Traditional South African Food that Kids Will Love

Claire BirtwhistleSafari Tips

Dinner time on safari

South Africa’s traditional cuisine is multicultural and diverse.

For foodies, this is a dream come true. For parents, it can sound like a nightmare. Getting children to eat their meals on a good day can be a challenge, so the idea of asking them to try a food they’re completely unfamiliar with, can seem laughable.  While there is no shortage of restaurants and cafes in South Africa offering meals that your children will surely recognise, we believe that it is important to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone occasionally and try something new.  Something local. Something they can tell their friends about back home.
In comparison to some other African countries, South Africa’s cuisine is fairly tame and there are lots of traditional foods that even the fussiest of children will enjoy eating.

Here are 5 traditional South African foods that kids will love:

1.    Braaibroodjie

(Translation: Little toasted sandwiches made on the barbeque)

Traditional South African Braaibroodjie

It’s no secret that South African’s are crazy about their ‘braais’ (barbeques), and no braaing experience is complete without a braaibroodjie. A braaibroodjie is a sandwich toasted over the open coals. The fillings can vary from the traditional cheese, tomato and onion, to fig jam and cheddar, to just about any other filling you can think of. They are pure cheesy goodness.

Find a recipe for traditional braaibroodjies here.

2.    Mealie Pap

(Translation: traditional porridge made from maize)

Taditional South African Cuisine

Made from ground up dried corn, mealie pap is eaten country-wide and is the staple diet for the majority of South Africans. When served with tomato relish and grated cheese, it is one of the most popular side dishes at a braai. It can also be served as a porridge at breakfast time with milk and sugar.

3.    Koeksisters

(Translation: Twisted sister cakes)

South African Koeksisters

Koeksisters, pronounced ‘cook sisters’, are sticky donut-like delicacies. They are a very popular South African dessert and are usually served slightly warm and dripping with syrup. If your kid has a sweet-tooth, they’re guaranteed to enjoy this indulgent treat.

Find a recipe for koeksisters here.

4.    Boerewors

(Translation: Farmer’s traditional sausage)

South African Boerewors Roll

Afrikaans for ‘farmers sausage’, boerewors is South Africa’s favourite meat to cook on the braai/grill. It comes as a long sausage shaped into a spiral form and has a unique, spicy flavor. Put a piece of boerewors on a long bread roll with some ketchup and you’ve got yourself a traditional ‘boerewors roll’ that will put the hot dogs back at home to shame.

5.    Milk Tart

(Translation: none needed. It’s a Milk Tart)

Traditional South African Milk Tart

Milk Tart, or ‘Melktart’ in Afrikaans, is a simple yet delicious dessert and a ‘must-try’ when in South Africa. It has a sweet pastry crust, and a creamy custard filling made from eggs, flour, milk and sugar. It’s the perfect sweet treat for any occasion.

Find a recipe here.

Those are just 5 of the many fun and flavorful food options on offer in South Africa. Not too scary, hey? You can rest at ease knowing your children won’t starve while you’re travelling through South Africa. For help in planning your family safari, get in touch with us, or download our free eBook, The Ultimate Safari Planning Guide for Families.

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About the Author
Avatar for Claire Birtwhistle

Claire Birtwhistle

Born and raised in the bush in South Africa, Claire has grown up with a deep love for wildlife and enjoys nothing more than immersing herself in nature. When she's not barefoot outside, she can be found at her computer blogging about adventures and editing her photographs.