Most kids love chicken nuggets, but parents often have concerns with their nutritional value, as well as their cost at restaurants. By serving chicken nuggets at home, you can save money and offer a more nutritious meal to your children. You can make these meals fun by designing them around a theme.
Satay Chicken Nuggets
Dress up chicken nuggets by having your family thread them on kabob sticks satay-style. You can use store-bought fresh or frozen nuggets or make your own by coating chunks of chicken breast with flour or seasoned breadcrumbs and frying in oil. Along with the nuggets, provide chunks of pineapple, pieces of green and red bell peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and sliced onions to thread. Grill the kabobs over hot coals and serve with peanut sauce. Complete the Southeast Asian theme with a bowl of rice and a colorful fruit salad.
Mama's Kitchen Restaurant
Make your own chicken nuggets by cutting chicken breasts into chunks, coating in seasoned flour and frying in a skillet with 1/2 cup of oil. Cook nuggets about seven minutes on each side. Make your own fries by cutting potatoes into thin strips and frying for about 15 minutes in a skillet with 1/2 cup of oil. Stir occasionally and sprinkle with sea salt. Give your kids some coins and allow them to "order." Wrap nuggets and fries in parchment paper and place in paper lunch sacks. Add a carton of juice and an inexpensive trinket and serve.
Healthy Chicken Nuggets Meal
Make baked nuggets by cutting chicken breasts into chunks and soaking them in buttermilk for 30 minutes. Coat with seasoned bread crumbs and place on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy, flipping after the first 15 minutes. Make baked fries by cutting potatoes into thin strips and placing on a foil-covered baking sheet. Spray fries with cooking spray, flip and spray again. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until browned or about 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve with corn on the cob, milk and a fruit salad.
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Forget the Fries
Instead of serving chicken nuggets with fries, try pairing them with some inventive side dishes that are more nutritious. These could include mashed potatoes, homemade potato wedges, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls stuffed with cheese, pasta salad, rice pilaf or individual packages of baby carrots or mandarin oranges. For dessert, instead of milk shakes, serve smoothies made of vanilla yogurt, bananas and berries. Or make a giant banana split with three flavors of frozen yogurt. Give everyone a spoon and dig in!
Matthew Huntington has been writing travel articles since 2002. His pieces have appeared in "National Geographic Traveler," "American Way" and "The Miami Herald." Huntington speaks fluent Spanish and has lived in many parts of Latin America, including Ecuador, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in European studies from Brigham Young University.