Most parents face challenges while trying to inculcate healthy eating habits in children, often worrying about the quantity, quality or even timing of food. The good news is that there are numerous different ways in which you can incorporate healthy foods into your child’s diet. One good way of keeping your child hydrated while giving him a good blend of nutrients is through soup. Soups are packed with many health benefits and can be amazing for children. Here is how:
- Soups help in soothing a cold. Chicken noodle soup is said to play a vital role in fighting the common cold. It soothes the nasal tract and provides comfort.
- If your child tends to reject greens and other vegetables, simply add them to a soup, so that he or she can benefit from the goodness of vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way to get those vegetables down.
- Soups also help in building immunity because they are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Here are 5 healthy and tasty soup recipes that are beneficial for your child and taste good too.
Chicken noodle soup
There are numerous versions of this soup. So, here we will elaborate the easy way. Chicken noodle soup can be considered as one of the best remedies to cure a common cold. It relieves congestion, and is loaded with protein and other nutrients. Plus, it’s excellent to keep one hydrated.
Preparation: Make a broth by using cut chicken pieces and water. When it comes to a boil, the broth is ready. Add onion, carrot, celery or parsley (optional/if available), pepper and salt, and cover and simmer the mixture for a while. Remove the chicken pieces and shred them. Add the shredded chicken and cooked noodles to the stock and bring it to a boil. Remove it from the stove and then drizzle some lemon juice on top. Add spring onion or celery leaves and serve hot.
Vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The nutrients in vegetables are required to maintain many bodily functions and overall health. Vegetables should be ideally eaten every day. Eating a diet that is rich in vegetables can keep several diseases (like heart diseases and diabetes) at bay.
Preparation: Heat a little butter in a large pan, and add cut carrots, cabbage, and potato (cut into pieces), and sauté the vegetables lightly. Add the tomatoes (skinned and mashed), a piece of cauliflower that is chopped into smaller bits, green peas, and water with a pinch of salt. Cook till the vegetables are done. Lower the flame and gradually add some milk to the vegetable mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and garnish it with a little cheese if desired.
Green pea and coriander soup
Green peas are a good source of proteins and fibre. Coriander is an herb that has varied medicinal purposes such as improving digestion, regulating blood sugar, lowering the risk of heart disease, and it also fights diseases and is good for preventing cancer.
Preparation: In a pan, cook the green peas with water. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can use chicken stock for cooking the peas. Puree the green peas with half of the coriander in a blender and sieve the mixture. In a pan, heat some olive oil and sauté garlic and onions in it, till the onions are translucent. Slowly stir in the pea puree, salt, pepper, and some cream, and bring it to a boil while continuously stirring. Add the remaining coriander leaves and let the mixture simmer on low heat. Serve hot.
Cold cucumber soup
Yes! That’s right. This one’s a cold soup. If your child doesn’t like hot soups much, you can easily serve cold soups that are equally nutritious. Cucumbers have many health benefits such as they help in maintaining healthy body weight, boosting the digestive system, keeping the breath fresh and helping manage stress. Besides, cucumbers can be a good option to hydrate during summers.
Preparation: Heat some butter in a pan. Sauté onions till translucent. Then add diced cucumbers, potato water or chicken stock, parsley (optional/if available), salt and pepper. Cook till the potatoes are tender. Cool the mixture and then puree it in a blender. Mix in the cream. Garnish with chopped cucumbers and serve very cold.
Fish is known to be a healthy type of meat. It comes under the category of white meat and is rich in proteins. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids which are good for maintaining heart health and boosting brain function. Did you know that it also has lower fat content than any other meat?
Preparation: In a large pan, add some water, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and cloves, and bring it all to a boil. Add boneless fish pieces and simmer till the fish is cooked. Remove the fish from water once done. In another pan, sauté onions and parsley in some butter till a golden brown colour is noticed. Strain the fish stock and add it to the sautéed onions along with some diced potatoes and bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer the mixture till the potatoes are cooked. Add the fish pieces to the mixture along with little milk and heat for a while. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
The great thing about making a soup is that you can play around with different ingredients to prepare it and always get a healthy dish. Also, it can be served at lunch, dinner or as a snack for your little one. Go forth and let your children enjoy the mighty power of wonderful soups!
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