Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Once Mother said, “My little pet, you ought to learn your alphabet.” So in my soup I used to get all the letters of the alphabet. Then I learned them all, from A to Z, and now my Mother’s giving me animal crackers in my soup. Okay, so maybe your kids already know the alphabet, but they still can benefit from an alphabet of vitamins and nutrients. Defy the chill air and let your kids go out to play all January long. After that, welcome them in and warm their growing bodies with these delicious, nutrient-rich, cozy-warm soups.

Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • ½ c. onion (chopped finely)
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1 ½ c. butternut squash (cubed)
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 t. pepper
  • 1 t. sage
  • 1 t. thyme leaves


  • Sauté 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 minced clove of garlic and ½ cup chopped onion in large stockpot over medium heat for a few minutes.
  • Add a pinch of salt, pepper and sage to 3 cups of chicken broth.
  • Add in 1 ½ c. of cubed butternut squash and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat and simmer until squash has a tender consistency (about 20 minutes).
  • Garnish with black pepper and thyme.

Bountiful Body Benefits:

Beta-Carotene & Vitamin A. The baked butternut squash in this recipe meets close to half the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for beta-carotene, which ultimately gets converted into vitamin A. This is great for your kiddo’s skin and hair health because the nutrient plays a vital role in the growth of bodily tissues. It also is needed for sebum production, which aides in moisture production. Can you say hallelujah, dry skin?

Fiber. Offering about 6 grams of filling fiber, just one cup of this soup meets about 25 percent of the RDA. Fiber helps your child stay full and satisfied during this chilly month.


Chunky Tomato Beef Soup


  • 1 lb. ground sirloin
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 c. reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ t. dried thyme
  • 1 c. elbow macaroni
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ¼ t. ground black pepper
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan


  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sirloin and cook for 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the oil, onion and carrot to the pot. Cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, beef and thyme. Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Add the pasta.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Add the salt and pepper.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese.

This soup dish is a tried-and-true staple during the cold winter months in the Leawood household of Rebecca, a mother of five active and growing kids. “This dish is ideal for snow days when schools get canceled,” she says.

Bountiful Body Benefits:

Protein. With the sirloin beef being a complete protein, it helps keep aches and breaks away from your kid’s growing bones, muscles and tendons.
Energy. The elbow macaroni is a rich and nutritious complex carbohydrate that enhances your kiddos’ energy supply to keep them learning, exploring and playing.



Overall, you and your kids can’t go wrong feasting on these tasty, simple and satisfying soups all January long!

Sources: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,, National Institutes of Health


Amy Hundley is a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in both Kansas and Missouri, and a published freelance nutrition writer. She is currently practicing as a clinical RD and has been a resident of Olathe since early childhood.

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