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Children Soups

This unique category of soups is designed and made for babies and children.  Some Chinese soups contain herbal ingredients that aren’t appropriate for children due to its intense health benefits and potency and is not recommended for children.

The best approach to Chinese soups for children is to use high quality ingredients and limited herbs and additives.   Although there is historic and traditional benefits to using herbs, there is limited scientific and proven information on Chinese herbs and its effects on people (especially children).  So be sure to use herbs in limited amounts and ingredients that you can trust and are 100% sure won’t harm your children.

Below is a list of soups appropriate for children.  As western thinking Chinese, we have given this to our children as young as 8 months.  I know some sites (especially Chinese ones) recommend giving soups to your children as young as 4 months, but we still follow the recommended 6 months (to start solids) according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and many other health organizations.  We will continue to add to this list as our soup database grows.

Soups appropriate for children and babies:

Apple and Corn in Chicken Soup
Black Bean Cuttlefish Soup
Chayotes, Corn with Mushrooms in Pork Broth
Chicken & Veggies – Soup for Beginners
Chicken Herbal Soup
Chicken Soup with Baby Wintermelon and Corn
Chinese Radish with Carrots in Pork Broth
Cooling Wintermelon Soup
Corn with Ham in Turkey Broth
Easy Cream of Corn and Egg Drop Soup
Fish Paste and Lettuce Soup
Fish Tail Soup with Lily Bulb and Carrots
Frog Legs with Wintermelon and Pork Bones Soup
Ham Bone Sour Vegetable Soup
Luo Han Guo and Apricot Kernals with Pork Shank Soup
Old Cucumber Soup with Azuki Beans and Lentils
Old Cucumber with Chinese Yam in Pork Broth
Orange Vegetable Fish Soup
Oxtail and Vegetable Soup
Ox-tail Apple Soup

Papaya and Corn with Yam in Pork Broth
Papaya Fish Soup
Pork Bones and Arrowroot Soup
Pork Bones with Apples and Snow Pears Soup
Pork Bones with Bok Choy and Tofu Soup
Pork Bones with Lotus Root Soup
Pork Bones with Water Chestnut and Arrowroot Soup
Pork Shank with Chayote, Carrots and Corn Soup
Pumpkin, Corn and Chestnuts in Pork Broth
Red Dates and Young Coconut with Fish Tail Soup

Seabed Coconut, Carrot and Corn Soup
Snow Pear and Watermelon Pork Shank Soup
Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup Dessert
Tomato Fish Soup
Vegetarian Arrowroot and Corn Soup
Winter Chicken Soup
Zesty Tomato and Potato Soup

Some things to avoid:

  • The Chinese often use peanuts in their soups.  If you’re concerned with your children having a too early exposure to peanuts (even if they are boiled), then be sure to ask restaurants about peanuts in soups and not to use peanuts yourselves.
  • Chestnuts are also another common ingredient used in Chinese cuisine (and soups).  Although chestnut allergies are less common, they still exist.
  • Tomatoes in soups are another questionable ingredient due to the acidity of the fruit and because tomatoes are considered an allergenic food.  It is recommended to give children tomatoes after one year in age, so it may be best to avoid using tomatoes in soups until they are a year old.
  • Cornstarch as a thickener.  Many sites and a more traditional way of making soups will encourage the use of cornstarch to “thicken” the soup.  This serves no real purpose other than to thicken (which can potentially be a chocking hazard to your baby/child) and has no flavour.  So why add it?  As parents of young children, our motto is to be as natural as possible.
  • Salt.  You should be using minimal salt when making soups for children (even for your family).  Use natural ingredients to enhance flavour and if it’s not salty enough, use salt in moderation.  My thoughts are more, deal with the natural taste because too much salt causes high blood pressure and a slew of other health related problems.


  • Karen says:

    Just wondering if there are still some nutrients in the remaining vegetables after the soup is finished boiling. My family believes that all the nutrients are all in the soup and that the vegetables and meat have no nutritional value.

  • LadyTong says:

    While it’s true that many nutrients are transferred into the soup (for example, the water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C and B-complex, among others), many other nutrients, minerals, and the fiber remains behind. Carbohydrates and protein are also considered “nutritional”. I almost always eat the vegetables, meat, and other edible ingredients from my soups for maximum nutrition. Sometimes, my soup is the entire meal! Hope that helps.


  • Mei Ling says:

    What do you call pork shank, chayote and grass carp in cantonese?

  • LadyTong says:

    It’s difficult to translate in Cantonese because of the tones, but as a native English speaker, here’s my best shot.

    Pork Shank = Jew (Pig) Gzeen
    Chayote = Hup Jeung Gwaa (melon)
    Grass Carp = Wan (to play) Yu (Fish)

    Does that help? Please let me know. If not, we can always record a wave file and just email it to you! 🙂


  • Stiven says:

    I love my soup, Wonderful information
    feels like my mother is next to me

  • Meshelle says:

    My child is 4 years old with mild asthma,nose allergy and skin allergy. I am very lost because Dr said her body is “han” means cold.When i cook ox tail soup for her, she ill get a fever due to over heaty, when i cook lo han guo or chrysantenum tea, she will start coughing with phelgm and Dr said her body is too cold. Please help to recomend a soup for me to cook for her everyday. Thank you!

  • Janice says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    thanks for all the great recipe, will certainly try them out.

    just a short question, im having a 8mth old, for a baby we should be adding salt or sugar into their diet. will you be able to recommend soup that are suitable for a baby under 1yr old?


  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Janice,
    I would not recommend adding salt or sugar unnecessarily to their diet, which is why we use natural sweeteners where possible (ie: dried dates, fruits, dried longans). A few great recipes I gave my children under 1 year old (but already on solids) are:

    Vegetarian Arrowroot & Corn Soup
    Apple and Corn in Chicken Soup
    Pork Bones with Apples and Snow Pears Soup
    Chicken and Veggies – Soup for Beginners

    All of the above contain ingredients safe for an 8 month old. I also didn’t put in any tomatoes yet (as that is recommended for children >1 year old) or anything that contains many herbs. Hope this helps! Lisa

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Meshelle,

    My daughter also has a delicate respiratory system (lungs & throat). Try something more “neutral”. However, to be fair, having phlegm is not a symptom of “cold” – although cough may be. There may be other underlying reasons why she has phlegm – however I am not a doctor, so the best I can recommend is something definitely neutral. Try:

    Chayotes, Corn with Mushrooms in Pork Broth
    Fish Tail Soup with Lily Bulb and Carrot
    Papaya and Corn with Yam in Pork Broth

    There are many neutral soups for everyday consumption. Fish soup is a great one. For phlegm, stay away from red, dried or sweet dates. Also avoid longan meat as that will also create more phlegm. Hope this helps! Lisa

  • Chris says:

    Hello Lady Tong,

    Thanks for the this wonderful website. My family loves the soup I cooked(based on your recipes) : )

    Would you be able to give me some soup suggestions for my almost 3 years old daughter who has bronchitis? She’s on antibiotics now & doesn’t have much appetite.


  • Amanda says:

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I love chinese soup, and always want to make it. They are so good for you and less salty and creamy like other soup. I can’t read chinese and your website makes it so simple and convenient. THANK YOU>!!!

  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for your support! For your daughter, try something more neutral, but packed with nutrients since she doesn’t have much appetite.

    This is a good one – lots of beta carotene and neutral ingredients + sufficient amount of soft starch should she want to nibble. https://www.thechinesesouplady.com/corn-pumpkin-and-carrots-in-fis-broth/

    Here is another neutral soup that is naturally slightly sweet – which I find the kids love! https://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chinese-pumpkin-with-sweet-potato-and-tomato-soup/

    G’luck and wishing her all the best in her recovery!


  • Chris says:

    Thanks for suggestions & well wishes, Lisa. I like the fact that you explain in Mandarin & even show the photos of what ingredients look like your website. Makes it so much easier when I go grocery shopping. My daughter’s doing a lot better and now it’s time to nurse her body back to healthy state. Really appreciate your help. Take care!


  • candy says:

    Hi Lady Tong

    My 16months toddler is down with fever, may i know is there any soup i can make for her, do u think the green radish with carrot soup boil with pork shank helps? my hubby oso quite heaty most of the time… i hope this soup is good for all… thanks

  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Candy,
    Green radish with carrots is a great soup for cooling, although my veggie vendor tells me that if they have a cough, to avoid carrots. An excellent soup can be: https://www.thechinesesouplady.com/vegetarian-arrowroot-and-corn-soup/ . All the ingredients are very neutral and not overly cooling. Hope this helps! Lisa

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    My son has just fracture his arm. Do you have any soup to recommend me to aid his healing?


  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Rachel,
    Warm soups help with healing, so anything with Chicken is a good base. Try the Chicken Herbal Soup or the Chicken Vegetable. As for children, I do try to avoid too many Chinese herbs and use more natural ingredients. In general though, these are soups that are good for the overall body and not necessarily fractures. I hope this helps and I know it’s very general, but specifically for bone fractures, I will have to ask my herbalist for a recommendation. Thanks, LIsa

  • candy says:

    Thank you so much for ur precious recipes… i always refer and cook accordingly (smaller portion for 2-3 person) n it always turn out great… n something new for everyone… u r such a wonderful person who shares… luv ya…

  • Theresa says:

    Hi Lady Tong

    Which soup do you recommend for reducing throat irritation causing mild cough with or without phlegm?



  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Theresa, basically, it sounds like a dry cough you’re talking about (or hacking cough). Try Pig’s lung soups (like this one: Almond and Pig’s Lungs). It is moisturizing and helps reduce coughs. I hope this helps! Lisa

  • Gisela says:

    I was wondering if you would be able to help me. My son has a lot of phlegm build up and he can’t get rid of it. What soup would be the best for him?

  • Shirin says:

    Dear Lady Tong,

    Can I know where to buy Chayote in Singapore?

    Thank you.

  • Wei En says:

    Hi LadyTong,

    My girl’s height is short for age(10 yr old,125cm). Do u recommend peanut root in pork rib soup花生根排骨汤 to het to enhance the height growing?

    Thank you

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Wei En, I’m sorry, unfortunately, I don’t know any soups that help with “height growth”. Our soups are more or less for general health and body conditions (heaty, ill, confinement). Thanks, LIsa

  • May says:

    HI Lady Tong,

    I would like to get your advise that whether can I use the soup for children as a stock (base) of porridge for my baby who now 6mths old?

    or Could u pls advise which soups are ideal stock (base) to cook porridge for my baby?

    Hope to hear you soon.

    Thks & Regards

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear May, the Chicken Herbal Soup (https://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chicken-herbal-soup/) is a good base. It can even be as simple as chicken, Chinese Yam, and dried longans. You can consider leaving out the seafood for a 6 month old, but by 1 year, my kids were OK drinking soups with seafood in it. Another stock I use for porridge is just pork bones/shin soup with carrots, yams and corn. This gives me a good idea to make a post on soup base for children for porridge, so will work on that! Hope this helps! Lisa

  • Von says:

    Hi Lady Tong,
    My 9 months old boy had cough and lots of phelgm and had been on different medication over the last 2 months plus. Condition didn’t seem to improve.
    My usual recipe for blended porridge is pork and/or fish with carrot/pumpkin/potato and spinach/brocolli (with a little garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt). I am thinking of adding some white fungus to aid his lungs.
    Do you think that will help or can you recommend some other recipes?
    Look forward to hear from you.
    Cheers, Von.

  • May says:

    Dear Lady Tong,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. It’s a great help for me. It’s really a good idea

    Look forwards to your post on soup base for porridge of children in the future.

    Thks & Regards.

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Von,

    Another reader said this soup really helped her 15 month year old daughter:


    You can lighten the ingredient weight for a younger child and add more water. Here is a list of soups that helps with coughs:


    Whatever you wouldn’t normally feed your child, don’t put it in soups. Ie: if they aren’t ready for tomatoes (which they usually aren’t until 1 years old according to the American Pediatric Society), then don’t use tomatoes. Hope this helps and all the best! Lisa

  • nicole says:

    dear lady tong, could you please recommend which soup to give my 3 year old son, he has come down with a head cold, blocked nose and cough starting… he has trouble sleeping as he cant breath… I have been making your soups but I need a bit more direction on the best options now he is not well. thanks so much I love your website!

  • Ellen says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    My 5-year-old girl has a surgery scheduled in a week. It has to do with her skull. She will need general anesthesia. Could you recommend some good soups, with or without chinese herbs, for her?

    Also, in general, what type of chinese herbs can I use in her soups? I have bought wolfberries, longan, HUAI2 SHAN1, YU4 ZHU2, NAN2 XING4, lily bulbs, lotus seeds, etc.

    Thanks very much.


  • Kate says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    Definitely gonna try the many soup recipes you have for children, to give my 16 month boy more variety.

    In fact, I landed on your site as I was googling for ‘can I freeze chinese soup’. I’ll be bringing my boy for a short trip and like to find out if I can freeze and pack the soup along? Can you share the detailed steps please?

    Thanks much!

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Ellen, keep it simple is really our motto. Don’t overdo, don’t over “heal” – especially for young children. Everything you’ve mentioned is great – in small portions. Use pork, chicken and fish as basic meats and keep the vegetables simple. Papayas, carrots, corn, Chinese Yam are all great staple soup ingredients and add a handful of longans, wolfberries or dried scallops where the recipes include them. I hope this helps and wish your little girl a quick recovery! Lisa

  • Mavis says:

    My baby of 6 mth has mild eczema, may I know what sort of soup is good for her condition? Thanks very much.

  • Fanny says:

    Hi lady tong

    Can you please suggest which soup that good for kids with constipation ?
    All my kids 5&3 are having ongoing medicine for the constipation.

    Thanks a lot for the web.

  • LindaJasmine says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    My 21 months old toddler has pneumonia. He has lots of mucous in his lung and cough very badly so now he is under antibiotic. He has no appetite to eat anything except soup and I can’t think of any soup that is good for him without worsen his existing condition. Can you suggest any soup that is suitable for him? Thanks.

  • Poh Wai says:

    Hi ladythong,
    My baby just had MMR vaccination and was on high fever. Fever subside and now sore throat , cough and flu. She has been coughing badly and no appetite to eat. She is 1 yr old. Any food or soup that you can recommend? Thank you.

  • This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve
    found something which helped me. Thank you!

  • Genuinely when someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other users that they will
    assist, so here it occurs.

  • Teresa says:

    At last a website that details the benefits of chinese soups! As a Chinese growing up in the west, it is very hard to understand which herbs help with which ailments, especially when my mum cannot translate the meaning! She still makes these beneficial soups, and as a new mum myself, it’s something I would like to implement for the health of my child.

    Please could you tell me which soups are best for a 7 month old baby with eczema.

    Many thanks for a great and informative website! 🙂

  • Liza says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    My son is 3yrs old he has eczema_really dry skin. So you have Ny recommendations on what soup are best for him?

    Thanks so much

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Liza, use anything with snow pears and snow fungus – including dried longans, red dates and dried lily bulbs. I made this soup the other day, but have not yet posted it. I got it from my herbalist at the wet mart and specifically asked for moisturizing teas – it’s ideal for winter conditions and will moisten the body. Stay tuned and hope this helps! Lisa

  • Liz says:

    Hi Landy Tong,

    My kids have some canker sores due to all the BBQ’s this summer. What kind of soup should I make to help them.


  • joyce says:

    Hi hi, may i know which souo is good for toddler constipation?

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Liz, mine (myself included) too! Go with nice winter melon soups, pear and apple pork ribs are good, if they can take it, ginseng soups, or go with teas like chrysanthemums and honey, sweet, dried winter melon candies with water. Here are a few:


  • Rachelle says:

    Hi Lady Tong,

    Many thanks for sharing the great soup recipe. May i know which particular soup can improve the Immune system of 2 or 3 year old toddler as my toddler very hardly fever/cough/flu, however whenever he ate some fried food he will get throat infection and caused to high fever. Heard that – Cordyceps (dong chong xia chao) is very good to boost immunity , do we need to cook that with chicken everytime ? Does it helps ? Or any other Soup Ingredients / Veges help to boost immunity ?

  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Rachelle, to be honest, for my position with toddlers, keep things simple. They don’t need a lot to really heal or “bo” their little bodies. For throat infection, coughs, dry throats, go with something cooling – wintermelon, snow pears and apples are good enough. You can also consider luo han guo and watercress soup – but the luo han guo itself makes a great tea / drink for kids. Keep it light. In general, the Chinese say to avoid chicken soup when they have fevers or cough. I haven’t found out exactly why, but it is a more warming meat than pork. Keep the liquids flowing, as much as possible, high in Vitamin C will help (like watercress, chayotes). Hope this helps! Lisa

  • Helen mok says:

    Hi lady tong,

    My boy is 22 month now, and my father in law bought peanut root and asked me to make soup for him, as i known that peanut root soup is good for kids around 12 – 13 years old. Is it okay if my toddler consume this soup? Thanks

  • Cathy says:

    Dear lady Tong,

    May i know if frog soup is safe for 8 months old? If so, what is the benefit?

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