Why are these Kid-Friendly Korean Foods?
RICE AND NOODLES
Omelette Rice (Omurice) – My childhood favorite
Omurice is basically fried rice wrapped in an omelette. It’s a simple one-dish meal that can be personalized by including your kid’s favorite meat and vegetables (or maybe hide the non-favorites, haha 😆) in the rice. You can also add a little ketchup art on top. Kids love that! GO TO RECIPE >>
Jajangmyeon (Noodles in Black Bean Sauce)
Jajangmyeon was every kid’s favorite when I was growing up. There’s something about the flavor of the yummy black bean sauce that kids just really love. With my homemade noodles (see my Kalguksu recipe), you can make everything from scratch at home! GO TO RECIPE >>
Gungjung Tteokbokk (Royal Rice Cakes)
A cousin of the spicy tteokbokki, this is a mild version that has the flavors of sweet bulgogi. No kid can resist the wonderful flavors of this dish so give this a try! Great as snacks or even a simple meal. GO TO RECIPE >>
Simple One-Pan Korean Glass Noodles (Japchae)
The classic japchae made in my one-pan recipe. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and just as delicious as the traditional recipe minus the time and hassle. You can also add thinly sliced bulgogi beef or ground beef and/or spinach to this dish if you want to make it even more nutritious. You know how kids LOVE noodles.. you can reduce the sugar amount to make it even more healthy.
- VEGAN Japchae recipe and TRADITIONAL Japchae recipe with Spinach and Beef
IMPORTANT – these noodles spoil quickly in hot weather so please be careful in taking this outside for picnics in the summer.
Kid-Friendly Rice Balls (Jumeokbap)
As you can tell from this photo of snowman rice balls that I made for Christmas, you can have a lot of fun with jumeokbap (Korean Rice Balls) or Rice Triangles. Easy to make, this kid-friendly Korean food and snack item requires minimal ingredients but also so versatile, rice balls are definitely a kid-friendly Korean food that’s great for lunches and snacks (great to eat in the car, on the go) and can be a fun project to do with the kids. You can put in shitake mushrooms, beef bulgogi, tuna salad, or even rinsed and seasoned kimchi.
Kid-Friendly Korean PANCAKES (JEON)
Look at all these jeons and pancakes that you can make for your kids! And we all know kids LOVE jeons because these are mild, crispy and yummy! Also, a great way to hide veggies and when at restaurants, always order these and your kid will be happy.
This jeon soft and mildly sweet which makes it perfect for kids. My daughter is a BIG FAN!
All these Jeons can be served at room temperature which is easy for kids. These kid-friendly Korean foods can also be made ahead of time, refrigerated and reheated. Also making them very convenient to have in your weeknight meal plans. Serve them to your kids as a snack or as part of a meal.
Kid-Friendly Korean SIDE DISHES (BANCHAN)
Korean Potato Side Dish (Gamja Jorim)
This potato side dish recipe uses whole baby potatoes, which has a soft skin that can be left on for a nice chewy texture. That also means less work in the cooking process! But if you want, you can also use peeled potatoes or cubed potatoes. Gamja jorim does not need to be served warm.
Korean Bean Sprouts (Sukju Namul)
This popular Korean side dish is an easy and quick way of preparing mung bean sprouts. It’s gluten-free, vegan, protein- and fiber-rich, and can be added to any of your kid’s meals. Some kids also love Kongnamul (soybean sprouts) but then some kids don’t like the attached soybeans. This is very similar to that except the mung beans are almost not noticeable. Koreans love it as a topping for bibimbap.
Sweet and Salty Lotus Roots (Yeonkeun Jorim)
This is a lunchbox favorite for obvious reasons: the lotus roots are slightly crunchy, sweet, and salty all at the same time! Lotus root is a great source of fiber, Vitamin C, and minerals, so be sure to include this in your kid’s diet.
Korean Potato Salad (Gamja Salad)
Although somewhat similar to the classic American potato salad, Korean potato salad differs with the extra crunch and fresh flavors from the addition of apple and cucumber. Raisins are welcome too if your kids like them.
Sweet and Salty Soybeans (Kongjaban)
Another lunchbox favorite, this side dish is made with black soybeans. It has a good balance of sweet and salty flavors that easily complement other dishes in a meal. You can also use regular white soybeans instead.
Soy Maple Glazed Anchovies (Myulchi Bokkeum)
Korean dried anchovies are loaded with calcium and DHA, an important nutrient for the brain and bones. So a Korean mom always makes sure this banchan is in their kid’s lunchboxes. There are many Koreans (including my husband) who are lactose intolerant so grew up not drinking milk but just on these little anchovies!! You can see how this may be the most beneficial lunchbox item you can make for your growing kid. And the sweet and salty crunch definitely makes this probably the best kid-friendly banchan you can make.
Korean Beef Side Dish (JangJoRim)
Beef brisket (or just chuck) is slow-cooked in sweet soy sauce to make this meaty side dish. When stored properly in the fridge, it can last up to a couple of weeks. Serve it with rice for a complete meal, and use the sauce to make other side dishes. What a great dish for the whole family!
GYERAN JJIM (Steamed Egg)
This soft and nutritious steamed egg is such a great side dish for kids. Just a spoonful of this and rice will get your most picky eaters to eat. And the great thing is that you can finely chop veggies like carrots and hide them in it.
GYERAN MARI (Egg Roll)
This egg omelet is so versatile – you can add your child’s favorite fillings from cheese, ham, seaweed and more. Easy and quick to make, it’s a great last minute add-on banchan to any meal. It was my favorite lunch box banchan and your child will love it.
Radish Soup with Soybean Paste (Mu Doenjang Guk)
This is one of the most comforting soups that Koreans grow up with. It is packed with nice umami flavors thanks to the fermented soybean paste and the radish makes this soup kinda sweet without any addition of sugar. Add some rice to this soup and your child will gobble it up in no time.
Hearty Korean Beef Soup (Gogiguk)
This is one of the simplest and probably most kid-friendly Korean food to make. Clear soups like this can help you introduce solid foods to toddlers. Koreans like to add rice to soup and feed to kids with rinsed (to remove the spicy seasoning) and chopped up cabbage kimchi.
Korean Beef Cabbage Soup
This hearty soup with meat and vegetables can easily be a complete meal when served with rice. It was my daughter’s favorite soup when she was a toddler. She needed a lot of fiber in her diet and this totally did the trick + prune juice.. 😝
Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Gook)
High in iodine, calcium and fiber, seaweed (kelp) is considered a healing food in Korean tradition. Your kids will appreciate that it supports digestion and can help with constipation. This easy recipe highlights the wonderful and delicate flavor of seaweed. Again, mix with some rice and feed some myeolchi bokkeum or rinsed kimchi as a simple side dish.
Pumpkin Porridge (Hobakjuk)
The light and digestible pumpkin porridge is another healing food in the Korean tradition high in Vitamin A and C. With well-cooked and blended pumpkin, this sweet porridge resembles baby food and is naturally sweet from the Kabocha squash that I used here.
Black Sesame Porridge (Heukimja Juk)
Porridge is a good option for young toddlers as it falls somewhere between liquid food and solid food. This one’s filled with calcium- and fiber-rich, tummy-warming black sesame seeds perfect for cold weather enjoyment. I hope you will have a fun time cooking for your kids with these recipes!
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