Importance of Warm Food for Young Children (Yummy Soup Recipe Included!)

Food Tip for Parents

I’m putting on my Chinese Medicine hat for this blog but actually many other systems of thought that deal with healthy child development (like Waldorf education and anthroposophical medicine) feel the same re: the importance of warmth in childhood.

So the dietary teaching is to limit the raw and cold foods with children and increase the warm foods and drinks. While raw, cold food is a better choice in general in the Summer/in warmer temperatures, too much raw and cold isn’t so great for young children throughout the year especially kids with a weak digestive fire and cold constitution. From a Chinese Medicine point of view it is important to balance the cold smoothies, raw veggies and yoghurts with warm, easy to digest foods. Miso soup/bone broth is a quick one my kids like as a drink or a soup with some bits of steamed carrot/broccoli and chicken in it. Soups and warm teas are an important part of a child’s diet. Baked apple and oatmeal or apple crumble is nice in the morning.

Even though soups in the morning may not be a traditional breakfast in Canada I often recommend in my naturopathic practice to open up the ‘breakfast mindset’ past the more traditional carb-heavy cereals and toast and think about breakfast as any other meal. Soups and teas are such a grounding, nourishing way to start the day …

Is my child getting enough warmth? How to know …

Symptoms such as loose stool, frequent colds, pale complexion and a cold child are cues for you to take a look at the diet from a warm-cold perspective. The nourishment of warmth on a physical and soul level for children is spoken of in many developmental circles  -- children (and many of us) feel more relaxed and associate warmth with comfort.

The habit of tea and candles in the Winter is one of our family’s favourite rituals. (-:

 Here’s a really healthy warm spring soup from glorious Quantum Leaps Lodge in Golden, B.C. …

Green Spring Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water or broth

  • 4 medium potatoes

  • ¼ medium onion or leek chopped

  • 2-3 cups kale or spring greens

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • Braggs seasoning to taste

What to do …

  1. Bring liquid to boil, add potatoes, onion and salt

  2. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender

  3. Add kale and garlic, simmer until kale is tender and bright green

  4. Puree all together in blender

  5. Add olive oil before serving

Serves 6