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Kid Friendly Tip: Build Your Own Gazpacho/Tortilla Soup

August 29, 2011

Kid Friendly Tip: When trying to cook for a bunch of children, give some of the cooking control over to the individual palettes by offering a healthy build-your-own meal. This way, the young eaters can experiment with food, but with your guidance. As an adult, it can be hard to give over a little mealtime control due to worries about clean up or if the kids will make healthy decisions. Believe me, I have the same concerns when I teach in the classroom, however, the students never cease to surprise me with how much they exceed expectations when I loosen the reign a little. Giving children some control in assembling their food helps them develop a positive relationship with food, taste and cooking. If you give them choice, the battles over picky eating mellow and you might enjoy a pretty wonderful meal!

Serafina picks her meal!

When we were in Maine, I tried to make food the kids and adults would enjoy, who all enjoy food differently, so this really challenged me to think about how I put together meals. Additionally, Serafina’s incisors are coming in, so she was one picky eater! One afternoon, as Serafina and her cousins played in the lake, I tried to come up with a meal that would be healthy, light, and assuage potential picky eating. After perusing Sundays at Moosewood, I decided to modify their Tomato and Corn Gazpacho soup. The recipe is simple, which was nice because we didn’t have a food processor to make the base. Try to buy a low-sodium tomato juice though, besides being healthier, it allows you control over salt and pepper. To improve up on the recipe, I added in a few veggies to help the kiddies out. I peeled the squash and cut it to look like cucumbers. Then, I grabbed some items from the kitchen that we needed to finish off before heading home, and voila a fun meal!

Build Your Own Gazpacho

  • 4 cups of Low Sodium Tomato Soup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of corn, grilled and sliced of the cob
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (or a juicy tomato), chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup of sliced green onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (most types will work with this recipe)
  • 1 cup of avocado, chopped (sprinkle a little lime juice on top to help it keep)
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • Sriracha Sauce (Rooster Sauce)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced Bread (To make home-made, click here for an easy recipe)

1. Mix together the tomato juice, water, tomatoes, squash, cucumber, garlic, and corn. Let chill in the fridge for two hours.

2. When you are almost ready to serve, fill small bowls with the remaining ingredients.

3. Ladle the soup into soup bowls, and let the kids assemble their soups.

My soup:

My soup looks more like a tortilla soup!

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