Prior to having a child, I remember wondering why some parents let their kids get away with eating only “kid food” (grilled cheese, pizza, quesadillas, etc.). I thought that I would never become one of those parents and that my children would always eat what my husband and I were eating.
In fact, I used to subscribe to Food Network magazine, and in the Q&A section someone asked Giada De Laurentiis how her daughter Jade became so open to adult foods. She answered something along the lines of never feeding Jade “kid” foods and always providing her with the meals that she shared with her husband. When I read that I thought, “Great! That’s what I’ll do to become the perfect mom who feeds her child well-balanced meals and raises a non-picky eater!”
Fast forward to actually being a mom and I’ve learned that in reality it’s just not that easy. Giada – I love you girl, but I don’t have a personal chef available to feed my son meals when I’m not around and sometimes pasta with sauce is all I have time for after a long day of working. To be honest, our son is a great eater and we do our best to put a well-balanced meal in front him, but some days feeding him can be a challenge.
For example, a few weeks ago he was sick, teething pretty bad, and refused to eat just about everything that we put in front of him. I know that the appetites of children can vary dramatically and you shouldn’t worry if they aren’t eating much one day, but it’s hard not to worry when food strikes last several days at a time. In these situations, I try to put my son’s favorite foods in front of him in hopes that he’ll take just a few more bites.
Enter this fast and easy kid-friendly black bean soup. Believe it or not, black beans are high up on the list of my son’s favorite foods. I thought it would be nice to make something that my husband and I could enjoy that also fit within my son’s picky appetite while he wasn’t feeling well. This soup is kid-friendly because it isn’t very spicy – so please feel free to add more spices if you are making it for adult palates. It was also perfect to make after a long day at work because it was quick and easy. We had about one day’s worth of leftovers, but if you double the recipe I think it would freeze really well.
What do you do to encourage your children to eat well-balanced diets? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
- 2 cans of low sodium black beans (drained & rinsed)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- About 1 heaping cup of chopped carrots
- About 1/3 cup of chopped onions
- About ½ cup of frozen corn
- 4 cups of vegetable stock (one carton) + 2 cups of water
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Optional garnishes:
- Vegan: avocado, salsa, smoked tofu, fresh cilantro, lime or lemon juice, chili powder (to taste)
- Non-vegan: Sour cream, cheese, shredded chicken
Step 1: Pour olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté carrots and chopped onions. Add cumin, and salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
Step 2: Pour in black beans, vegetable stock, and water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes on high heat or until carrots are fork-tender.
Step 3: Blend for about 30-40 seconds to break up veggies and thicken soup. I used my emulsion blender. Don’t over-blend or you won’t have any full vegetables left.
Step 4: Add frozen corn and cook on high for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Taste and, as needed, add more cumin, salt, and pepper. Serve with garnishes (optional).
- You will notice I used approximate measurements for the vegetables. I often cook soups to use up extra veggies around the house and therefore rarely use exact measurements. If you use slightly less than a full cup of chopped carrots or ¾ cup of frozen corn your soup will taste fine!
- I used frozen chopped onions in my recipe, but you can use fresh onions. My eyes are very sensitive when chopping onions, so I try to sub frozen when possible. I don’t think you can tell a difference in this soup, so it was a win-win for me (no sensitive eyes and less time!).