Parents know that hungry kids can be difficult kids. And let’s be honest – hungry adults get in bad moods too!
Feeding children can be one of the most satisfying, but also one of the most stressful parts of parenting – and travelling! So, to avoid the meltdowns, we have listed some of our favorite dishes to try in Peru. While travelling in the country, we can give your kids choices they enjoy, packed full of the nutrients they need, from snacks to dessert, and with the help from our own experts – our Enigma team!
It always feels great to watch your child polish off a healthy and freshly-prepared meal, so we have chosen a few of our favorites for the children or the whole family to enjoy together while in Peru. In this post you will find some general recommendations as well as personal tips from our Enigma family.
Noodles, pasta and tallarines
Noodles form the basis of a huge variety of delicious meals and kids generally love them, so try ordering tallarines verdes, Peruvian-style spaghetti pesto, or pasta with Huancaina sauce. Huancaina sauce, the cheesy cream that serves as the topping for the traditional Papa a la Huancaina as well, is one of those culinary tokens that enhance almost any savory dish.
”I have two nephews who both love noodles! Especially with a huancaína or Alfredo sauce – that’s definitely their favorite dish! They cannot yet cook of course but they already know the basics of the preparation!” Jennifer (Reservations Executive)
Chicken with a side of spice
Experimenting with different flavors is a brilliant part of developing your child’s tastes and Peru offers many healthy, mild dishes that make a great starting point for introducing them to spicier food. One of many favorites among children is Aji de Gallina. Aji de gallina is a delicious Peruvian classic— just very slightly spicy and bright yellow from the famous aji amarillo peppers, and rich from the unusual cream sauce made with cheese, milk and bread. This dish is traditionally served over rice or with boiled yellow potatoes.
“I believe that Peruvian children are already accustomed to our seasonings since they are little but some children are a bit more “special” than others, like my daughter who did not eat anything when she was little! I mean, what Peruvian does not eat potato??” Angela (Travel Designer)
Healthy(ish) fast food
And if they are especially picky eaters – it should be easy to at least get the kids to the table for a burger. Restaurants such as ´Papachos´ offer Peruvian-style burgers that feel like a cheeky takeaway, but are actually packed with nutrients. And then there are of course salchipapas. This staple Peruvian “fast food” dish is exactly what its name indicates: salchichas (sausages) + papas (potatoes). Children are very fond of salchipapas, clearly because they love sausages – in Peru, they are called hot dogs – and of course, who doesn´t love French fries too.
“I do not have kids yet but my nieces love the mini-chef classes at their school (they are 5 years old). They love to prepare causa rellena and salchipapa. The teachers give them all the products already cut or fried and they just have to finish the dish.” Cinthia (Travel Designer)
“Well, in my house the children really like Salchipapas. It is not a typical Peruvian dish but very Latin American.” Geraldine (Travel Consultant/Adventure)
If you want to give your child something a bit special for dessert, but don’t want it to be packed full of sugar, then mazamorra morada, a popular Peruvian dessert made from purple corn and fruit, might be the perfect choice. Or perhaps the much-loved picarones, a type of doughnut but with its principal ingredients being squash and sweet potato. And if your child is craving something more familiar, then Peruvian chocolate is definitely the way to go!
”For desert, my nephews like the mazamorra morada and nougat of doña pepa. One of them learned to make nougat in his school for the first time recently – which he of course really loved!” Jennifer (Reservations Executive)
”As snacks or deserts most children prefer picarones and chocotejas, the traditional Peruvian chocolate truffles that are filled with dulce de leche and fruits or nuts. They just love anything sweet!” Cinthia (Travel Designer)
And let’s not forget the choice of refreshing beverages Peru offers! The favorite cooling-off-drink of many Peruvians is Chicha Morada. Made from purple corn (yes, corn!), it can easily take the place of sodas for the kids, and is much healthier too. But we have to mention Peru´s national soda too: Inca Kola! Inca Kola is as light and colorful as a kid’s birthday party, and its flavor follows suit. It tastes like bubble gum steeped in cream soda. Some kids will love it, others might prefer a glass of chicha morada instead.
”My children absolutely love Chicha Morada!” Silvia (CEO & Founder)
”My nieces are 9 and 15 years old and although they grew up and now live in America, they also lived in Peru for 3 years. They considered the famous Inca Kola to be too sweet for their taste and preferred the typical Sprite or Coca Cola but they did really like chicha morada!” Angela (Travel Designer)
Then there are of course the really healthy staples such as fruit, which can be found around every corner in Peru and makes for a refreshing and healthy snack that’s full of fiber and vitamins.
Whether your child is adventurous enough to try Peru’s national dish Ceviche or prefers the familiar basics such as potatoes and rice, the country’s amazing variety of fresh produce make it relatively easy to satisfy every type of craving. Peru truly offers something for everyone – small or tall, picky or experimental!