Vegetables are a frightening word to some kids. Picky eaters won’t touch them and other kids run away at the mere sight of a vegetable in their dish. Want to know a simple that is highly effective to get your kids to eat vegetables and boost their veggie intake?
Let me ask you how high on your meal list is a bowl or cup of soup? If soup isn’t on your list of meals for your kids and family let me be the one to tell you it should be. Why are soups an easy way to increase vegetable intake? Home made soups have a high portion of vegetables in them. Pureeing soups disguises the actual amount of veggies in there and you can pack a lot of veggies in one soup without kids knowing how much is really in there. Soup is not just comforting but great as an afternoon snack, nutritious when illness hits the family and an absolute great way to get in extra vegetables.
Introducing soups at an early age such as 7 or 8 months will provide your baby with nourishing vitamins and minerals and it’s a meal that the whole family can sit down and enjoy too. The only difference between your babies soup and your own is a pinch of salt in your own dish and depending on the stage of eating your baby or child is, you can have it chunky and puree your child’s or puree the entire soup and enjoy together.
Soups can be easy to prepare if you keep it simple or if you need to make it more as a meal and wanting to have protein and iron in the dish perhaps slightly more prep is needed. Either way its not as time consuming as other meals which leaves you more time to spend with your family. Easy meals that are nutritious are high on my list as lets be honest having a baby or toddler in the house means that you are busy helping or doing other things elsewhere.
Lets discuss benefits of soups:
- Soup is packed with nutrition. We’re talking vegetables, legumes or meat. It’s an edible powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins that nourish and feed the body what it needs.
- It allows you to sneak in vegetables which is ideal for those picky eaters who dislike vegetables and parents struggle to get the daily amounts of vegetables in their child’s diet. For those kids who are picky I recommend adding in small bits of grated vegetables or even pureed veggies in to the soup to get their palate accustomed to the taste. Once they are familiar with the flavor then you can play around with the texture and how visible the veggies are.
- Is it ok to hide and disguise veggies in this manner? Well, if it’s a way to begin your child on the right path to be eating vegetables then I say YES. Saying that it is still important to place whole vegetables on the table at every meal so that your child sees them. Presenting them daily will assist in your child eventually picking it up and eating it rather then having to hide them all the time.
- Soups can assist when children are ill. Bone broth has many vitamins and minerals and even calcium to assist with a speedy recovery. Add in bone broth or vegetable broth to make your soup a nutritional powerhouse. The addition of spices and herbs like basil, garlic, lemongrass and turmeric are all healing properties and a wonderful addition to soups that can assist in reducing illnesses.
- Soups are highly comforting and it doesn’t matter if you live somewhere where the climate is warm or cold, a nutritious bowl of soup nourishes the soul. Believe it or not, some nutrients in soups are actually absorbed better by the body when heated.
- Adding in essential fats that assist with nourishment and development in kids are important. Examples of this include a creamier soup that’s higher in calories—add in a dollop of cream, butter or ghee. Try adding in avocado also – this is super yummy! Add in some pasta, rice or noodles to increase the caloric intake. Then serve them as either evening or mid-morning snacks or even as a side dish for main meals.
Soups should be something that is definitely included in your weekly meal plan. This will ensure three things: 1)You will boost your child’s vegetable intake and in some cases they will be none the wiser, 2) your child is sure to get a good amount of calories and nutrients, and 3) they’ll be enjoying the heck out of it at the same time.
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