Vietnam Family Trips: 12 Delicious Vietnamese Foods for Kids

Jul 04, 2024

When planning a family trip to Vietnam, one of the most exciting aspects for both parents and children is exploring the country’s rich culinary heritage. Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and healthy cooking methods, making it an excellent choice for introducing kids to new tastes. In this article, we’ll explore 12 delicious Vietnamese foods for kids that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters during your family adventure.

vietnamese foods for kids Kids try banh mi

Vietnamese foods for kids offer a perfect balance of familiar and exotic flavors, allowing children to expand their palates while still enjoying comforting meals. From savory street food to sweet treats, these dishes will not only nourish your little ones but also provide them with a cultural experience they’ll never forget.

12 Vietnamese foods for kids

Banh mi

Banh mi is a perfect introduction to Vietnamese foods for kids. This French-inspired sandwich combines the familiar concept of bread with exciting Vietnamese flavors. The crispy baguette is filled with a variety of ingredients, making it a versatile option for kids with different preferences.

For a child-friendly version, opt for simple fillings like grilled chicken or pork, cucumber slices, and a light spread of mayo. The combination of textures – crunchy bread and fresh vegetables – makes banh mi an engaging eating experience for kids. Parents can gradually introduce more traditional elements like pate or pickled vegetables as children become more adventurous eaters.

vietnamese foods for kids banh mi for kids


Pho, Vietnam’s national dish, is a comforting noodle soup that kids often enjoy. The mild broth, tender rice noodles, and thin slices of beef or chicken make it an approachable dish for young palates. For children who might be hesitant about trying new foods, pho can be customized to their liking.

Start with a simple version containing just noodles, broth, and their preferred protein. As they grow more comfortable, encourage them to add herbs like basil or cilantro, bean sprouts for crunch, and a squeeze of lime for extra flavor. The interactive nature of assembling their own bowl can make the meal more engaging for kids.

vietnamese foods for kids pho for kids

Bun cha

Bun cha is a Hanoi specialty that can be fun and tasty Vietnamese foods for kids. This dish consists of grilled pork patties served with rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a dipping sauce. The slightly sweet and savory flavor of the pork is often appealing to children.

To make it more kid-friendly, serve the components separately, allowing children to assemble their own portions. This hands-on approach can make mealtime more exciting and encourage kids to try new ingredients at their own pace.

Goi cuon

Goi cuon, or fresh spring rolls, are an excellent choice for Vietnamese foods for kids. These translucent rice paper rolls are filled with shrimp, pork, fresh vegetables, and herbs. The see-through wrapper can be intriguing for children, allowing them to view the colorful ingredients inside.

Consider setting up a DIY spring roll station where kids can choose their own fillings and practice rolling. This interactive experience not only makes the meal fun but also encourages children to experiment with different ingredient combinations.

vietnamese foods for kids spring rolls for kids

Com tam

Com tam, or broken rice, is one of the comforting Vietnamese foods for kids that often appeals to children due to its simplicity. The dish typically consists of fractured rice grains served with grilled pork, a fried egg, and some vegetables. The soft texture of the broken rice can be particularly appealing to younger children.

For a kid-friendly version, focus on mild-flavored toppings and serve the fish sauce-based dressing on the side. This allows children to control the flavor intensity of their meals.

vietnamese foods for kids com tam for kids

Com ga

Com ga, or chicken rice, is a straightforward and satisfying dish that many kids enjoy. The mild flavors of poached chicken and fragrant rice make it an excellent choice for children who prefer simpler tastes. Boiled chicken shredded into soft, thin strips, added with a little broth like fish sauce or soy sauce, will be a perfect food choice for a family trip.

The dish is often served with a small bowl of chicken broth on the side, which can be a comforting addition. You can find the most famous chicken rice dish in Vietnam in the ancient town of Hoi An. However, your family can also discover delicious chicken rice at various places all over Vietnam.

Banh xeo

Banh xeo, often described as a Vietnamese crepe or pancake, can be an exciting dish for kids to try. These crispy, savory pancakes are filled with pork, and shrimp. Banh xeo is typically sliced into bite-sized pieces, making it perfect for wrapping in rice paper along with an assortment of fresh herbs and vegetables. The dish is served with a tangy local dipping sauce, often enhanced with thinly sliced chili and garlic for an extra kick.

The crispy texture and interactive eating style – wrapping pieces of the pancake in lettuce leaves – can make banh xeo a fun meal for children. For younger kids, you might want to prepare a simpler version with just one or two fillings.

vietnamese foods for kids banh xeo for kids

Banh trang cuon thit heo

Banh trang cuon thit heo, or rice paper rolls with pork, is another interactive dish that kids often enjoy. Similar to goi cuon, these rolls allow children to participate in the preparation process. The key difference is that the rice paper is often left dry, and diners dip it in water to soften it before adding fillings.

This dish can be an excellent way to introduce children to a variety of Vietnamese herbs and vegetables. Set up a spread of different ingredients and let kids create their own combinations.


Xoi, or sticky rice, is a versatile dish that can be served sweet or savory. The chewy texture of the glutinous rice is often appealing to children. Sweet versions, topped with mung bean paste, coconut, and sesame seeds, can be a delightful treat for kids.

For a more substantial meal, try savory xoi with toppings like chicken, Chinese sausage, or fried shallots. The colorful presentation of xoi can make it visually appealing to young eaters.

vietnamese foods for kids xoi for kids

Nem chua ran

Nem chua ran, or fried fermented pork rolls is a popular street food that can be a hit with kids who enjoy crispy textures. These bite-sized morsels are made from a mixture of ground pork and pork skin, which is fermented, then battered and deep-fried until golden and crunchy.

The tangy, savory flavor combined with the crispy exterior makes nem chua ran an addictive snack for many children. It’s often served with a sweet chili dipping sauce, which adds an extra layer of flavor. For kids who might be hesitant about trying fermented foods, the familiar crispy texture can make this dish more approachable.

vietnamese foods for kids nem chua ran


No list of Vietnamese foods for kids would be complete without mentioning che, a category of sweet dessert soups and puddings. These treats come in a wide variety of flavors and textures, from the chewy tapioca pearls in che troi nuoc to the refreshing fruit-based che hoa qua.

Many children enjoy the sweet flavors and interesting textures of che. It can be a great way to end a meal or as a cooling snack on a hot day. Some popular kid-friendly options include che ba mau (three-color dessert) and che chuoi (banana che).

vietnamese foods for kids Vietnam sweetsoup

Tao pho

Tao pho, or tào phớ in Vietnamese, is a sweet tofu pudding that’s a favorite dessert among many Vietnamese children. This silky-smooth treat is made from very soft tofu served in a sweet ginger syrup, often topped with tapioca pearls or other jellies for added texture.

The gentle, creamy texture of tao pho makes it an excellent Vietnamese foods for kids, especially those who might be new to tofu. For kids who enjoy hands-on eating experiences, you can let them add their own toppings to the tao pho, such as colorful jellies or sweet beans. This interaction can make the dessert even more fun and encourage them to try new flavor combinations.

vietnamese foods for kids tao pho


Are Vietnamese foods safe for kids to eat?

Yes, Vietnamese foods are generally safe for kids to eat. However, as with any cuisine, it’s important to be aware of potential allergens and to ensure that food is prepared hygienically, especially when eating street food.

How can I encourage my kids to try new Vietnamese foods?

Start with familiar flavors and gradually introduce new tastes. Make meals interactive by letting kids assemble their own dishes. Also, lead by example by trying new foods yourself and showing enthusiasm for the cuisine.

Are there vegetarian options among Vietnamese foods for kids?

Absolutely! Many Vietnamese dishes can be made vegetarian. Options like vegetable pho, tofu banh mi, and vegetable spring rolls are great choices for vegetarian kids.

How spicy are Vietnamese foods for kids?

While some Vietnamese dishes can be spicy, many are mild and can be adjusted to suit children’s preferences. Always ask about spice levels when ordering and request less spicy versions for kids if needed.

A perfect journey to explore Vietnam with family:

On your next family trip to Vietnam, don’t hesitate to explore these delicious Vietnamese foods for kids. You might be surprised at how quickly your little ones develop a taste for this vibrant and healthy cuisine. Who knows? You might even find yourself with a young pho connoisseur or banh mi enthusiast in the making!

Ready to turn your kids into little Vietnamese food enthusiasts? With Asia Encounter by your side, you’re in for a treat – literally! Remember, this isn’t just about trying new foods. It’s about creating memories, broadening horizons, and having a blast while you’re at it. So go ahead, book that trip with Asia Encounter, and get ready for a delicious adventure with your loved ones.


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