We all understand finding Thai food for kids during your holiday in Thailand can be a bit challenging. In this article, we cover what we believe are your best and safe Thai food options to let your kid still experience Thai cuisine. We only included food that looks appealing through the eyes of a kid, that is not spicy at all and has familiar flavours for kids with a Western taste palate (with one or two exceptions there). Another requirement is that all the Thai food for kids listed in this article should be easily available throughout the country.
The 20 best Thai food for kids are:
1. (Pineapple) Fried Rice
The most accessible Thai food for kids is in our opinion fried rice. This straight-forward dish is a popular and easy meal for everyone as the flavours are simple, easy to eat and not spicy at all. There are countless of variations possible, from red curry flavoured fried rice to even American fried rice, which is served with a hot dog and, egg and fried chicken. But simple fried rice with small bits of chicken and a handful of tiny vegetables is perfect Thai food for kids. A great alternative is Pineapple Fried Rice, where the fried rice is served in a pineapple, which gives the fried rice a subtle sweet flavour. Keep in mind that Pineapple Fried Rice often is served with grilled prawns, something most kids don’t really like.
Pineapple Fried Rice
Grilled, marinated pork or chicken on a skewer often served toasted bread and always served with a relatively sweet and non-spicy peanut sauce. For many kids, these skewers look and taste familiar and are, therefore, one of the all-time-favourites Thai food for kids. Satay can be found in the majority of local Thai restaurants as well as in street food areas, such as evening markets. But we advise not let your kid eat street food, due to hygiene issues.
Satay with Toast
3. Pad Thai
Many tourists believe that Pad Thai is Thailand’s most favourite dish, but in reality, dishes such as pad kra pao are much more popular. One of the reasons is because Pad Thai is not spicy at all and that is the exact reason why it’s so popular among tourists and also great Thai food for kids. These famous noodles are rather sweet and salty than spicy unless you add chilli flakes to it what most Thai do. Usually, Pad Thai is served with prawns, however, chicken and vegetarian options are pretty common too, making it an even more accessible Thai dish for kids. For more information, check out our article about the best Pad Thai in Bangkok.
4. Chicken Cashew
For a little more flavour and vegetables compared to dishes such as Fried Rice, Chicken Cashew is a great alternative to let kids explore Thai food. Chicken Cashew is salty and sweet and most important, not spicy. Chunks of chicken are stir-fried, together with vegetables such as pepper bell and finished soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. To make sure the dish is not spicy at all, ask the waiter for “Mai Phet, Khrap”, which means not spicy in Thai. Chicken Cashew can be found in almost every local Thai restaurant.
5. Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings are as familiar as you can imagine. A thin layer of batter is deep-fried until crispness and the wings are often served with a sweet chilli sauce. The big difference between western chicken wings and Thai chicken wings is that the Thai chicken wings are very lean. The chicken wings can be served with steamed rice, however, sticky rice is actually more delicious for grilled and deep-fried meats. Chicken wings can be found in almost every local Thai restaurant.
6. Grilled Chicken
For a larger appetite, Thai grilled chicken is a great food option for kids. The small chicken breast or chicken thigh gets grilled above a charcoal barbecue and gets that typical smokey flavour. As this Thai dish is a popular dish in the Esan Cuisine, the northeastern part of Thailand, it’s usually served with a spicy dipping sauce names jaew sauce. But the grilled chicken is very delicious without the dipping sauce as well. As mentioned before, try sticky rice instead of steamed rice with grilled meats. Make sure to visit SP Chicken in Chiang Mai to enjoy the best grilled chicken of the north.
7. Egg Noodles with Wonton
Thailand has plenty of noodle dishes to choose from, however, not every bowl of noodles (soup) looks as appetizing for kids as they should. Egg noodles with wonton are, in our opinion, the safest option. These noodles can be ordered dry or as a soup and are relatively flat in flavour with no chillies or other extreme spices added. Also, the wontons do look much more appetizing than chunks of boiled meat, which you often see in other noodle soups. One of the best places in Bangkok to get Egg Noodles with Wonton is Bamee Khon Sae Lee. More inspiration can be found in our article about the best noodles and noodle soups in Bangkok.
Egg Noodles with Wonton
8. Fried Pork or Crispy Pork
One of the all-time favourite dishes among Thai kids is Moo Tod or Fried Pork. The pork is either sun-dried or placed in a low-temperature oven for a couple of hours after being marinated with garlic and black pepper. Because of the dryness, the texture of the pork becomes sticky, almost like candy. Then the pork gets deep-fried. The deep-fried pork is served with (sticky) rice and is a savoury, easy to eat Thai treat.
Another way of preparing pork that is a great way for kids to explore the Thai cuisine is crispy pork. The fried out pork fat does have a distinctive taste. We admit, this is probably not the most familiar taste they will try, but it’s crunchy, savoury and served with a sweet soy sauce. Check out our article about the best crispy pork in Bangkok for more information about this delicious Thai dish.
The following two dishes are made with chilli, however, can be ordered in a less-spicy version as they simply add more palm sugar, coconut milk and sometimes a dash of water too is to make the spiciness go away. If you absolutely don’t want your kid to eat spicy Thai food, the following two dishes can be disregarded. An alternative is Massaman Curry, however, Massaman Curry does have a lot of unfamiliar ingredients for the young western taste palate such as star anise, cloves and cilantro seeds.
9. Penang Curry
Penang Curry is the least spicy and the sweetest curry between green curry, red curry and Penang curry. But that does not mean the curry is not spicy at all, so make sure to order Penang curry the non-spicy way for your kids by saying “Mai Phet, Khrap”. Other than the spiciness, the curry is in our opinion the most straight-forward Thai curry there is and a popular dish for all tourists as the flavours are somewhat familiar for the western taste palette. The Penang curry is creamy and goes perfect with steamed rice.
10. Khao Soi
When it comes to appealing Thai dishes, the popular Northern-Thai curry Khao Soi is one of the winners. The bright orange curry is served with a chicken drum stick and topped with crunchy fried noodles. Similar to the Penang Curry, Khao Soi has flavours that are somewhat familiar for the western taste palette, making it probably the most popular Thai dish for tourists. Make sure to order a non-spicy version for your kids. Khao Soi is also a great alternative to other dishes as it’s not served with rice, but with noodles. If you are in Bangkok, make sure to visit one of the highly recommended places listed in our article about the best Khao Soi in Bangkok. If you are planning to visit Chiang Mai, check out our article about the best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai.
Khao Soi Chicken
The following recommended Thai dishes for kids are desserts or sweet snacks.
11. Mango Sticky Rice
Mango sticky rice is the all-time favourite Thai dessert for basically every tourist, because of it’s simplicity and deliciousness. Ordering this hugely popular dessert during mango season is an absolute must and kids will love it. The mango is carved into thinner pieces and served with sweetened sticky rice. The best part is the lukewarm sweetened coconut milk that you pour over the mango and the rice. You and your kids will probably end up eating this treat at least ten days in a row. If you are in Bangkok, make sure to visit one of the popular places listed in our article about the best mango sticky rice in Bangkok.
Mango Sticky Rice
12. Kanom Krok
Kanom Krok is small, deep pancakes filled with coconut filling which are deliciously sweet and slightly savoury. This is another hugely popular Thai snack and is typical street food. At every market or street food area in Thailand, you will find several Kanom Krok vendors. There are a few different variations of Kanom Krok, as these little pancakes are finished with corn, spring onion and taro, which only add a subtle flavour to this treat.
13. Thai Banana Roti
Similar to Kanom Krok, Thai Banana Roti is a typical Thai street food treat that kids simply love. The roti is a little bit greasy but so damn delicious. Inside the roti, you will find warm, sliced banana and the roti is covered in condensed milk and chocolate sauce. The square, banana filled treat is sliced in nine pieces, making it excellent to share it together. Thai Banana Roti can be found throughout Thailand in every tourist area, street food area and night market.
Thai Banana Roti
14. Coconut Ice Cream
During a hot day in Thailand, a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream is something we all want, no matter if you are a kid or not. Coconut ice cream is typical Thai and can be found in almost every Thai restaurant. A scoop of this deliciousness is always welcome and the ice cream is usually served with unsalted peanuts. If you really want to experience amazing coconut ice cream, head over to Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream in Bangkok, which is located near Khao San Road. This lady serves the best coconut ice cream in town and has several other delicious flavours in her shop. If you are planning to visit the famous weekend market Chatuchak in Bangkok, you will find several vendors selling original Thai coconut. For more information, check out our article about the best food at Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Coconut Ice Cream
15. Nom Sod
By the time you are reading this part of the article, you probably noticed that the Thai desserts and snacks are really simple. Nom Sod is another great example of simplicity at its finest. Nom Sod is toasted sweet bread covered in a spread. Usually, the spread is a chocolate sauce or pandan spread. One of the best places to get nom sod in Thailand is at Mont Nom Sod, which has several branches in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai. Like all the Thai desserts and treats, Nom Sod is not nutritious, but your kids are going to love it! More information about Mont Nom Sod can be found in our complete review of Mont Nom Sod.
16. Kluay Tod - Fried Banana
A lesser-known Thai dessert is Kluay Tod, or simply fried banana. The bananas are dipped in a batter and deep-fried until golden crisp. Sometimes the banana is even served with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Kluay Tod is not as easy to find as other Thai desserts. If you are in Bangkok, a popular place named Kluai Kluai serves amazing fried banana. Or go to Mook Tao Tueng that is specialized in all sorts of Thai desserts.
Kluay Tod - Fried Banana
17. Lod Chong
Lod Chong is a common Thai dessert that can be found at the majority of local Thai restaurants. It’s a bowl of sweetened coconut milk, crushed ice and green jelly noodles. It’s a light dessert compared to the other Thai desserts and because of the sweetened coconut milk, most kids will love it. If you as a parent ate a little bit too much of spicy Thai food, a bowl of Lod Chong will be an amazing refreshing fire extinguisher for your tongue as well. If you are visiting Chinatown in Bangkok, make sure to stop at Lod Chong Singapore, the most famous Lod Chong seller in Bangkok.
If you want to explore more Thai desserts with your kids, have a look at our article about the best local and affordable Thai desserts in Bangkok. Here, we will give you plenty of more local Thai desserts that you might want to try with your kids. Although these Thai desserts are sweet indeed, they are made with more natural ingredients compared to western desserts such as beans, lotus seeds, ginkgo and water chestnuts.
The following three recommendations are fruits that you won't easily find in western countries but are great to let your kids try.
18. Dragon Fruit
This gorgeous looking fruit that’s packed with nutrition doesn’t actually taste like much, but when it’s served cold, it’s quite a nice refreshment during a hot day in Thailand. Due to its nutritious value and the fact that it does not have much of a taste, it’s easy for kids to eat them and have their daily dose of vitamins in their systems. Dragon fruit can be found in supermarkets and local markets.
Rambutan, related to the lychee fruit, is a fruit that Thai simply love. Once you peeled the rambutan, you can eat the core, which is almost as sweet as candy and is full of nutrition. The spikes on this amazing looking fruit as not sharp at all. Rambutan can be found in supermarkets and local markets.
Guava, or - as Thai name it - farang, is a delicious fruit that is a bit similar to apples but with a bit of a different texture and taste. Fruit vendors all over Thailand almost always sell these light green, round-shaped fruits, next to their watermelon and pineapple. Besides fruit vendors, Guava can also be found in supermarkets and local markets.
Interested in more Thai food? We've published an in-depth article about Bangkok Street Food that covers every aspect regarding this popular topic. The article is partly focussed on Bangkok but contains plenty of general information about street food in Thailand. If you're planning to visit Thailand, it's an absolute must to have a look at our street food guide (completely free). Or check our article about the best food in Bangkok.
There you have it, our Thai food for kids recommendations. You can find all these Thai dishes (except for the fruits), in our food app called TopTravelFoods. Instead of recommending restaurants, we recommend the best food these restaurants serve or the dishes that they are locally famous for. You can also search specifically for dishes, such as all the dishes listed in this article that are great for kids. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is completely free.