The Oh So Wonderful (and Surprising) Benefits of Soup
December 19, 2016
While soup might not be the food you immediately think of when seeking a meal for your child, the truth is it’s an incredible pick—and beneficial! Introducing it to their diet anytime after six months is a safe bet, and it’s also a wonderful way to show them hey, maybe there’s more food out there than just candy!
And guess what, there is!
OK, so why is soup so beneficial? Great question! For starters, it’s easy to prepare, which is great for you – because let’s be honest, you’re probably a little bit busy helping your child elsewhere. But other than that, there are some great health benefits to soup when you prepare it with healthy methods using fresh ingredients.
BENEFIT: It allows you a chance to integrate into those oh, so important (and not at all yucky) vegetables.
Convincing a child to consume their vegetables is one of the great struggles of being a parent. Even if it’s a good soup prepared with vegetables and legumes, chances are your child flips over the bowl faster than you can say “Here’s your soup, dear!” So, to remedy this – and yes, be sneaky at the same time – include small quantities of veggies. We’re talking fine pieces or even purees. Is it sly? Sure. But is it healthy? You betcha!
Another idea: Say your child is one of the rare ones who actually enjoy some vegetables, but refuses to eat another kind. For this, try adding a little bit of the veggie they hate with a large quantity of the vegetable they love. This will successfully inhibit the taste of that disliked vegetable and thus allow you the chance to do a little victory dance at the same time.
(Admittedly, this might not be the best approach to making your kid enjoy vegetables. But hey, as parents, we have to take some actions occasionally, particularly if dealing with an eater that’s picky!)
(Admittedly, this might not be the best approach to making your kid love vegetables. But hey, as parents, we have to take some shortcuts every now and then—especially when dealing with a picky eater!)
BENEFIT: Soup is jam-packed with nutritional value. We’re talking vegetables, legume, protein, creating an edible powerhouse of nutrients.
Also, normally, whatever broth or liquid used to cook vegetables or meat is discarded after cooking. But not for soups. Oh no, we savor that sweet, sweet broth! After all, that’s what makes sure the water-soluble nutrition that leaked out of your ingredients goes directly into your tummy rather than being discarded.
BENEFIT: It’s comforting. Seriously, when was the last time you found yourself suffering through a cold day and didn’t want a nice, warm bowl of soup? And believe it or not, some nutrients in soups are absorbed better when heated.
So eat up!
There are also some evident health benefits to soup, particularly when we’re discussing colds or stuffy noses. Given that most are flavored with garlic, pepper and turmeric, they can actually help in reducing such illnesses.
(Side note: Two healthy soups that can help with colds and fevers are chicken soup and tomato basil herbal soup or rasam.)
BENEFIT: Soups can help you gain or lose weight, depending on the chosen soup and its ingredients. If you have a bowl with fewer calories (translation: one that isn’t thick) before a meal, it can lower the appetite and reduce the chances of overeating.
And for those parents looking to thicken up those kids, try a creamier soup that’s high in calories—one with a dollop of cream, butter or ghee. 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. This will ensure two things: 1) your child is sure to get a good amount of calories and nutrients, and 2) they’ll be enjoying the heck out of it at the same time.
So, soup anyone?