Every day we hear from frustrated parents, desperate to get their kids to eat more veggies. Soup is a great vehicle for increasing vegetables (especially when served with some crusty bread or some cheesy toppings!). But you can also be strategic about which soups you are offering your kids. Knowing your kids and the reasons for them being hesitant to try vegetables in their soup, will help you determine what approach to take. I’ve rounded up 12 strategies that speak to picky eaters, and found a soup that can answer that for them. What strategy will work with your picky eater?
1) Blending the Veggies
Some picky eaters simply don’t like to see big chunks of vegetables, or maybe they don’t like the texture of big chunks. Blending vegetables into a soup may be your strategy if you have that kid. Here are two we love:
2) Familiar soups
If you r child has a “new food” phobia, make sure your veggies are incorporated into familiar or favorite soups! Each time, add a little more veggies than anything else. Chicken Noodle Soup tends to be a kid favorite.
3) Soups from your garden
If you planted a garden this year, let your kids do the harvesting, and create a soup just for your veggies. This kid friendly minestrone incorporates many veggies that we grow here in Utah. There is also the fun “Stone Soup” book you can read and make with your kids. (Natalie recently did this with her kids, and they loved it!)
4) Cheesy Soups
If your kid is like many, cheesy soups are a win! Just make sure you have more veggies than cheese! This one from Pop Sugar has cauliflower!
5) Kids Choice
Simply ask your kids what would be in a soup to make it their favorite. I asked my 11 year old this very question, and his reply: Lots of chicken- not tomatoes! LOL. So, I’m pretty sure he’ll approve of this one from Damn Delicious. It has chicken and no tomatoes. Ask your kids what would be their perfect soup, then include vegetables in it!
6) Served in a special bowl or bread bowl
My kids love this! Serving the soup in a bread bowl! If you make the bowls yourself, make them as small or as big as you want. If you get some at the store, these below, from Cherylstyle.com are just crusty rolls! The perfect size for little kids!
Have you tried a sweet soup yet? Just like my kids prefer salad that is sweet (with strawberries or apples on top), sweet soups are also a hit. When you incorporate sweet vegetables, but also fruit, it’s pretty darn good! Here is one we love:
- Bless this Mess Sweet Pototo Apple Soup
8) Remake of commercial or restaurant favorites
Can you say Olive Garden, Chicken Gnocchi? WOW! This soup is the reason my kids became OK with seeing greens in their soup! Here’s a recipe from Taste and Tell for Chicken Gnocchi.
9) Cold soups
10) A soup bar
This is a fun idea for those kids that need control (within boundaries!). A soup bar! You can do this with a variety of soups, but here is one with chili from Coupon Cravings. Chili soup bar from Coupon Cravings.
11) Add Toppings
And what about just adding some fun toppings to your soup. Whether it’s croutons, shaped carrots, or even cheese, adding something to the top might help a picky eater. What about something as crazy as Grilled Cheese Soup Boats! Or, how about some fun homemade croutons?
12) Make it taste good!
Ok, finally, when it comes down to it, even the pickiest eater will like food that TASTES GOOD! That’s the first thing we advise parents, is to learn how to cook, so your food actually tastes good! If you feel hesitant or worried about your cooking abilities, start with a tried and true favorite, Vegetable tortellini from Eat Good For Life. I promise it will turn out delicious every time!
We’d love to hear from you! do you have a strategy or a soup that works for your picky eater? Share in the comments!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie