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Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

January 31, 2023

Roasted rutabaga soup is beautiful simplicity, and a super kid friendly creamy soup way to get mineral rich veggies in!

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything, and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Beautiful simplicity…

If you haven’t noticed from the last year of recipe posts on the blog, our family is most definitely knee deep in pre-teen and teen years. I’m so happy to hear from so many of you with teens, that you are pumped about the help you are getting from this space as my girls make their way through their teenage years. It’s interesting though…when I really stop to think about it, we aren’t truly doing a whole lot differently than when they were very little. Sure, we have to double (and triple!) the portions and recipe sizes for bigger kids, but my M.O. has always, always been…beautiful simplicity.

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Nourishing soup for ANY age!

Because those big kids in the picture above? They still eat the same power packed soups that I fed them as little ones. The pictures below? Dear momma with little ones at home, please let this be your inspiration…and motivation! Those babies in your house are absolutely *blank slates* for developing taste palates! I’m gonna get all tough love on you, and promise that if you skip the toddler puffs and cereal, and go for the beautiful simplicity of a little mug of veggie soup, you will be rewarded with older kids that actually *ask* for certain veggie soups in their thermoses for school lunch. My 3 very different personality kiddos are living proof! So let’s learn how to make a very simple veggie soup that your little ones (and you too, momma!) can sip from a mug, slurp up from a bowl, or lick off a spoon!

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Why rutabaga?

Well other than the absolute budget saver that this simple root veggie is, rutabagas are packed with fiber and vitamin C. They have the perfect balance of minerals including potassium which so many of us and our kids need more of! The slow burning carbohydrates give busy, growing kids the energy they need, and that coupled with a load of antioxidants? Well, let’s just say sometimes I think the humblest of foods sometimes don’t get enough credit!

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Yes, rutabagas are absolutely divine!

At least when you know how to cook them they are! Rutabagas are just like every other root veggie, in that when you roast them, you’re going to get a slightly sweet, very satisfying starchy taste, that any little one that hasn’t been inundated with sugar will find very, very appealing. And when you blend it up with some bone broth? Those natural, slow burning starches make for a smooth, creamy, very potato soup like texture, and a sweet root vegetable flavor. So let’s learn how to make roasted rutabaga soup!

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

The Method :: Prepping the veggies

To get your soup started, peel and chop your rutabaga. The skin is super thin, so a simple peeler is all you need. And since this soup gets completely pureed in the end, no precision cutting skills are needed here! Just a coarse chop, and you’re ready to roast. This bods well for busy families, new mommas with active toddlers, and those newer to cooking!

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

The Method :: Roasting the veggies

Once the veggies are chopped, transfer them to a large baking sheet. If your baking sheets are smaller, simply use two of them! Toss the veggies with melted butter or olive oil and sea salt, then let the oven do the rest! While your veggies are roasting, you can change the baby’s diaper, read the toddler that book, or *gasp!* take that shower you have been trying to get in all day!

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

The Method :: Finishing the soup

When the veggies are soft and starting to caramelize, you can blend it with your bone broth and a little cream or coconut milk. That is literally it! You get to control the texture and thickness! Add or subtract more or less broth to get a thicker or thinner soup.

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Tips for feeding soup to little ones

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when serving soup to babies, toddlers, and younger children!

  • Serve the soup at a cooler temp than you would probably enjoy the soup. Hot soup is very intense for little ones, and I always found that they ate soup better at pretty close to room temp. That might gross you out, but they will eat it better! You can cool it off with an ice cube, or pop it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
  • Try different serving vessels! Most little ones like to “do it myself” so try a very small tea cup with a straw or small spoon. Or a smaller bowl. They may even prefer to drink it from a cup or sippy.
  • Some little ones love to dunk! Make some grilled cheese and cut it into strips for dunking, use some crackers or pita bread, or toast up some tortillas in a hot pan as “chips” to dunk.
Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Don’t forget about the school aged kids and teens!

These are the soups that my kids live for! Easy to eat and super yummy! The girls used to pack straws with their thermoses of soup when they were younger. My teens either drink it right out of the thermos like a cup, or pack a spoon now. But the possibilities are endless, really. Pack whatever sides and protein they need to go with it! Below are chicken quesadillas from dinner and some apples. My teens packed some more chicken quesadillas, as well as guacamole to dip the quesadillas in.

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Serving suggestions and freezer friendly tips!

I just love soups like this for the versatility and because they freeze for later use so well. When I had very little ones at home, those 2 points were game changers. If your little one loves this soup, it is versatile enough to serve in a little mug with a plate of eggs for breakfast, or in a bowl with some grilled cheese dunkers for lunch! And if you want to double up and freeze, that just makes life that much easier during busy weeks that you don’t have time to be in the kitchen. I like using these SOUPER freezer cubes for soups that I want to portion out for little ones.

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free


  • 2 small/medium onions coarsely sliced into strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and left whole
  • 1 rutabaga peeled and cut into 1-inch sticks
  • ½ large head of cauliflower coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or melted butter I like to use a combination of both olive oil and butter for the flavor
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1– 1 ½ quarts bone broth depending on how thick you want the soup
  • ¼ cup coconut milk if you tolerate dairy, cream or milk works too
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Toss the onions, garlic, rutabaga, and cauliflower on a large sheet pan with the olive oil and sea salt. Roast at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
  • Blend the roasted veggies in a high speed blender with the bone broth and coconut milk until smooth. If you do not have a high speed blender, you can pour the veggies and broth into a large soup pot and blend with and immersion blender.
  • Season the soup with sea salt and pepper to taste. I like cracked black pepper to garnish, or a drizzle of olive oil.
Creamy Roasted Rutabaga Soup :: Gluten & Dairy Free

More real food SOUP PUREE recipes you might like!

Healthy Kids and Teens Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

July 13, 2022

Start your child off on the right foot for eating lunch at school with these easy to follow, practical tips for lunchbox packing!

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything, and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Back to school lists

Pencils, paper, glue, scissors, markers…it’s enough to make your head spin, isn’t it?! Honestly I don’t remember supply lists being this intense as a kid, but I probably wasn’t paying much attention to it either! We love our teachers though, and really want them to have all the tools they need to help our kids be at their best for school, and I think sometimes the school lunch thing gets a little over looked.

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

It really does matter

And I say this with all the love that I have for you dear momma. Because I know there is a lot on your plate, and I know what it is like to be an overwhelmed mom. But even more important than the brand of pencil that the teachers want your kid to have for the school year, is having a child that is well fed for a full school day. It’s that whole hierarchy of needs thing, ya know? If a child is hungry, they can’t focus for squat, and that fancy paper or folder you bought for them isn’t going to matter if they can’t make it through their afternoon. Those school days are long for any school aged kid, and we want to set them up for success with full bellies and fed brains so they can make it through.

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Sustainable lunch packing rhythms

What goes into their lunch does matter, but, especially for any moms reading this that are newer to having school aged children, I want to help you be successful at lunchbox packing for the whole school year – not just the first week. So let’s dive into some practical thoughts I have for you, now that I have 2 middle schoolers and my last little one in elementary school!

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Give your child time to practice using their lunch gear

Multiple years of being room mom in early elementary classrooms has taught me many things – and one of them is this tip! If you are reading this post and it is summertime, purchase your child’s lunchbox now so that you can pack it up for your summer outings (or even just lunchtime at home!) to practice how to use it! Latches, zippers, pouches, buttons, lids – those take time for little hands to figure out, and it will save them time when at school. Also be sure they know how to properly close their water bottles so you don’t end up with a soggy backpack on the way home! If you need lunch gear suggestions, take a peek through my Lunch Gear Resource Guide! It’s free!

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Consider lunch gear & foods that don’t involve a lot of separate containers to open & close

Speaking of practicing lunch gear! One thing I have noticed in these classrooms, is that kids with lunches packed in multiple food containers, or lunches packed in containers with multiple compartments that need to be opened and closed, took longer to eat. If you are in the market for lunch gear, and have little ones, this is a good thought to consider before buying. If you need some lunch gear recs, here is my Lunch Gear Resource Guide with multiple suggestions to help you decide!

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Pack familiar food

If you have been around here for a while, you know that I am all about helping your children become adventurous eaters! However, the first week of school is not the time to try out new foods. Think about your little one’s first days of school – even the entire first year or so. There are so many new things going on, rules to remember, friends to meet – it is SO. MUCH. Their little brains can only regulate so much at once! You throw a new food on top of all that and they may think “Hmm, I just can’t do one more new thing right now, and this feels scary, so I’m just not going to eat it.” And it really could be something they would like if they weren’t so overwhelmed! Just try new stuff out at home first. Serve it for dinner, and the talk about how you would like for them to help you pack it in their lunchbox some time.

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Understand your child’s school snack and lunch schedule

This is a big one because everyone’s school schedule varies. Does your child have a morning snack time? When is snack time in relation to lunch time? This will all determine what and how much you pack for lunch. You know your child best. If the kids have a snack at 10 and eat lunch at 11:30, then perhaps you need to make the snack small so they are still hungry to eat their lunch at 11:30. Or maybe you split the lunch up into 2 smaller meals so they get part of their lunch at snack time and the other part at lunch. They may have lunch closer to 1pm, so you might want their morning snack to be a mini meal so they can make it to 1pm. Also find out how much time your child will have to eat that lunch. This will help you pack accordingly. Regardless of how we feel about a 10-15 minute lunch time (I think we would all agree that is pretty rough for a little kid!), if that is how it is at your school, you’ll want to be sure to pack easy to eat foods that pack a filling punch so your child is ready to focus for the rest of the school day.

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

The 2-minute lunchbox tour

Before packing that lunchbox into their backpack, open it up and show your child. Ask them what they think are the foods in there that will help them feel good for the afternoon and focus for school. Help them learn where the protein is, and important bites that will help them so they can start there. That way, if they don’t have time to finish, they will have at least gotten something filling in. This 2-minute lunchbox tour can happen the night before while you are packing the lunchbox together, or it can happen in the morning before you pack it up in their backpack! Before you know it, they’ll have so much more body awareness and independently know what kind of foods help them feel their best.

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Macro balance

And speaking of foods to help them feel their best! Every child has different macro ratio needs – but all the macros matter for growing kids. So just take a quick scan of the lunchbox each day and be sure it’s all in there – fats, protein, and carbs. It all matters! If you need some great balanced lunchbox inspiration to see some examples, you can check out my cookbook, The Little Lunchbox Cookbook! Inside there are 60 different lunchbox examples, all balanced with what your child needs to get through their day.

Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

My child is coming home with a lot of leftover food consistently – what should I do?

Kids’ appetites can ebb and flow depending on growth spurts, illness, life changes, sleep, etc. Noticing some food coming home every once and a while is normal, but if they are bringing food home day in and day out, here are some things to think about:

  • Re-evaluate your child’s snack and lunch time schedule, and portions. Is your child eating a big morning snack only to have lunch an hour later? Are the portions you are sending realistic for your child? How long are they allowed for eating? Re-visit the above section called “Understand your child’s school lunch and snack schedule,” where you will find more information on addressing each of these.
  • Help them realize their hunger after school. If they are crabby or emotional in the car on the way home, seem sleepy, or tell you they are “starving,” and you notice they didn’t each much of their lunch, help them make that connection! Kids aren’t always body aware enough to realize that not eating lunch is why they feel so crummy. Present it nicely – no shame. But remind them they will feel so much better when they focus on their food at lunch time.
  • Ask them why! “Hey, I noticed that there is a lot of lunch left in your lunchbox – did something happen at lunch time?” Don’t make them feel badly for not eating – just ask them. There may be a good reason!
  • Chatty Kathy’s or Ken’s! Sometimes that reason is that you might have a “Chatty Kathy” or “Chatty Ken!” Ask them who they sat with at lunch. This age does not understand the time management of lunch at school yet. Help them understand that with time, they will learn how to manage talking with their friends AND eating at the same time! Sometimes just making them aware is all you need to do.
  • Reconsider hard to eat foods for little ones. As a health food leaning blogger, you know that I value getting veggies into kids. But there are so many ways to do it in an easy to eat way, OR maybe save larger veggie portions for at home when they have more time. Your goal in a school lunchbox is to get the most nutrient dense food into your little one in the amount of time that they have to eat. It is easier to eat cooked veggies versus raw, so my kindergarteners were rarely bringing raw veg and dip or salads. They were bringing blended soup purees to slurp with a straw, or leftover roasted veggies from dinner. Or frozen veggies that thaw. It is faster, and easier to eat, which leaves them less stressed.
  • Help them prioritize with the 2-minute lunchbox tour. Leftover food is going to happen sometimes, but I’d rather them leave the strawberries than leave the sandwich – you know what I mean? That is the reason for the 2-minute lunchbox tour! See the above section about the 2-minute lunchbox tour and learn how to help your child learn what part of their lunch will help them feel their best for the afternoon so they start with eating that first.
  • Some foods are just “at home foods.” Listen, my kids adore sardines and liver pate – but I’m not going to do that to them! Unfortunately, to most children, those are just really weird foods to pack, and it might make your child uncomfortable if they are constantly getting questions about unfamiliar foods. I’m definitely not saying pack junk food every day! But I am saying, if there is a food that is consistently coming home, check with your child and see if they are not comfortable with bringing it to school. I think I ask my girls yearly if they really do want me to pack tuna salad for lunch – one of their favorites, but clearly doesn’t smell the best! Every year they surprise me by saying they want it, but I am perfectly fine with making certain food “at home food.”
Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School

Tips for navigating lunchbox questions at school

It’s inevitable, that if you focus more on whole foods in your child’s lunchbox, you are bound to get a few wandering eyes and curious kids asking your child questions about their lunch. Here is how we have approached that at our house.

  • Remember that kids are genuinely curious. Especially for younger children that truly aren’t at the “peer pressure” age yet, they might just truly wonder what it is! This age group is so blunt, aren’t they?! If they have never seen something before, they have no filter, and they are going to ask! Remind your preschooler through 2nd grader this, and help them understand that some kids might not have had the chance to try that food yet! In fact, I have found that the kids asking these questions are the ones coming to school with the same thing for lunch everyday…perhaps they are even wishing that they could have a variety of lunch like that.
  • Ask them how they feel about the food. I always ask this question when one of the girls says “so and so asked what this was.” Nine times out of 10, when I ask them how they feel about “that green soup” or a pinwheel roll up, or even olives, my girls have answered, “well I love it” about that food. So we talk about that! Just because other kids might not like something, or don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it! Positively start teaching them about gently standing up for themselves by eating foods they enjoy, even if others think it’s strange.
  • “At home foods” are ok! In the section above, I described some examples of “at home foods” that we have labeled in our house. Leaving some of the “less popular” healthy foods for at home, is totally fine. We want our children to be confident in their food choices, but we don’t have to cross the line!
Lunchbox Packing Tips for Back to School


I’m all ears! If I didn’t hit on a lunchbox issue that you are having, please ask! And if there is something not listed here that you have found helpful with lunchbox packing, please share! Teachers, we want to hear from you too!