Spanish foods for kids: traditional foods your kids may enjoy on their Spain vacation and kid friendly Spanish recipes to recreate them at home.
Spain was one of the first overseas destinations we visited with our kids.
We went to Palma de Mallorca when my son was 3 and my daughter only 1 and while we were already well versed in traveling with small children, it was the first time we ventured to a place with food significantly different from what we have at home.
And so, we had concerns.
My daughter is very particular when it comes to food (she notoriously stated: I only eat 5 things – bread, pasta, milk, rice cakes, and Weetabix….) so I was more than a little apprehensive about Spanish food.
I love it, but what kid friendly foods would we find in Spain?
To make sure she wouldn’t starve but also to make sure we would be able to go out and enjoy local specialties like we had done pre-kids, I decided the best approach was to research kid friendly Spanish foods before we went and make family friendly Spanish dishes at home to get her used to the flavors.
It worked! While she didn’t magically turned into an adventurous eater, she sure found some good staples that got us going during the holiday.
This is what to expect when it comes to food for kids in Spain, some recipes you may enjoy trying and some info on where to eat in Spain to find child friendly foods.
Where to eat with kids in Spain
Whenever in Spain with the kids, we rely on a variety of food outlets. Beyond cafes and restaurants, we usually go to:
Tapas bars – these are Spanish cafes and small bite restaurants, perfect for both a light snack or a meal. Usually informal and busy, they may have table service or bar service and serve a variety of small plates, usually both savoury and sweet.
Tapas bars worked well for our kids as we could order several small bites rather than committing to a big dish they may end up not liking.
Pastelerias – Pastelerias are pastry shops and they are great for a sweet breakfast or a snack. In pastelerias you find cakes, biscuits, croissants, and they usually serve tea, coffee and juices too.
Markets – Markets can be a wonderful place to find kid-friendly food. Depending on the type of market you go to, you can find produce market where you can buy Spanish fresh produce and meat you can cook yourself at home or you can find markets with a mix of shops and restaurants.
I find these are a perfect go to place for families as different family remembers can order different things and still eat all together around teh same table.
Kid friendly Spanish foods
The Spanish foods our kids enjoyed the most are:
Tortilla de patatas – potato and onion omelette, thick and mild. If your kids love eggs, this is a lovely and nutriciuos meal with proteins and carbs.
Served in small portions, it feels like a snack and you can order without fear of waste and just order more if it goes down well!
Spanish meatballs – meatballs may look and taste familiar and they are a good filling meat based meal that is good for winter and summer.
We usually give them lots of lovely bread for dipping into their luscious sauce (those is tomato sauce are always a huge hit with our kids!)
Tostadas – tostadas is the name of toasted bread and is our go-to kids friendly Spanish food for breakfast. They usually come with butter and marmalade/jam but you also find them offered with olive oil or fish such as anchovies.
Coquetas – these are Spanish potato croquettes (fried), usually served in varieties such as potatoes and chicken, potato and ham or potatoes and mushrooms.
Fried calamari – this was a surprise for us but our kids adored calamari! Fried and with a mild flavor, they ate them like chips although I had not to tell them what they were as they found the idea weird!
Sopa de Picadillo – this is a soup originally from Andalucia made with clear broth, chicken, ham, eggs and vermicelli noodles. This can be a nice change from other types of tapas that are lovely but may tend to be a little dry.
Chuletas de cordero – lamb chops. My kids love lamb and the Spanish version is a delight, usually served in small sizzling portions (be careful as they can be very hot)
Bocadillos – bocadillo is the generic name for sandwiches and the great thing about them is that you have them in Spain pretty much any time of the day.
Savory breakfast are common in spain and so you will find them in our hotel but also I nall tapa bars, pretty much from morning to late night.
They can be orders with ham or cheese to suit most palats.
Pa amb tomaquet – If your kids love fresh tomatoes, this is quite a treat! Slices of lightly toasted bread with crushed tomatoes and olive oil – lovely and refreshing
Cured meats and cheese – cured meat and cheese boards are common in Spain and many kids love their salty flavors.
They are rther different from meats you may find for instance in Italy as they tend to be a little stronger in flavor so it is definitely worth trying and get a taste ofor them at hokme before you go (see ideas on how to create a cured cheese and meat board below)
Paella – Paella is a wonderful nutritious dish originally from Valencia made with rice and a large variety of ingredients, varying form one restaurant or household to the next.
Paella was born as a leftover meal and families would add to the rice whatever has been left over from the week but now you find it in most restaurants and it is a great go to meal for kids who like rice as it is a compete meal all in one plate
Arroz con leche – arroz con leche is the Spanish rice pudding, lovly for kids thanks to its milky texture and taste and a hint of cinnamon
Crema catalana – cream catalana is an egg based dessert with a sweet sugar crust. Not all kids like it as it it a little eggy but those who do, love it!
Churros – churros are a delightful fried treat you find in most of Spain. They are long strips of fried batter covered wit sugar and they are often served with hot chocolate. Wonderful!
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I hope you enjoyed this selection of foods from Spain for kids and you find some new family favorites!