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Hosting Chinese Students in Los Angeles - What to feed them?

We have two middle school aged kids from China staying with us for a week. I'm excited but a little worried about what to feed them. We're thinking of hitting the grocery store with the kids tomorrow. We are near Arcadia and there is a Ranch 99 market, so it might be nice for them to have some familiar snacks.

These students are from Shanghai - I want them to try American food but I don't want to give them indigestion. Any suggestions as to snacks or foods that would make them feel comfortable and would be easier on their tummies. Maybe salmon? Any drinks that would be good to have in the fridge? I was thinking that bananas, watermelon and apples would be nice for them.

Any suggestions?

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  1. If I was a visitor from a different country like China, I would like to try something indigenous like maybe a hamburger or fried chicken? Forget the Chinese restaurants unless they request it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clinton

      Yes - I was surprised to see a lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken in China. Maybe Roscoe's would be a good idea since we live near Pasadena.

      I was thinking of making burgers at home and they could try different toppings. My 16 year old cousin is a vegetarian so we could have tofu burgers as an option is they like.

    2. Here's a thread on preserved Chinese fruit snack stores. Chinese kids, well, all Chinese love this stuff. Me included! The kids would like it. Chinese visitors don't like to stray to far from familiar. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/56649

      1 Reply
      1. re: Galen

        I'll try that - thanks! The kids are 12-13 years old so a familiar snack would probably be nice for them.

      2. Don't worry too much about their tummies. If they can stomach Shanghai street food they can stomach the food here.

        Kids are kids. They'll probably destroy any Flaming Hot Cheetos or Funyuns you have lying around. They would probably really enjoy eating a lot of burgers (In-N-Out), hot dogs, pizza, shakes, philly cheesesteaks, fried chicken, etc.

        If they get home sick you can always take them to J&J for comfort Shanghainese food or Shanghai #1 Seafood Village for some higher end Shanghainese food. The pan fried buns at Shanghai #1 are very good. The two restaurants are literally across the street from each other. I'm not as keen on Mei Long Village as most people. A distant 3rd IMO.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Porthos

          well, i might go easy on the dairy and avoid large portions of red meat.

          i like the idea of going to a shanghainese restaurant. maybe dean sin world?

          1. re: raizans

            Maybe one night at a Shanghainese restaurant. I'll see what their schedule has been like so far. They will be going to school during the day so I bet they will be pretty tired in the evening. On the other hand they might be really raring to get out and see things with an American family.

        2. How old are they? Why not just ask them what they like to eat?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            I'm just worried that they will be so polite that they won't say anything. Or that their English will be more academic than casual everyday stuff.

            I should probably learn some handy Chinese phrases about food, that will have them rolling on the floor laughing.

          2. Don't worry too much about indigestion; they probably have iron-clad stomachs.

            I'll disagree from some other posters by saying this:

            Just don't feed them what they usually eat back in Shanghai, unlike they exhibit signs of homesickness. True, many Chinese visitors to the U.S. tend to stick to the familiar. BUT kids are a different ballgame (some still are developing their palates)...