#MIKidsCan Students Cook up Soul-Warming Autumn Soup
Teaching children healthy habits from a young age is important (about 80 percent of overweight adolescents grow up to become obese adults), and there’s no better place to start than in the kitchen. That’s why showing kids how to be mindful of what they put in their bodies, explaining the reasons why it’s important to eat healthy food and leading by example have become top goals of #MIKidsCan. To that end, we hit the road to find the best seasonal dishes that were low-calorie, low-fat and simple enough for children to be engaged in the process. Our first stop brought us to The Simple Kitchen in Plymouth, MI, home of chef Kristin Podolinski (or, as her students call her, Chef Pod).
If there’s one thing kids hate eating, it’s boring dishes. That’s why The Simple Kitchen’s Autumn Minestrone Soup with freshly baked crostini croutons is so perfect. It powers up the classic bowl of goodness by adding in kale, squash, pancetta and other in-season veggies (find them at your local farmers’ markets and these shops). Even better: There’s no added sodium or cholesterol as with so many canned soups on the market.
These types of classic, yet updated recipes are ideal for kids aged 8 to 11, as there are a lot of opportunities for them to engage and assist. They can peel, slice, dice, stir and more. Supervision is still recommended, but you won’t have to worry about things like raw meat, complicated cooking techniques like searing or a super messy clean-up. Younger children can also help out with mixing, measuring and prepping the crostini bites with oil and seasonings.
Ready for more kitchen adventures? Find other kinds of low-effort recipes and experiment with your kids at your side. They will begin to enjoy the love and work that goes into creating a meal from scratch—and will look forward to the extra bonding time you spend together in the kitchen and at the dinner table.
Special thanks to “Chef Pod” and The Simple Kitchen for helping #MIKidsCan inspire the next generation of healthy Michiganders. For more tips, recipes, contests and sweepstakes, join us at ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan.