Kids easily get bored of eating the same meals. Try these kid friendly Japanese food your children will absolutely love!
Japanese food is supposed to be the most nutrient rich and healthiest food on the planet. It’s also very tasty! If you’re visiting Japan or moving there with your children, you’re probably wondering how they are going to adapt and like the food.
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One of the things children must definitely experience through travel or moving to a new place is the food there. So set your worries aside, cos there are plenty of kid friendly Japanese food.
I’ve listed a few here, so you’re not constantly in search of a McDonald’s or a continental grocer.
Check out the best kid friendly Japanese food that you must definitely make your children try!
Kid Friendly Japanese Food
The first dish on our list of kid friendly Japanese food is the Miso soup!
This is one of those traditional dishes that you will see all Japanese children eating. Miso is so healthy and light that quite often it is eaten first thing in the morning for breakfast. The soup is the tastiest blend of soybeans and koji.
This comes in the form of a paste (Called miso paste), which is then mixed with tofu and scallions in a hot broth. You can add veggies and seaweed to up the nutrition levels.
Did you know that miso soup is a wonderful probiotic, apart from being a rich source of proteins, antioxidants and vitamins? This is one dish that can strengthen your child’s immune system, protect them against diseases, keep their gut healthy and their skin and hairy glossy and shiny!
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Curry and Rice
The next dish in our list of kid friendly Japanese food is curry and rice!
There’s nothing simpler and more appealing than a dish of curry and rice. This seems to be a favourite with children across the world, especially during travel, as it’s very versatile.
You can adjust the spices to your liking, add whatever vegetables you want and eat it with or minus the meat. It’s also a dish that is easy to find when you’re traveling across Japan.
Depending on what the curry contains, this dish can be very healthy and nutritious. The only problem is this can get a bit messy when toddlers are allowed to eat by themselves. Another alternative is to simply serve plain rice with some crunchy veggies if that’s what your child prefers.
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The next one in this list of kid friendly Japanese food is Gyoza!
This is more Chinese than Japanese but with a lot of influence from the former, you will find Gyozas across restaurants in Japan. Derived from the Chinese Jiaozi, these are dumplings that are filled with meat and herbs, wrapped in a pastry and pan-fried.
They are very tasty and carry the goodness of all the ingredients. The filling can be very hot if you bite into them as soon as they are served, so make sure to let them cool for a while before digging in.
If your children are very young, you can break up the gyozas to help them cool quicker. These dumplings are served with dipping sauces, but they taste good by themselves. Whether your children want to eat them with the sauces depends on how much they like to explore.
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The next kid friendly Japanese food we’re going to talk about is, my favorite, tempura!
Battered and deep fried chicken, fish, shrimp and veggies are something you can never go wrong with. Feed these to your kids as a snack when you’re on the go or as a side when you’re sitting down for a meal.
Since they are deep fried, they do contain some amount of fat. However, when compared to Western deep fried dishes, tempura is healthier as the batter is very thin and it is lightly deep fried. This crunchy Japanese dish is a great way to get your kids to eat some protein easily.
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This is probably the healthiest kid friendly Japanese food to give your kid!
The sweetish taste of the young soy beans mixed with the slightly salty taste from the water it is blanched in, is so appealing as a snack! Always carry a box of blanched edamame for your kids to munch on when you’re traveling, to keep their focus away from chips and cookies.
It has plenty of fiber and can keep them full for long hours. Edamame is also quite customizable, so you can add your kid’s favorite seasoning on it. Maybe even carry a dip if they like it that way. If cooking these at home is not really possible, almost every restaurant in Japan serves a side of edamame.
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The next kid friendly Japanese food is loved by everybody! – onigiri!
You can have so much fun with onigiris! These are soft Japanese rice balls that you can stuff with various fillings and wrap it up in some nori seaweed. Kind of like sushi, but different. Traditionally they come in triangular or cylindrical shapes.
My favourite stuffing is some spicy tuna and fresh cucumber, with a dash of creamy mayo. Children love onigiri because they can be shaped into so many fun shapes. The easiest are geometrical shapes, of course, but you can get creative and try shaping them into your kid’s various superheroes!
I’m sure that will earn you plenty of brownie points with your little one. Some of the best fillings for onigiri are grilled salmon, tuna, cod roe and vegetables. You can make this as healthy as you can depending on what you put into it.
Our next food on this list of kid friendly Japanese food is teriyaki chicken!
Just the thought of anything Teriyaki makes my mouth water. This is a fantastic Japanese dish for your kids too, because it’s absolutely heavenly, and easily pairs with rice, in a sandwich, or can be eaten by itself.
Teriyaki sauce contains soy, garlic, ginger, onions and other spices, along with a dash of brown sugar to even out the taste. This is coated on chicken and veggies. You can easily make this at home by barbecuing the meat or conveniently pick it up at a restaurant.
While the sauce by itself may not be very healthy, remember it’s only coating the meat and veggies from which your kids get their nutrition.
I love this next kid friendly Japanese food we’re listing – Tamago Sushi! YUM!
Tamago sushi is a great way to introduce your child to the much loved Japanese dish, sushi. This is basically egg, prepared like an omelette but sweetened. It has a rich, custard-y texture.
It is then sliced into rectangles and wrapped together with sticky rice in a Nori seaweed.
This is food that is rich in protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals. The dish has some seriously complex flavours but is very enjoyable.
While the adults munch on some lip smacking sushi rolls, your kids can be treated to some delicious tamago sushi. If your child is too young, you can cut up each roll into bite sized pieces for convenience.
Of course this dish had to make the ‘kid friendly Japanese food’ list!
You’re in Japan, so why not the real deal?! If you aren’t Japanese, it might have taken you some time to develop a liking for this popular dish, but children can surprise you. If you’re wary of feeding your kids raw fish, start them off with vegetables and cooked meat stuffing.
I would personally stay away from the wasabi, but if your kids are adventurous, there is no harm in introducing them to it. If they like sushi, your life in Japan will be very easy cos this is a dish you can get wherever you go.
It is also very healthy as it is packed with the nutrition and energy from rice, the seaweed and the veggies and fish you use.
Though not a dish by itself, bento boxes are super fun, especially for older kids. It is also very convenient for adults cos you can customise it the way you like. Bento boxes are basically an assortment of foods that you can mix and match, and you can make them as nutritious as you like. You put together a main dish of carbs, like rice or noodles.
Pair them with proteins that your kid likes, choosing between chicken, eggs, any kind of meat or fish. Add cooked or blanched and seasoned vegetables to add in the vitamins and make it a balanced meal. Children also get a variety of foods, each of which contributes to good health.
If you’re wondering how to put this together when you’re traveling, don’t worry, most convenience stores in Japan carry bento boxes that you can purchase. They are even available in railway stations.
My all time favorite kid friendly Japanese food is hands down Udon noodles!
I’ve yet to come across a kid who doesn’t like noodles. Well, show me an adult who doesn’t like noodles. I, for one, love noodles and so do all the children I’ve met. Udon is a dish with thick noodles.
The noodles are chewy, which is very enjoyable. These noodles are made of wheat. Now, I do agree that this isn’t quite the healthiest dish, but once in a while it’s nice to have something simply for pleasure.
Udon is served in a hot broth of vegetables and meat. Be careful to cool it down first before giving your child otherwise it could cause serious burns.
Since it comes loaded with meat, it’s a good way to get protein into your child’s diet. You could also add some greens and other veggies to encourage them to eat their veggies. For toddlers who like to eat by themselves, the noodles can be served separately without the broth.
Cut them up so they are easy for the babies to pick them up off their plate and direct them into the mouth.