Teaching kids to love Thai food

User Rating: 4.8 (3 votes)

Although Thai food is undeniably delicious, it’s not always an easy sell to picky eaters, especially if they happen to be new to Bangkok. While young expat children tend to take to the local cuisine almost immediately, older ones are often a bit suspicious at first. It makes sense–children’s taste buds are much more sensitive than an adult’s, and the potent spicy, sour and funky flavors can prove daunting for kids accustomed to a milder Western palate.

Teaching kids to eat Thai food

Even if your kids initially balk at Thai cuisine though, there’s a good chance that they’ll learn to love it. The trick is to start them off with relatively nonintimidating dishes, and gradually work up to less familiar ones. Once your kids become comfortable with the idea of eating the local cuisine, they’ll be wolfing down som tum and pad kee mao thalay in no time.


Why it’s kid-friendly
C’mon, grilled chicken fingers with peanut sauce for dipping? Even if you’re a fussy five-year-old, what’s not to love?

Where to try it
Sukhumvit Soi 38 has all sorts of top-notch street-eats, but their satay is especially tasty. Grab a table and as many orders as you can carry.

Pad See Ew

Why it’s kid-friendly
These stir-fried noodles often get overshadowed by pad thai, but that’s no reason your family won’t love them.

Where to try it
Soul Food Mahanakorn (56/10 Soi Thonglor, Sukhumvit Soi 55; 66-2/714-7708; soulfoodmahanakorn.com) does a slightly sweet, smoky rendition.

Pad Thai

Why it’s kid-friendly
Sweet, crunchy and tangy, this noodle dish’s mass appeal is easy to understand. Ask for it “Mai sai goong heng” if your kids aren’t fans of dried shrimp.

Where to try it
Thip Samai (313 Mahachai Rd.; 66-2/221-6280) or “Gate of Ghosts” restaurant’s pad thai is legendary.

Khai Jiao

Why it’s kid-friendly
This is just an omelet, Thai-style. Try it with pork, or crab, for slightly more adventurous eaters.

Where to try it
Supanniga Eating Room (160/11 Soi Thonglor, Sukhumvit Soi 55; 66-2/714-7508) flies a fluffy, greaseless omelet.

Gai Yang

Why it’s kid-friendly
This grilled chicken looks deceptively plain, making it safe for even the pickiest of kids. By the time they realize it’s packed with flavor from an overnight marinade, they’ll already be hooked. Serve with lots of sticky rice–the ultimate kid-friendly finger food.

Where to try it
There are sensational gai yang stands all over town, but if you’re looking for something farang-friendly with air-con, Kuppa (39 Sukhumvit 16; 02 663 0450; kuppa.co.th) does a surprisingly credible version.

Khao Soi

Why it’s kid-friendly
Fiery curries aren’t always a big hit, but this northern dish is pleasantly mild and creamy. As a bonus, it’s topped with fried noodles which add an irresistible crunch.

Where to try it
Gedhawa (25 Sukhumvit Soi 35; 66-2/662-0501) has a slightly lighter, but no less delicious khao soi.

Khao Niew Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice)

Why it’s kid-friendly
There’s a reason this is a classic. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love it.

Where to try it
The competition is fierce, but Maewaree (1 Soi Thonglor, Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-4304) is unbeatable. Every detail, from the sweet, ripe mangoes to the slightly salty coconut cream to the imported sticky rice is perfection.

Photo Credit: stu_spivack via Compfight cc


Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

Visit us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

1 Comment

  1. Lauren  /  December 28, 2013, 2:38 pm Reply

    Thanks for the tips about Thai food for the first timer kids. I live in London and I just love the Thai food over at Thai square restaurant Thai Square. Thanks for sharing the article again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>