Vegetable Soup for Babies – Benefits and Recipes

A mother feeding soup to her baby.

Although it is recommended that babies are breastfed exclusively until 6 months, it could benefit to introduce vegetables into your kid’s diet from 3 months occasionally to get them used to the taste and widen their food palette.

The best way to introduce vegetables is to start with soups made of vegetables. From clearing up a blocked nose, serving as appetizers and to tantalizing the taste buds, soups provide a host of benefits. The water content in the soup compensates for the liquid intake needed by your child’s body. The mashed and pureed consistency of the vegetables in the soup aids in easy consumption and facilitates digestion. If your baby is suffering from cold and cough, then make sure you offer them a warm bowl of soup with vegetables rich in Vitamin C to fight the infection.

Contrary to the common myth that only non-vegetarians could benefit from soups, vegetarians also have a wide variety and array of options to make soups and feed their child. Read on to find out the benefits of a soup diet for your baby and the different options you have to make some tasty and delicious soups to satisfy your little one’s gastronomic delights.

Benefits of Including Vegetable Soup in your Child’s Diet

Nutrition, minerals, vitamins, energy a powerhouse of a concoction, soups are great food not just for adults but for babies too. In fact, they are the best food for picky eaters and can be served as appetizers to build up the hunger to have a wholesome and substantial meal. Old wives tales have labelled soups as comfort food when sick, however, there are several other benefits soups can give to your baby. Easy to prepare, they have a lot of benefits when prepared fresh and had in the right way.

1. Striking the Vegetable Intake Rate

A big struggle to meet the daily requirements of vegetables, parents could opt to serve vegetable and legume soup to kids. Sneak in the vegetables that you child hates in pureed form along with large quantities of the vegetable he loves to mask the flavour and make him eat the same. It may sound a shortcut method, but will eventually work in the long run with your child getting used to the taste and slowly adjusting to it.

2. Hydrating Effect

Be it watery and thin or thick and creamy in consistency, soups are great to hydrate the body. It compensates for the liquid intake your child needs and helps if your child does not drink too much of water or milk.

3. Storehouse of Nutrition

Soups made of vegetables, pulses, rice or legumes are enriched with nothing but minerals, calcium, proteins and carbohydrates required for a healthy growth. When we cook vegetables for a curry or gravy, we discard the fluid thereby discarding the water-soluble nutrients. But in the case of soups, the nutrients make their way directly to the tummy owing to its runny consistency.

4. Comfort Food

Soups are best for winters when you want to beat the cold with something to warm up your body. Some nutrients present in the food are absorbed best when had warm and soups make the best choice to consume it.

5. Medicinal Value

A warm bowl of soup is best when your sick child is having difficulty swallowing solid food. Soups provide relief from cold, coughs, chest congestion and fever. Soups spiced with garlic, peppers and turmeric help in treating cough and even digestive disorders. Tomato soup flavoured with basil helps in treating cold and cough.

6. Solution to Weight Gain

Thick, creamy buttery soups are a great way to help kids increase weight. Soups made of rice, lentils or noodles can be served as a mid-morning snack or in the evening to increase the intake of calories and nutrients. It can also be served as a side dish to main meals.

7. Simple to Consume

If your baby has not yet mastered the art of chewing food or does not have their set of teeth fully developed, then soups are the best way to flush down vegetables into their tummy. It requires no chewing and pureed forms are best for small babies.

Why Homemade Vegetable Soups are Best for Babies?

Instant soups are readily available and easy to serve, but definitely not the healthiest option. A quick glance at the contents of these packaged foods will reveal the number of artificial flavours and ingredients it is loaded with. In addition, they are stuffed with salt, thickening agents, corn-starch and preservatives. So, in a nutshell, they offer no nutrition and are not a good choice at all. So, how to prepare vegetable soup for babies that are healthy and nutritious? Home-made soups made from freshly sourced vegetables, cooked in the hygienic confines of your home with zero chemicals and less salt are the best option you can give your kids.

8 Veg Soup Recipes for Infants

Are you looking at how to make veg soup for babies? Well, look no further. Here is a compilation of some lovely vegetarian options of soups for a generous amount of nutrition and energy all packed in the warmth of a bowl of soup. Just the right recipe you need to comfort your little one’s soul.

1. Spinach Soup

Spinach soup.

Spinach is one green leafy vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals and also equally essential to include in your baby’s diet.

Ingredients   

  • 1 cup of chopped spinach leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • A tbsp of cheese, a handful of boiled potatoes and corn kernels (optional)

How To Make   

  • Boil spinach leaves with a little bit of salt and puree it before serving.
  • You could make a variation by adding potatoes, lentils, corn kernels and cheese to hide the bland taste of spinach.

This soup can be served to babies from 7 months.

2. Mixed Vegetable Soup

Mixed Vegetable Soup.

Mixed Vegetable Soup for babies is the perfect solution for those picky eaters who fuss over the sight of vegetables.

Ingredients   

  • 1-2 cups of chopped vegetables (carrot, peas, potatoes, spinach, corn, tomatoes)
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of pepper for taste (optional)

How To Make   

  • Boil the vegetables well in a pressure cooker and puree them once cooled into a thick consistency.
  • Add salt to taste

Just make sure you have fed your child with the vegetables individually to ensure they have no allergy.

3. Lentil Soup

Lentil soup.

A popular dish served to every infant in India, lentil soup or ‘dal-paani” is rich in proteins and iron. Lentils are a good source of carbohydrates and keep the tummy full for a longer time.

Ingredients   

  • 1/2-1 cup of lentils
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ghee ( optional)

How To Make   

  • Boil the lentils in a pressure cooker and add salt to taste
  • Serve it with a tablespoon of ghee for a unique taste and good digestion.

This soup can be served from the age of 6 months and is a great first food for babies.

4. Tomato Soup

 Tomato soup.

Tomato soup is rich in Lycopene and offers antioxidants to enhance the glow of your baby’s skin. Tomato soup can be introduced from 8 months onwards

Ingredients   

  • 1-3 medium-sized tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of pepper
  • A tsp of butter

How To Make   

  • Boil the tomatoes, peel off the skin once cooled, de-seed them and puree it to a soup consistency.
  • Serve it with salt and a little pepper for a tangy taste.
  • Top it with butter for a creamy texture.

5. Beetroot Carrot Soup

Beetroot Carrot Soup

This soup is rich in beta-carotene, folate, iron, magnesium and other nutrients and is beneficial for babies who are anaemic or have low haemoglobin levels.

Ingredients   

  • 1-3 medium-sized carrots and beetroots
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of pepper

How To Make   

  • Chop carrots and beetroots and cook them well to a mashing consistency. Puree it to a soup consistency.
  • Serve it with salt and a little pepper for a tangy taste.

6. Chickpea and Spinach Soup

Chickpea and Spinach Soup

A powerful combination of nutrients and protein, this soup is rich in antioxidants and helps to improve iron levels, promotes bone growth and also increases blood circulation.

Ingredients   

  • 1-2 tbsp of chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves chopped finely
  • Salt

How To Make   

  • Boil the spinach separately and puree it.
  • Cook the chickpeas in a pressure cooker to a mashing consistency.
  • Combine the spinach and chickpeas and add some salt to taste

This is soup is ideal for babies over 10 months and you could leave small chunks of chickpeas for your toddler to chew and use their newly formed incisors.

7. Vegetable Clear Soup

Vegetable clear soup.

Veg Clear Soup for babies is another saviour for parents who kids hate eating vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cup of cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli for vegetable stock
  • Small potatoes, peas and beans for the vegetable chunks
  • Coriander for taste
  • Salt

How to Make

  • Boil the cauliflower, carrots and broccoli all rich in Vitamin K in water and drain the water.
  • Boil chunks of peas, beans and potatoes to chewable consistency and add to the stock.
  • Add salt and garnish with coriander

Peas, beans and potatoes rich in protein and carbohydrates can be added as vegetable chunks for kids to chew. You can add coriander to help improve vision and aid digestion. For kids under one year, all these vegetables could be boiled and pureed. This soup involves adding cornflour to get the thick consistency but you can omit it if you wish.

8. Rice, Lentil and Vegetable Soup

 Rice, Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Also popularly known as “khichdi”, this soup combines rice, lentils and vegetables to serve the appropriate portion of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients   

  • ½ cup rice
  • ½ cup lentils
  • ¼ cup chopped vegetables ( carrots, potatoes, peas, beans and cauliflower)

How To Make   

  • Toss the rice, lentils and vegetables in the pressure cooker until it cooks well.
  • On cooling, mash it nicely and add salt.
  • Add a generous amount of ghee for taste.

These can be served to babies after 6 months of age. It is considered to be a wholesome meal and mothers can include different vegetables on a daily basis to introduce variety. The only thing to take care of is not to overdo it. Soups are definitely good to include in a child’s diet but they shouldn’t be the only component in their diet. Soups should never substitute solid food.

Also Read: Tomatoes for Babies