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3 Dietitian Recommended Gut-Friendly Soup Recipes for Kids

Fall is the perfect time to embrace the cozy nature of autumn and incorporate some seasonal, gut-friendly ingredients for our kid’s gut health. As a Registered Dietitian, I love finding delicious ways for our kiddos to get more nutrients into their day. Soups are an easy way to blend a variety of vegetables together to create a meal that’s packed with beneficial plant fiber. Dietary fibers can provide immune, cardiovascular, metabolic and intestinal beneficial effects in both you and your kiddos [1]. Let’s take a look at some gut-friendly soup recipes to review the benefits of the ingredients and how each one can support our little one’s overall health.

Fall Vegetables for Gut Health

Seasonal ingredients such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash can be great ways to introduce not only bright and colorful vegetables into your little one’s diets, but increase their overall intake of plant fiber. Specifically, vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers are digested by gut bacteria and may exert prebiotic effects that promote the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Non-soluble fibers are bulking agents and may improve intestinal transit [1]. Both are important for kiddos to maintain regularity and good gut health.

Prebiotics for Picky Eaters

We know that sometimes it’s harder for picky eaters to get enough nutrients. Soups are a great way to combine a variety of vegetables into one meal so that your kiddo gets the vitamins and minerals they need for proper growth. An easy way to incorporate an additional boost is by adding Growing Up Prebiotics to each of these recipes. Our daily prebiotic blend contains HMO’s, which functions to modulate immune cells in the gut to support your kiddo’s immunity during the colder seasons [6]. It’s tasteless, textureless, and effortless blends into the soups, providing 3 grams of daily fiber per serving.

Healthy Gut-Friendly Prebiotic Soup Recipes for Kids

Below you’ll find three seasonal, gut-friendly soup recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and packed with prebiotic fiber to help support your kiddo’s gut health.

Creamy Carrot Soup
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup white onions, diced
  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 quart low-sodium broth of choice
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup (or 4 scoops / packs) of Growing Up Prebiotics

Instructions:

1. Add the olive oil to a medium pan set over medium heat. Add the carrots and onion, stirring to coat. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until soft.

2. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with water.

3. Add the vegetable mixture, beans, broth, and Growing Up Prebiotics to a blender. Blend until a smooth consistency. Return to the pan and heat through.

4. Season to taste with salt and optional cumin. Serve warm.

Studies on carrots show that the carbohydrates found within the plant displayed prebiotic effects. When consumed, the fermentation within the digestive tract helped boost good gut bacteria such as bifidobacteria, which supports a healthy microbiome [2]. Carrots are also high in Vitamin A, which is crucial for its role in the body for immune function.

Begin Health Expert Tip: Store leftover soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze and store for up to 12 months.

Vegan Tomato Soup
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk (can substitute in broth of choice, will make soup less creamy)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup (or 4 scoops / packs) Growing Up Prebiotics

Instructions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato, and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and stir to coat. Cook until vegetables just start to soften, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and stir. Raise the heat to bring to a simmer, then reduce back to medium heat and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

3. Stir in the coconut milk (or broth) and Growing Up Prebiotics and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve warm.

Tomatoes are a rich source of essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C, fiber, and phytochemicals such as lycopene to support overall health [3]. Pairing lycopene containing foods such as tomatoes with a source of healthy fat such as olive oil or coconut can help enhance lycopene absorption in the body [4,5].

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced apple of your choice
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 quart broth of your choice
  • 14.5 ounce can white cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • ¼ cup (or 4 scoops / packs) Growing Up Prebiotics
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp dried turmeric

Instructions:

1. Warm the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.

2. Add the squash, carrot, apple, onion, and salt and stir to combine. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. When it simmers, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.

4. Add the beans, Growing Up Prebiotics, and vegetable puree into a blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and add turmeric. Serve warm.

A one-cup serving of butternut squash contains 3 grams of fiber and up to an estimated 48% of the daily recommended intake for Vitamin C. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables like butternut squash that provide nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin C can boost immune function [8]. In addition, apples contain pectin, which is a type of healthy prebiotic fiber that can support the boost of good gut bacteria in our kiddo’s microbiome [9].

Summary: Soups are an easy way to combine a variety of vegetables together to nourish your little one’s gut. Seasonal ingredients such as carrots and sweet potatoes provide plant fiber and vitamins to help your little one get the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. Adding Begin Health’s Growing Up Prebiotics can provide an extra prebiotic boost, delivering 3 grams of fiber per serving to go towards their recommended daily fiber intake.

References:

[1] Salvatore S, Battigaglia MS, Murone E, Dozio E, Pensabene L, Agosti M. Dietary Fibers in Healthy Children and in Pediatric Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Practical Guide. Nutrients. 2023 May 6;15(9):2208. doi: 10.3390/nu15092208. PMID: 37432354; PMCID: PMC10180776.

[2] Van Den Abbeele, P., Verstrepen, L., Ghyselinck, J., Albers, R., Marzorati, M., & Mercenier, A. (2020). A Novel Non-Digestible, Carrot-Derived Polysaccharide (cRG-I) Selectively Modulates the Human Gut Microbiota while Promoting Gut Barrier Integrity: An Integrated In Vitro Approach. Nutrients, 12(7), 1917. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071917

[3] Goggans, M. L., Bilbrey, E. A., Quiroz-Moreno, C., Francis, D. M., Jacobi, S. K., Kovač, J., & Cooperstone, J. L. (2022). Short-Term Tomato Consumption Alters the Pig Gut Microbiome toward a More Favorable Profile. Microbiology Spectrum, 10(6). https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.02506-22

[4] Collins, E. J., Bowyer, C., Tsouza, A., & Chopra, M. (2022). Tomatoes: An extensive review of the associated health impacts of tomatoes and factors that can affect their cultivation. Biology, 11(2), 239. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020239

[5] Arballo J, Amengual J, Erdman JW Jr. Lycopene: A Critical Review of Digestion, Absorption, Metabolism, and Excretion. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Feb 25;10(3):342. doi: 10.3390/antiox10030342. PMID: 33668703; PMCID: PMC7996133.

[6] Plaza-Díaz J, Fontana L, Gil A. Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Immune System Development. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 8;10(8):1038. doi: 10.3390/nu10081038. PMID: 30096792; PMCID: PMC6116142.

[7] Jiang T, Gao X, Wu C, Tian F, Lei Q, Bi J, Xie B, Wang HY, Chen S, Wang X. Apple-Derived Pectin Modulates Gut Microbiota, Improves Gut Barrier Function, and Attenuates Metabolic Endotoxemia in Rats with Diet-Induced Obesity. Nutrients. 2016 Feb 29;8(3):126. doi: 10.3390/nu8030126. PMID: 26938554; PMCID: PMC4808856.

[8] Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11):1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211. PMID: 29099763; PMCID: PMC5707683.

[9] Olano-Martin E, Gibson GR, Rastell RA. Comparison of the in vitro bifidogenic properties of pectins and pectic-oligosaccharides. J Appl Microbiol. 2002;93(3):505-11. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.2002.01719.x. PMID: 12174051.

May Zhu, RDN

May Zhu, RDN

May is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition expert at Begin Health.



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