Soup is a versatile and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. However, when it comes to making soups that appeal to kids, it can be a bit challenging. Kids can be picky eaters, and getting them to eat their vegetables can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But fear not! With a few chef's secrets up your sleeve, you can create delicious and kid-friendly soups that will have your little ones asking for seconds.
Start with a Flavourful Base:
The key to making kid-friendly soups is to start with a flavorful base. Instead of using plain water, opt for a vegetable or chicken broth to add depth and richness to your soup. You can also enhance the flavour by sautéing onions, garlic, and other aromatic vegetables before adding the broth.
Sneak in the Veggies:
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to feeding kids is getting them to eat their vegetables. But with soups, you have the perfect opportunity to sneak in those nutritious veggies. Puree vegetables like carrots, spinach, or butternut squash and add them to the soup. Kids won't even notice they're there!
Play with Texture:
Kids can be sensitive to certain textures, so it's important to consider this when making soups. If your child is averse to chunky soups, consider pureeing the ingredients to create a smooth and creamy texture. On the other hand, if your child enjoys a bit of crunch, you can add some finely chopped vegetables or croutons as a topping.
Get Creative with Shapes:
Kids are more likely to eat something if it looks fun and appealing. Use cookie cutters to shape vegetables into fun shapes like stars or hearts. You can also use a spiralizer to create vegetable noodles, which can add a playful twist to your soups.
Don't Forget the Protein:
Protein is an essential component of a balanced meal, so make sure to include it in your kid-friendly soups. Add cooked chicken, turkey, or beef to provide a hearty and filling element. You can also incorporate legumes like lentils or beans for a vegetarian option.
While it's important to add flavor to your soups, be mindful of the amount of salt and spices you use. Kids have more sensitive taste buds, so it's best to go easy on the seasoning. Instead, rely on herbs like parsley, basil, or dill to enhance the taste without overpowering it.
Serve with a Side:
To make the soup more appealing to kids, consider serving it with a side of bread, crackers, or even a grilled cheese sandwich. This will add a bit of variety to the meal and make it more enjoyable for your little ones.
Making kid-friendly soups doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following these chef's secrets, you can create soups that are not only nutritious but also delicious and appealing to kids. Remember to start with a flavorful base, sneak in those veggies, play with texture, get creative with shapes, include protein, season wisely, and serve with a side. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to whip up soups that will have your kids asking for more. Happy cooking!
By Chef Julian Pancer, Rooks to Cooks