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A Kids Guide to Middle Eastern Food

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The world if full of amazing flavors! This guide to kid friendly Middle Eastern food is here to help you know how to help your kids learn to love trying new foods and explore flavors from new places in the world.

Why should kids eat Middle Eastern food?

The world is an amazing place and full of great flavors! Helping kids explore the diverse flavors of world around them and be comfortable eating more than just chicken nuggets is my passion. 

Middle Eastern food has tons of great flavors and textures and colors, and is a great cuisine for kids to learn to love. Beyond just expanding their palates, it offers a window into rich cultural traditions and helps to foster an appreciation for our global culinary heritage.

Middle Eastern food is influenced by a lot of history, the spice trade, and so much.

You might be thinking – what is the difference between the Middle Eastern food and Mediterranean food? Defining what part of the geography of the world is “the middle east” tends to change from time to time, and based on different sources. Currently, the area is comprised of Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

If your kids are new to learning about the world of food, I suggest checking out my guides on raising adventurous eatershelping kids try new foods, and tips to help kids love international foods.

Tips to Make Middle Eastern Food Kid Friendly:

  • Mix new ingredients in with old favorites– if your family has never had ingredients like lamb or eggplant before, they might be hesitant to try them.  Start with ground lamb and mix it in with ground beef the first few times, the lamb will be less apparent and they can slowly become accustomed to it. 
  • Ease into spices. If your family isn’t used to a lot of spices, you might want to start by adding half the required amount and work up from there read my guide on how to add spices to kids food for more information.

I always love including non-food explorations and play into our lives as easy and low-stress ways to encourage new food explorations. 

One of my favorite ways to do this is to add in books and movies that showcase food. Check out my guide to kids picture books about Middle Eastern food and head to your local library.

Recipes to try:

Try these recipes at home! These easy, weeknight friendly recipes are some of the most popular reader favorites here! Make sure to check out our entire collection of Kid Friendly Middle Eastern Recipes.

Egyptian Recipes

  • Basbousa is a simple one bowl cake that is so delicious!

Lebanese Recipes

  • Tabbouleh is a fragrant and flavorful side dish salad that has become popular all over the world!

Syrian Recipes

  • Muhammara is an easy and delicious red pepper dip that is complex in flavor and delicious.

Turkish Recipes

  • Chicken Shawarma is an easy and flavorful chicken cooked in the slow cooker and used in a wrap. One of our family favorites!
  • Turkish Pide is a simple bread that is easy and fun to make.
  • Turkish Baklava features crispy crunchy phyllo, chopped pistachios and a sweet sugar syrup.

Note: Still working on adding recipes from all regions! Check back!

Have something you want to see? email me at [email protected] and I will work on adding it!

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