From prata to ice kachang, here’s a quick guide to ordering Asian food for kids in the local hawker market or food court.
If you’re new to the game or happen to show up in time for the lunch rush, hawker centres and food courts can be quite intimidating places to eat, especially if you have kids in tow. What to get? Where to order? How to get a table? And where exactly are the drinks? To make things a little simpler, check out this handy Top 10 list of hawker and food court items that your kids will love.
|1.||Roti Prata – Not the healthiest dish on the menu but kids lap it up. Order it with egg or banana for nutrition (but we all know cheese tastes the best!).|
|2.||Chicken Rice – A simple dish with simple ingredients|
|3.||Cut fruit – These stalls offer kiwis, mangos and tropical fruits on a stick.|
|4.||Wonton Dumpling Soup – Children love the bite-sized, dinky parcels.|
|5.||Fried Rice – Particularly pineapple-fried rice with its added sweetness.|
|6.||Thosai – Kids love the epic size of these Indian pancakes.|
|7.||Sushi – Particularly the egg, crab and tuna rolls. Japanese miso soup is a good slurper, too!|
|8.||Popiah – A thin paper crepe or pancake stuffed with cooked vegetables or meat. When deep-fried, it is a spring roll, but if left raw, it is popiah.|
|9.||Bee Hoon – Fried rice vermicelli and vegetables.|
|10.||Kaya toast and eggs – A quick and hearty breakfast.|
For drinks, try soy milk, calamansi lime juice or the many different fresh juices. Singapore’s desserts are even more colourful – literally – than the main courses. They’re hot or cold, sticky or clear, wobbly or firm, healthy or sinful. Try the well-known ice kachang – a Malaysian dessert with ice, syrup, jelly and fruit. The kids will like to play with it if nothing else!
A guide by cuisine:
Kids love the many varieties of Indian bread, including chapati, prata, murtabak and naan. These breads are often crispy, come with a curry dip and have meat or sweet fillings that the kids can choose. Serve with a mild murgh makhani aka butter chicken.
Chicken and beef satays are always a hit with the kids! The peanut dipping sauce is reminiscent of crunchy peanut butter and tastes great with these meat skewers. But those with nut allergies should beware.
Let the kids sample fried noodles, fried rice, noodle soup, sweet and sour pork, and, of course,Singapore’s famousHainanese chicken rice. These dishes are mild and serve as great introductory foods to Chinese cuisine.
Tread lightly with Thai dishes as most dishes will simply be too hot. Spring rolls with sweet Thai chili sauce on the side are a good choice.
Don’t forget about desserts! Banana fritters and mango sticky rice are kid-friendly post dinner treats as are many tropical fruits, such as pomelos, lychees and rambutans, especially when pitted and cut into bite-size pieces.
If you expose children to new tastes and textures at a young age, they will slowly build their palates to find different cuisines acceptable as they grow.
Check out child-friendly food courts at The Windmill at Holland Village, Tanglin Mall, Great World City, Parkway Parade, Plaza Singapura and of course, La Pau Sat!