Exotic Thailand will capture your heart and imagination. A land of ancient monuments and white sand beaches, vibrant cultural heritage and thriving floating markets, traveling Thailand with kids leads to new cultural insights and perspectives.
Of course, one of the greatest pleasures of travel is the chance to try new cuisine, and Thailand doesn’t disappoint in this area either. Truth be told, the country boasts some of the best food in the world.
But what happens when you’re thousands of miles from home and your kids want a little comfort food? No worries! Thai cuisine includes many delectable dishes sure to put a smile on even the pickiest eater’s face.
When it comes to Thailand for children, here’s our rundown of the best kid-tested, parent-approved eats for kids on the go in the “Land of Smiles.”
Quintessential Thai Comfort Food
You may think you know fried rice from Chinese restaurants, but you and your kids definitely need to give the Thai version a try. Not only is Thai fried rice super easy to find as a regular staple of Thai restaurant menus, but its subtle, savory flavors and familiar appearance will entice your kids into giving it a try.
Thai fried rice comes packed with vegetables and bits of stir-fried egg. You can also get it with chicken, shrimp, crab, and pork depending on what your little one likes.
Just remember that shrimp fried rice may not always be completely shelled, and you should expect the tail to be attached. As for crab fried rice, you may find the occasional tiny piece of inner or outer shell in the dish. So, stay vigilant, especially when feeding this food to small children.
What’s Not to Love About Sticky Rice?
Whether you opt for a savory dish such as Thai grilled chicken or a sweet one such as mango sticky rice, your kids will fall in love with sticky rice. And, from its funny name to its finger-licking-good taste, what’s not to love?
After all, sticky rice entitles kids to play with their food. How does sticky rice etiquette work? First, kids need to break off a small chunk. Then, they need to roll it into a ball. Finally, they need to dip it into an accompanying food and put it in their mouth. Making it the perfect hands-on eating experience!
Like fried rice, sticky rice proves a staple on Thai restaurant menus. You’ll also find it sold at street stands. If you go with grilled chicken and sticky rice, watch out for possible bone fragments, especially when feeding younger children. Thai cooks cut up chickens using cleavers, and so you may find an occasional piece.
Don’t Forget the Children’s Curry
Let’s face it. From green and red to panang, Thai curries taste amazing. But they can prove too fiery and spicy for children’s palates. (And for those of some adults, too!) Fortunately, you don’t have to forego curry when traveling Thailand with family. And your kids don’t have to avoid it either. You just need to know what to ask for.
Massaman curry represents a go-to menu item for children. In fact, Thais think of it as “children’s curry” because of its mild flavors, lack of spiciness, and sweet melding of flavors. The sweetness comes from its creamy sauce, made from a peanut base.
Curry recipes vary from one cook to another. So, to be on the safe side, specify mai pet (literally “not spicy”) when ordering this menu item in Thailand with kids.
And More Comfort Food
Thai cuisine abounds with comfort food. Some of it hints of old favorites back home, and you can use this to your advantage when presenting new foods to your kids. For example, one of Thailand’s most popular street foods proves luk chin or Thai meatballs. You can find them grilled or added to noodle soups.
They’ll satiate your kid’s growling stomach quickly, and you can make them seem less intimidating by referring to them as the aforementioned “Thai meatballs.” While finding luk chin in restaurants may prove challenging, they’re a common item sold by street vendors. Find out more about street food eating as well as tips for avoiding upset stomachs.
Finally, kao tom remains a popular rice soup that’ll have your kids thinking about chicken noodle soup. They’ll enjoy this little taste that approximates home, and you’ll rest happy knowing they’re eating healthy cuisine.
Eats in Thailand for Children
When it comes to child-friendly cuisine, you’ve got lots of options when traveling with kids through Thailand. From restaurant staples such as fried rice and sticky rice to street food favorites like luk chin, these comfort foods will satisfy your kids while allowing them to explore Thai cuisine.
Ready for some delectable Thai eats? Join us on our upcoming Thailand and Cambodia Family Adventure, an immersive, authentic way to experience Thailand for children. And while you’re at it, download our free Around the World in 12 Recipes cookbook. Featuring kid-friendly recipes, your whole family will delight in preparing and enjoying these international flavors together.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.