Nourishing Carrot Ginger Soup + When did your kids start using silverware properly?

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How old were your children when they started using silverware exclusively and properly? Or at what age are they expected to? I.e., without having to be reminded repeatedly to use their fork? I feel like a broken record at the dinner table lately having to constantly remind Grace to use her utensils and I’m tired of hearing myself  🙂 She always begins with her fork, but towards the end of the meal, changes to hands. Maybe she just wants to finish and move on? Some of it, I know is confusion as to what foods are finger foods versus foods you eat with a fork. We eat a lot of soup in this family (such as the recipe I’m sharing below), so she does well with a spoon. But I really would love to know anyone else’ experiences with the fork at least.  Is your 3 year old exclusively using silverware when appropriate with no reminders? Did it not happen until later? Any tips? Enlighten me.

Moving on! The web is filled with carrot ginger soup variations and I thought I’d add mine to the mix. We eat this almost weekly this time of year, when colds seem to travel from one of us to the next and back again. Ginger, garlic, broths and carrot all help with inflammation and immunity and they also just taste good together! I love making a huge batch of this (double of the recipe below) and freeze half for when we’re needing a little boost. Here’s the recipe and I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping mine mind their table manners come Thursday and use their utensils!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bag of carrots, 12-15 medium sized, washed thoroughly and chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 thumb size pieces of ginger, peeled and grated (or finely minced)
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes (omit if serving to a baby)
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart vegetable or bone broth
  • 1 can regular coconut milk (not unsweetened)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • On medium heat, melt the coconut oil.
  • Add the carrots and sweet potato, stir and cook for 5-10 minutes until starting to get a little golden brown on the edges and soft.
  • Add the onion, then garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for a few minutes more until garlic and onion are translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and turmeric, give everything a good stir and let cook for a few minutes more.
  • Next add the cilantro, bone broth, lime, the coconut milk, maple syrup and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Stir it all together and let simmer on the stove for a good 45 minutes to an 1 hour. If you have less time, bring to a boil, then simmer for just about 20 minutes until carrots are mash-able with the back of a wooden spoon or fork.
  • Using a handheld blender, puree until smooth. If using a regular blender, let cool a bit before transferring.
  • Taste and add salt, pepper, and red pepper as needed.
  • Garnish with any leftover cilantro and/or a splash of lime.
  • Enjoy!

Notes:

  • This is an awesome soup for older babies who are established on solids.
  • For younger ones just starting out, you could hold the coconut milk until after you’ve blended the carrots, then portion some out for them, then add the coconut milk after.
  • To give it more of a whipped consistency (and a slightly richer, creamier taste) add a few spoonfuls of heavy cream to the soup before blending.
  • This soup is is very forgiving when it comes to measurements so don’t worry too much if you don’t have exact amount of carrots, herbs, ginger etc. You could also try it with parsley, more sweet potatoes than carrots and maybe some curry powder, making it an entirely different soup but nonetheless healthy and tasty.
  • For a bit more protein or starch try adding cooked brown rice, shredded chicken, or even some chopped avocado.
  • This soup always tastes better the next day!

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