There are plenty of good reasons to serve soup for a family dinner. It can be a fast, easy, and healthy dinner for times when life is extra-busy—a way to lighten up on calories if everyone has been eating heartily and heavily. And if anyone or everyone is fighting a cold or flu, there's just nothing better than a nourishing bowl of hot soup.

Add a loaf of whole-grain bread and you have a dinner everyone will enjoy and feel great after eating.

Store bought

Homemade soup is best of all (and you can find some simple-to-prepare recipes using healthy ingredients and vegetables online), but you can also buy delicious, nutritious ready-made soups in the prepared foods sections of many supermarkets.

Also, if you take the time to shop carefully and read labels, you can find many healthy canned soups too. There are many brands touting themselves as healthy and even organic—some are, some not so much. Always check to be sure canned soup doesn't contain a lot of sodium (some contain as much as 1000 milligrams of sodium!) or artificial ingredients. The more familiar everything on the ingredient list sounds, the better it is for you.