Why are these Kid-Friendly Korean Foods?
RICE AND NOODLES
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.
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.
IMPORTANT – these noodles spoil quickly in hot weather so please be careful in taking this outside for picnics in the summer.
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. CLICK on each photo to go to RECIPE POST.
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.
Some jeon highlights –>
Korean Potato Fritters (Gamjajeon)
To make these delicious fritters, slice the potato, coat the whole slices in batter, and pan fry them. Easy! They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. So much better and healthier for your kids than potato chips in a bag!
Pan-Fried Zucchini Fritters (Hobak Jeon)
My daughter is a big fan of vegetable jeon, especially zucchini jeon. Use small tender baby zucchinis for better flavor and texture.
Potato Pancakes with blended potatoes (also Gamjajeon)
Potatoes are finely grated (or can be chopped using a food processory) then mixed with some flour and salt then just pan-fried in oil. Oh, add some grated onions for extra flavor. I used purple potatoes in this recipe and it turned out amazing! And you know purple potatoes are EXTRA healthy with powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins and flavonoids.
Kid-Friendly Korean SIDE DISHES (BANCHAN)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.