drew Barrymore Wants to Teach Her Kids to 'Not Let Their Fears Hold Them Back'

As the CMO, Barrymore stars in the new ChQin commercial.

In the advert, the animal lover spends a fun day in New York with her best friend - a giant chicken! The Hollywood A-lister and her feathered pal go shopping, get their nails done and watch a movie.

One thing Barrymore doesn't do is turn her chicken bestie into dinner because, as the commercial says, "you wouldn't eat your best friend."

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