Nutritious snacks to energise your kids in Thailand

After a long day at school, what your child needs is a nice bundle of snacks for them to return home to. I remember the days when I would come home from school and munch on treats that my parents prepared for me, whether it was Mantou (Chinese steamed buns), dumplings, or some fruit. As a current college student, there are times when I miss the sweets and treats while debriefing my day with my family. To always come home to some food on the table was one of the highlights of my day.

Whether this is your form of displaying love to your child or just wanting to give them some energy to continue learning, playing, or growing, Thailand has a rich variety of snacks that are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. Here are some nutritious and tasty snacks that can keep kids energised throughout the day.

Nutritious snacks for your child

Fresh tropical fruits: Nature’s candy

Nutritious snack dragon fruit
Photo via pexels (Any Lane)

Thailand is blessed with an abundance of tropical fruits that are both delicious and nutritious. Some popular choices include:

  • Mangoes: Rich in vitamins A and C, mangoes support immune function and eye health.
  • Papayas: High in fibre and antioxidants, papayas aid digestion and boost the immune system.
  • Pineapples: Packed with vitamin C and manganese, pineapples help in energy production and bone health.
  • Dragon Fruit: Low in calories but high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, dragon fruit is great for overall health.

They can be enjoyed fresh, as smoothies, or even frozen for a refreshing treat on a hot day. Coming home to fruits was one of my favorite treats and you can never go wrong with cold and sweet fruits!

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Sticky rice with mango (Khao Niew Mamuang)

nutritious snack mango sticky rice
Imagine was from All Recipes

A beloved Thai dessert that doubles as a nutritious snack, sticky rice with mango combines sweet, ripe mangoes with sticky rice cooked in coconut milk. This snack provides a good balance of carbohydrates from the rice and natural sugars from the mango, offering a quick energy boost. Coconut milk adds healthy fats, making it a well-rounded and satisfying snack for kids.

This is a very simple snack that you can make for your child and if you don’t feel like making it from scratch, they can easily be found in markets and nearby shops. Mango sticky rice is not a new treat to those in Thailand but it’s definitely a dish that will remain a staple as Thailand has an abundance of mangoes!

Rice crackers (Khao Taen)

Nutritious snack Khao Taen rice cracker
Photo via SheSimmers

Rice crackers are a popular snack in Thailand that can be both nutritious and tasty. They are made from rice and often topped with sesame seeds or seaweed and these crackers are light and crunchy. They provide a good source of carbohydrates and can be enriched with additional nutrients depending on the toppings. There are often different types but if you’re looking for a healthier version, choose whole-grain rice crackers for added fibre and vitamins.

These treats are very light and simple for children when you want to give them a small snack while sustaining their appetite for dinner. Make sure to keep track of how many your child has eaten, they are indeed deliciously addicting!

Pandan jelly (Khanom Chan)

Nutritious snack Pandan jelly
Photo via Takes Two Eggs

Who doesn’t like jelly? Khanom Chan is a traditional Thai layered jelly made from pandan leaves, coconut milk, and rice flour. This snack is not only visually appealing with its vibrant green colour but also nutritious. Pandan leaves are known for their antioxidant properties, and coconut milk adds healthy fats. The jelly texture makes it a fun and refreshing treat for kids.

This bouncy treat is often enjoyed during festive occasions and can be a wonderful way to introduce children to Thai culture and traditions. The subtle sweetness and aromatic flavour of pandan make it a delightful snack that is both healthy and satisfying. It can be cut into various shapes, adding an element of playfulness that appeals to kids.

Thai banana fritters (Gluay Kaek)

Nutritious snack Thai fried banana fritters
Photo via Asian Inspirations

Thai banana fritters are a delicious way to enjoy the natural sweetness of bananas. These sliced bananas are dipped in a batter made from rice flour and coconut milk, and then fried until golden brown. While they are a bit indulgent, using ripe bananas ensures they are naturally sweet, reducing the need for added sugars. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin B6, which are essential for energy production.

To make this snack healthier, you can bake the fritters instead of frying them. Additionally, you can experiment with different batters, such as whole wheat or oat flour, to increase the nutritional value. Serving banana fritters with a side of yoghurt or a drizzle of honey can enhance their flavour and provide a balance of nutrients.

Coconut water and coconut flesh

nutritious snack coconut water and flesh
Photo via Diet and Health

Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich drink that helps keep kids hydrated and energised, especially in Thailand’s hot climate. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, and sodium, and it replenishes electrolytes lost through sweat, making it an excellent choice for maintaining your child’s hydration during sports or high-movement activities. Pairing it with fresh coconut flesh provides additional fibre and healthy fats, which aid in digestion and provide sustained energy. This combination not only offers a refreshing burst of hydration but also delivers essential nutrients that support overall health. Coconut water is low in calories and contains natural sugars, making it a healthier alternative to sugary sports drinks.

Additionally, coconut flesh is a good source of lauric acid, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties, boosting the immune system. The natural sweetness and appealing texture of coconut flesh make it a favourite among kids, ensuring they enjoy their snacks while receiving important nutrients. This dynamic duo of coconut water and flesh is not only delicious but also highly nutritious, making it an ideal snack during playtime or after sports activities.

Thai steamed dumplings (Kanom Jeeb)

nutritious snack Thai steamed dumplings (Kanom Jeeb)
Photo via dobbernationLOVES

Kanom Jeeb is Thai steamed dumplings that can be filled with a variety of nutritious ingredients such as minced chicken, shrimp, and vegetables. These dumplings are a great source of protein and vitamins, and they are often enjoyed with a light soy or sweet chilli sauce. Their bite-sized form makes them a perfect snack for kids.

The steaming process preserves the nutrients in the ingredients, making Kanom Jeeb a healthy and tasty option. They can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, ready to be steamed and served as a quick snack. The combination of lean proteins and vegetables ensures that kids get a balanced snack that supports their growth and development.


nutritious snack edamame
Photo via Tasting Table

Although not traditionally Thai, edamame (young soybeans) has become popular in Thailand as a healthy snack option. Edamame is high in protein, fibre, and essential vitamins and minerals. They are easy to prepare by steaming or boiling and can be enjoyed with a sprinkle of salt. This snack is not only tasty but also excellent for sustained energy and growth.

Edamame is a complete protein, providing all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. It is also rich in folate and iron, which are crucial for brain development and oxygen transport in the body. The simplicity of preparing edamame makes it an easy and convenient snack for busy parents looking to provide nutritious options for their kids. This dish is also very addicting as the cycle of simply popping these soybeans into your mouth constantly continues.

Satay skewers

nutritious snack satay skewers
Photo via Unsplash (Nita Anggraeni Goenawan)

Satay skewers are another snack in Thailand that offer both delicious taste and nutritional benefits, making them an ideal choice for kids. Made from marinated pieces of chicken, beef, pork, or tofu, these skewers are grilled to perfection and served with a rich peanut sauce. The combination provides a balanced source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, which are crucial for growing children. The peanut sauce, rich in healthy fats, complements the protein, making this snack not only tasty but also nourishing. This snack is much more filling compared to the other snacks but is very flavourful and is a great snack after school.

Providing kids with nutritious and tasty snacks is crucial for their growth and development. In Thailand, the variety of available fruits, traditional snacks, and creative combinations offer numerous options to keep kids energised and healthy. By incorporating these delicious and nutrient-dense snacks into their diet, you can ensure that your children stay active, focused, and ready to take on their daily adventures with confidence and enthusiasm.

Food is more than just something that you need for survival, it can also be a way to bond with your family. Eating meals together and sharing memories is a valuable activity that not many families do; however, there are other ways to bond with your family and you should take advantage of the time that you have!


Bernice Zheng

With an interest in Product Management and Marketing, Bernice's experience consists of being a Growth Marketing Intern at RippleMatch, a Product Management Intern for TUMI, and the Co-Director of Princeton’s Entrepreneurship Club (Tigers In Product). Her passion for photography and videography has also drawn her to develop her marketing and content creation skills.

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