After I snapped this picture (and posted it on Instagram as mommamajors), the thought came to me, "I wonder if other moms serve soup for lunch?"
We eat a lot of soup in the fall and winter. Soup is nourishing, delicious, inexpensive, easy and quite versatile. Not to mention, the warmth in your mug and belly can knock the chill out of your weary bones.
I've learned over the years of serving soup that it can be messy for those less coordinated (i.e. toddlers).
Tips for Toddlers and Children to Eat Soup
for the very messiest and
- Strip 'em naked and let the soup run down their chin, chest, belly and chair. Do this just before bath time and chalk it up to a learning experience...for both of you!
- Eat outside or in old clothes.
for those wanting to improve
- Serve chunkier soups with little or no broth (or liquid). This is the soup I made last week (it's a current fav). My 22 month old son was basically eating ground beef, cooked/mushy veggies, and beans all in one cup. He loved every chunky morsel then slurped the remaining spoonfuls of broth at the end. He is gaining control with the spoon and does remarkably well. I try to set him up to win (removing frustration) by giving him the chunks in soup without the "soup."
- Serve in a cup or small bowl so that the child feels the freedom to drink the soup instead of fight with the spoon.
- Give the child the widest spoon that will fit in their mouth. They need all the extra surface area they can manage to get food in their mouth. Sometimes the "baby spoons" are not all that helpful. We have a couple stainless toddler spoons that are helpful. (I steer away from using plastic when I can.) If you watch my baby, he looses quite a bit from the bowl to his mouth. When he is super hungry he sometimes puts down the spoon and eats with his hands for the first few bites.
- If at first you don't succeed, try and try again! Don't give up!
PS -- My daughter is almost 4.5. She can wield a spoon like nobody's business and has been eating soup like a champ for a long time. I say that to encourage those with preschoolers that soup isn't messy forever.
PSS -- I'd love to know what soups you are making these days. I am always on the lookout for new recipes.