Soup--a side dish to some--can constitute an entire nutritious meal for children who need something hot for lunch to keep going on a cool day, according to the California Dietetic Assn., Los Angeles District.
Soup ingredients selected from nutrient-based food groups--milk, meat, vegetables and fruits, breads and cereals--can help fulfill the day's recommended number of servings.
New England clam chowder can provide one of four necessary daily servings for children from the milk group, one of two from the meat group, and if potatoes and carrots are added, one or two of four daily servings from the vegetables/fruits group. A whole wheat roll from the breads/cereals group balances out the meal.
Chicken noodle soup, made with chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, onions and egg noodles and served with a glass of milk also provides a balanced meal.
French onion soup made with chunks of French bread and covered with Swiss cheese and served with a broiled chicken breast is also a well-balanced, four food-group meal.
If your child's diet lacks a serving from the milk group, try adding a cup of milk to the broth of chicken or vegetable soup. Chopped celery, carrots, onions, potatoes or even asparagus can be added for those children who need additional servings of vegetables.