The eating experience of this Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash soup was completely different for my boys. My middle child lapped it up as he talked about how much he liked it. The youngest and oldest didn’t even try a spoonful. The old me would have encouraged the oldest/youngest to try at least one bite. The new me just enjoyed my own bowl of soup and kept my mouth shut. I didn’t even applaud the middle child for throwing his side of green peas into his soup because he stated “he wanted to add some texture.” My foodie heart swelled with pride.

Let Them Rise to the Eating Occasion

That’s my new mantra. Let them rise to the eating occasion.

  • No more nagging, prompting or bribing them to try a bite.
  • I’m quitting the games or cheerleading to get them to eat their veggies.
  • Forget the pressure to eat the peas.
  • Less nutrition lessons on how yogurt makes their bones strong.

What is it that works? What is the one essential ingredient at mealtime (and all areas of parenting, really)? Me! My attention, my presence, my easy-going conversation & me enjoying MY own meal.

September is National Family Meals Month: It’s Not About the Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

While the other two didn’t eat my soup, they did eat their grilled cheese sandwich and grapes. Most parents can whip up a grilled cheese and side of grapes in minutes.  As we honor National Family Meals Month, it’s important to note that the benefits of family mealtime aren’t tied to what gets served. What really matters is how it feels to sit down to eat together. If mealtime is a positive experience, it doesn’t matter if it came out of a pizza box, a frozen meal kit or was eaten at Chick-fil-a. Mealtime isn’t just about nutrition – it’s about nurturing.

Break down the barriers of setting your dinner expectations about how “nutritious” your meal is.  It’s not about the soup you serve. It’s about prioritizing time to meet as a family to eat. If you have 10 minutes to prep dinner, make eggs and toast. If you’ve got evening soccer practice twice a week, carve out time for family dinner on the other nights. Time spent together at mealtime is more related to the psychological and academic success of kids than time spent in school, studying, church, playing sports or doing art activities (1). And, the secret sauce? It’s simply sitting down together eating whatever, whenever.

Satter, E. (2005). Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming.

 

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Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup


  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 butternut squash, medium to large
  • 1 onion, medium to large, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 t. cumin powder
  • 1 T. curry powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. turmeric ground
  • 1 t. ginger, ground
  • 1/4 t. ground red chili peppers
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 1, 15.5 oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1.5 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 t. salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Toss butternut squash with olive oil. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. While squash is baking, in a large soup pot, over medium heat, saúte garlic and onion in 1 T. olive oil.
  5. Add spices and stir until well combined.
  6. Add broth, coconut milk and salt. Stir. Turn down heat to low.
  7. Once squash is done, add to your soup mixture.
  8. Using an immersion blender or blender, carefully blend soup. (You may want to wait until it has cooled a bit!) Blend until soup has a creamy consistency.
  9. Optional toppings: Toasted pumpkin seeds, coconut, plain greek yogurt, chopped cilantro.

Notes

  1. I toasted the coconut and pumpkin seeds in a saúte pan with a sprinkle of chili powder and sugar for the topping in this soup. These ingredients are not in the nutritional analysis.
  • Category: soup
  • Method: roast
  • Cuisine: indian

Keywords: indian-spiced butternut squash soup

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.