The popularity of street food is booming, with a recent Market Report indicating that 94% of people plan to maintain or increase the amount of street food they eat. Many of the world’s top-selling street foods are loved by tiny gourmets as well as older, sophisticated palates.
From jerk chicken to pulled pork, there are so many tantalizing foods to enjoy in New York. Moreover, there is something inherently fun and liberating about approaching your favorite food truck or stand, picking a wide array of items, and enriching your taste experiences. If you have kids and you’d like to ensure that they appreciate street food as much as you do, the following ideas may help!
Street Food With Kids: How To Share The Passion
Visiting Food Fairs
If you want to watch your child’s eyes open wildly and their tummies start to crave sustenance, take them to one of the nation’s biggest food fairs as part of your next vacation.
Some of the biggest fairs and food fests in the US include the New York City Wine and Food Festival, Taste of Chicago, and the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival. When you arrive, make sure to order foods from different countries and regions, creating a picnic that is as colorful as it is flavorful.
Tapping into the Tastes of New York
If you are from NYC, then your kids should definitely tuck into the most iconic foods in their city. On your way to the park, stop by a food truck and catch a waffle from Wafels & Dinges.
For something healthy, try Uncle Gussy’s traditional Greek dishes. For tantalizing burritos and Chosun rice bowls, it’s got to be Korilla BBQ. Aim to visit at least one food vendor a week, creating scoring cards and revisiting vendors that your kids deem five-star.
Recreating Street Food at Home
In order to have a passion for food, it helps to know what it takes to prepare healthy, delicious, quality dishes ranging from fresh salad to crisp on the outside, smooth on the inside meatballs. After you have tried around five to 10 street food dishes, ask your kids which they’d like to recreate and make it happen, even if it means you have to buy equipment like a slow cooker or waffle maker.
Buy a set of dedicated cooking equipment for kids such as small whisks, rolling pins, and kid-friendly knives. Make sure their swag is up to scratch. Ask for their help shopping for aprons and oven mitts. Sartorial kids will be super excited about being able to choose these items in their favorite colors.
Here’s a great video with 11 street food recipes you can make with your kids at home:
Throwing a Street Food Party
Once your kids are sold on the idea of street food, pass the love around. Throw a party for their friends and yours, serving a combination of homemade and purchased delights. You can create cardboard “trucks” for your kids to serve guests from. You can even ask for small donations from guests, with all proceeds going to charity.
Who could say no to a hot dog, burger, or slice of pizza on the go? There is something liberating and exciting about picking and choosing dishes without having to sit down in just one establishment.
To inspire your kids to feel as excited about street food as you are, bring them to your city’s best fairs, stands, and food trucks. Get them excited about preparing as well as buying street food, so their palate grows more sophisticated and they can make fun yet healthy choices in the future.
Tiara Budd lives in New York and is determined to eat (and Instagram!) her way through the city. In her free time she loves exploring new neighborhoods, reading books from the library, and traveling all around the country.