The health benefits of soup are tasty and trending.
It’s hard to walk down any city street these days without spotting a “juicing” shop. The health trend has taken the foodie world by storm, and it appears that taking in vitamins and nutrients in liquid form is certainly here to stay. Still, the green juice is taking a back seat to another health trend: “souping.”
Here’s why this heartier option is the way to go:
Clear Weight Loss Benefits
The proof is in the pants size. Eating soup has shown to help people lose 50% more weight than eating traditional snack foods, such as chips and pretzels. While everyone’s health goal might not be to lose weight, soups are also notorious for being jam-packed with essential vitamins and even a hefty dose of water, unlike juices. It’s important to factor in all necessary nutrients in a diet, especially for growing kids, such as proteins, carbohydrates and fiber, all of which can be found in a variety of soups.
More Savory, Less Sugary
Vegetables are naturally higher in fiber and lower in sugar than fruits, making them a great, albeit less sweet, alternative to juices that might promote a sweet tooth. One nutritionist even recommended soups over fruit as they have the ability to stabilize blood sugar for more sustained energy, which is important for little kids who burn off energy faster than they can consume it. Soups that are specifically designed to include a lot of fiber-rich veggies, protein, and healthy fat will be your best bet for a well-rounded meal, and if you use the right ingredients, they’ll be so tasty that your kids will be begging for more.
Fosters Healthy Eating Habits
As children learn how to develop their own healthy eating habits, it is actually more important that they view eating as a nutritious and enjoyable experience, rather than hyper-focusing on the fact that they must eat fruits and veggies. This makes “souping” a great way to pack in a lot of nutrients in an easy-to-eat way without putting too much focus on specific food groups.
Unlike juicing, you don’t have to engage in a daily “souping” diet to enjoy all of the benefits of hearty, healthy soups. Simply whipping up delicious soups that can warm the hearts and tummies of your loved ones can provide them with a well-balanced meal.
If your goal, however, is to get your family on board with the “souping” trend, you should aim to disguise as many vegetables as you can in one bowl. A slow-cooked minestrone soup, for example, will allow for vegetables to soften and blend together, creating a savory and delicious taste. Looking for a more kid-friendly option? Try cooking a sausage pizza soup, using extra vegetables for a healthy twist.
Researchers have noted that adding healthy butter/fats to soups can actually enhance the flavor along with the positive health benefits. Cassie Bjork of Healthy Simple Life stated that “Not only does butter contain vitamins A, E, and D3, which are important for growing kids, the added fat helps their little bodies absorb the vitamins from the vegetables.”
Veggies Are The Undetected Star
Parents of picky eaters, the days of the all-out veggie war are numbered. “Souping” provides limitless unique and creative opportunities to mask veggies in a recipe. With studies showing that young kids need to be introduced to a new food up to 20 times before they will choose to try it, it is useful to incorporate familiar vegetables through different recipes in order to slowly get your child to warm up to the taste of them.
The most beneficial veggies to include in soups are typically broccoli, carrots, peas, bell peppers, avocado and butternut squash. These powerhouse, nutrient-dense veggies have been touted as ideal for both growing children and tired mothers. One tried-and-true method for hiding unwanted vegetables, is pairing it with another vegetable with an overpowering flavor your child prefers. Combining potatoes and squash, for example, yields a winning result. For a nice mixture of protein and vitamins, try mixing creamy avocados and sweet bell peppers into a taco soup that packs a healthy punch.
Pro Tip: New Name, New Game
From one mom to another, I have found that simply renaming a traditional soup with something a little more imaginative can keep kids interested and limit suppertime headaches. Instead of calling “Cream of Tomato Soup” by its original name, try referring to it as “Dragon’s Blood,” then inform your young adventurers that through eating this magical soup they might gain the powers passed down from centuries of dragon families.
Whichever story line you choose, this little mind trick is an effective way to ensure your children reap the benefits of “souping” without even thinking about the fact that they’re actually eating fresh veggies that are (gasp) good for them.
“Souping” is a fabulous way to serve your family their daily recommended vitamins and nutrients in one, heart-warming bowl. Your little ones are sure to love the taste, but more importantly, you will love seeing them eating healthy without even knowing it.