<style>.lazy{display:none}</style> How I taught my 5-year-old to like soup | Kids Dig Food - Paediatric Accredited Practising Dietitians and Nutritionists

How I taught my 5-year-old to like soup

by | Last updated Dec 15, 2023 | Exploring Food, Feeding Kids, Fussy Eating

Brisk mornings and cool nights… winter is all about warming comfort food. The problem is that comfort foods like stews and soup are often met with a resounding YUCK from young children. So how DO you get kids eating soup? I decided to embark on my own family experiment with this particular dilemma a few years back when my daughter was around 5 years old. I had been avoiding making soups, which I loved, simply because I couldn’t handle the whining and whingeing that went along with them. It took time (nearly all winter in fact), trust and a steely resolve but now soups are happily and regularly on the menu through winter in our house.

Here’s how to get your little ones eating soup, and more importantly… not complaining about it:

Bread as backstop

Bread is your friend when it comes to kids learning to like soup. In that first winter, I had to be happy with my daughter mainly filling up on bread and butter when soup was for dinner. I also usually offered a nourishing dessert on those nights so she never went hungry. Little by little, after many soup dinners of eating just bread, she became ready to dip the bread in the soup and then slowly used the spoon. Mix it up by serving different kinds of breads with soup to help your kids explore a world of different bread types–sourdough, baguette, ciabatta, Turkish. Don’t miss an opportunity to inject variety even if it is just the bread!

Familiar ingredients

Pick a soup that contains one of your child’s liked foods as a main ingredient. Familiar = easier to like. Think potato, bacon, ham, pasta, noodles or chicken. Don’t be discouraged if your child still doesn’t dive in at the first, second, third or even 10th offering.

Presentation

Serve soup in your child’s favourite bowl or a small cup. In our case, much of the novelty and fun of eating soup is that I always serve my daughter’s in a fancy china teacup and matching saucer. Three years later, she still loves her soup in it. A smaller bowl or cup is less intimidating than a large bowl.

Chunky or smooth?

Most young kids don’t like chunks in liquid… end of story. Pureeing soups to a smooth consistency can make them easier for your child to like.

Exploring soup

So your child isn’t ready to EAT the soup? How else might they be able to explore it using one of their other senses? Try these: Serving others using the soup ladle. Stir the soup to cool it. Watch the steam rise. Smell it. See how fast the soup runs off the spoon when you pour it off the edge of a spoon.

Positive expectation

Our daughter knew we understood that soup was a food she was still learning to like. We reminded her as often as we could that we believed that one day, when she was ready, she would like soup. And one day, she did!

Eat happy!

Deb Blakley
Accredited Practising Dietitian & Director

About the Author

green scroll divider lines
Deb Blakley, Accredited Practising Dietitian
Kids Dig Food ®
Deb Blakley, Founder, Director and Lead Accredited Practising Dietitian of Kids Dig Food®, is a Paediatric Dietitian with 25+ years of diverse experience and is recognised for her expertise in providing neurodiversity affirming, weight neutral and trauma-informed care for children with complex needs and their families. Deb is passionate about supporting parents, carers and educators to positively & joyfully connect or reconnect with food & eating and share this with the children in their care.
More articles by the author
image of unhappy kid faceplanting on the sandwich on his plate

Get feeding tips from the
Kids Dig Food team
sent directly to your inbox.

Sign up for our newsletter!

Thanks for signing up!

Optimized with PageSpeed Ninja