Most American children and their parents know on some level that fast food is generally not healthy. Convenience and momentary happiness lure us in like flies to fly paper, leading some families down a slippery slope to an unhealthy place. As long as the meal promises to make young kids “happy,” it might seem worth it. I get it – families are busier than ever with sports practices, dance rehearsals, piano lessons, etc. We are a culture that can overbook time, sometimes at the cost of taking care of ourselves.
But if we could slow down just a little, and stair step our way up that slippery slope by consciously feeding our kids more healthy foods – even our kids’ favorite foods – and help them to develop a taste for real food, would we? I ask this not to judge but more to challenge parents (as gatekeepers) to slow down long enough to consider what we’re feeding our children and the long term benefits.
Today, I have a recipe for Seasoned Baked Chicken Nuggets. In no way do they taste the same as the fast food restaurants’ version. However, they do taste remarkably good with a thin crisp outer coating seasoned with a blend of spices that most kids I’ve fed them to love. I, like many of you, am trying to just get my kids to eat a balanced diet and to appreciate real food. I want to know what’s in the food I feed my family, and I think most of you do too. This recipe is pretty easy to prepare and can be made in under 20 minutes. Not quite the 5 minutes you may be used to in the fast food restaurants, but more importantly you will know exactly what your child is eating and can have peace of mind about it.
Seasoned Baked Chicken Nuggets
These homemade crispy baked chicken nuggets are made with a blend of spices, panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese as its coating and baked to perfection.
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts (or tenders), cut into small bite sized pieces (1/2-inch by 1-inch)
- 3 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Cooking spray (Misto cans work best)
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Add the chicken with the oil followed by the salt, Italian herbs, garlic salt, oregano, and black pepper. Massage the chicken with the spices thoroughly.
- Add the chicken, panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese to a zip top bag. Seal the bag and squeeze the bread crumbs onto the chicken multiple times (as shown in the photo).
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Lay the breaded chicken nuggets on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Spray the top side of the chicken with cooking spray.
- Bake for 8 minutes on each side.
- Serve immediately.
Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, Forbes.com featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.