By: Nona Evans
Now that the weather is starting to get chillier, it has become soup season in my house. Soups are not only easy to make and cleanup after, but they’re also a simple way to pack in (and hide) more veggies, legumes, and whole grains. I also love how easy it is to save money and resources by making soup from leftovers or ingredients I happen to have lying around. Yesterday’s roasted veggies can suddenly be transformed into tonight’s dinner!
To help you and your family eat fresh and healthy soups this season, I’ve shared my soup-er tips below!
- At least once a week, serve up a vegetable-based soup with some type of whole grain or nut bread to satisfy kids’ cravings for hands-on food experiences.
- Allow customization: Let each member of the family add their own salt and pepper, spices or toppings at the end of cooking. Serve fresh herbs, chopped onions, salsa or other fresh and easy garnishes.
- Adjust flavor and texture to suit picky eaters. Almost any soup can be puréed smooth, pulsed in the blender for medium texture, or left with big chunks.
Go a step further by adding healthy bites to your favorite soups:
- Toss in chopped leafy greens during the last few minutes of cooking. Kale, spinach, or Swiss chard work well. My son loves spinach, so it’s a must-have in our soups.
- Add quick-cooking dried beans (lentils, split peas) or canned beans (kidney, garbanzo, red or black beans) for a protein boost and a budget break.
- Substitute whole grain pasta, brown rice, bulgur, or millet for white pasta or white rice in your favorite soup recipes.
- Add extra color with veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, squashes, tomatoes, and peppers are especially soup friendly) to pack in a wide range of nutrients.
Need some recipe inspiration? Here are some of my favorites:our website for a variety of helpful resources, from kid-friendly recipes to fun activities and more.
Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation President & Executive DirectorNona has a longstanding passion for improving the experience of children's education. She has married passion with the importance of nutrition and access to healthy food choices through Whole Kids Foundation, a philanthropic endeavor of Whole Foods Market. Driven by a belief that the best way to ensure a bright future is to inspire it in young people, Nona has spent the last chapter of her career focusing on innovative partnerships that improve education and support healthier foodservice programs in schools.