Italian Food
Food in Italy for Kids

On this page you will find information on Italian food for kids. Often we are asked which food to try when in Italy or which food is really popular also with kids in the Italian cuisine. So here we share information on typical food in Italy.

Italians create such delicious food! Many will agree that pizza is not only Italy's national food but also very popular all around the world. In Italy, people enjoy leisurely meals, taking time for cooking, eating and telling stories when sharing food with family and friends. On this page we share images and descriptions of Italian food that we all love and that are popular food in Italy. Buon appetito! Enjoy!

Pizza

Typical Pizza MargheritaPizza Margherita

The type of Pizza that we eat today comes from Naples in southern Italy. The probably most popular Pizza type was created in 1889 when a pizza maker created a pizza with the colours of the Italian flag for the Queen Margherita. Tomatoes stand for the red colour in the Italian flag, Mozzarella cheese for the white and basil for the green colour. Calzone is a special type of Pizza. This is a pizza folded in half into a pocket which is filled with cheese and salami or ham, olives or mushrooms. Delizioso! - So delicious!

Spaghetti

Spaghetti Bolognese dishSpaghetti Bolognese

This most popular Italian pasta dish which is enjoyed all over the world with many different sauces, however it is also widely accepted that Spaghetti originated in China and that the great explorer Marco Polo discovered the noodles there and brought them to Italy. Spaghetti are only one form of pasta, which means noodles in Italian. Pasta comes in many different types, shapes, tastes and colours and is usually made from wheat flour. Spaghetti Bolognese or Spaghetti con Ragu as the Italian call them, originally come from Bologna, a city in northern Italy. They are the typical Italian Spaghetti dish with tomato and mince-meat sauce, which is loved by many children all around the world.

Lasagne

Lasagne made with Spinach

Lasagne is another typical pasta dish, which also originates from Naples. Lasagne is made with layers of sauce and flat and square shaped pasta sheets and probably the oldest type of pasta. Sometimes the pasta comes with green coloured Lasagne sheets as well, then pasta sheets are made with spinach that gives the green colour to the dough. The way Lasagne is prepared varies from region to region but it is mostly made with Mozzarella, Ricotta (a soft cheese), tomato sauce containing either minced meats or vegetables such as spinach or aubergines (eggplants). 

Polenta

Polenta dishItalian Polenta

This traditional Italian food dish is mostly made of maize and corn. It originated from northern Italy and was known as the food for the poor. In Roman times Polenta was one of the most common meals for the Roman Legions.

Pesto

Italian Pesto, Pine nuts and Basil leafItalian Pesto is made with Basil and Pinenuts

Pesto is a green sauce made with olive oil, crushed basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and finely grated parmesan cheese. Pesto is often eaten with simple pasta dishes or as dip.

Parmigiano or Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese grated and cheese slabItalian Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is an Italian hard cheese coming from the Parmigiano-Reggiano region in central Italy. Parmesan is also often called the ‘King of Italian Cheese’ and is enjoyed mainly grated over Pasta or salads or can just be eaten pure as a special treat after dinner.

Mozzarella

Mozzarella Cheese

Another popular Italian cheese is Mozzarella, which in Italy typically is made of water buffalo milk, but also sold made with cow’s milk. The white soft cheese is cut and formed into balls which are then stored in a salt water brine to keep them soft and so that they do not dry out. The cheese is used as topping on pizza and lasagne, but also eaten cut in slices with tomatoes and basil, which is then called ‘Caprese salad'.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta - a typical Italian Antipasto

Italian food: Bruschetta is a bread slice that has been grilled in the oven. The bread slices are first rubbed with garlic and oil, then shortly grilled and then usually topped with tomatoes and basil or ham or salami or olives or mozzarella - you name it, they add it. Bruschetta is often eaten as an ‘antipasti’, as starter dish or snack.

Parma Ham or Prosciutto

Italian Prosciutto

Prosciutto is dry cured ham which is made from pork and is usually carved very thinly. It is eaten as an antipasti, starter dish, normally with melon slices or grissini, which are breadsticks. Grissini are available on the set tables in many Italian restaurants to munch on while waiting for the ordered meals!

Grissini

Gelato

Different Flavours of Gelato

In Italian Gelato means frozen and this typical Italian ice-cream comes in all colours and flavours and is usually served as balls in a wafer cone or cup. Chocolate flavour is probably the most popular gelato of all, but we like ‘Stracciatella’ best, which is vanilla ice-cream sprinkled with chocolate pieces. So yummy!

Gelato is known to have its roots in the Dolomites mountains in northern Italy, however, also in Sicily in southern Italy, icy deserts have a long tradition. The deserts are prefered and prepared in different ways in different regions, with more fatty ice-cream with more milk and cream eaten in the colder mountain regions while in hot South of Italy, the desert is made as a sorbet which includes fruit juice instead of milk. Make sure to know the world for Ice Cream Parlour in Italian, which is 'Gelateria'!

Cannoli

Italian Cannoli

Typical Sicilian desert made with wafer rolls that are filled with sweet cream. Cannoli are often topped with either a fruit topping or chocolate sauce.

Tiramisu

TiramisuTiramisu

Our favorite Italian dessert is made with ladyfinger biscuits, that have been soaked in Espresso coffee and then topped with Mascarpone (cream cheese) and lots of cacao. This is a very popular desert dish in Italy, but you will find various types in restaurants around the world. Did you know that Tiramisu means 'Lift me up' in Italian?

Italian Food:
Good resources for research

Find more information on Italian food on these excellent websites:


Image Credits on Food in Italy: shutterstock.com and own


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