Chicken Fingers – a nutritious snack for your kid?

Kids love to eat finger foods – I swear, if my child could eat only finger foods all day, he’d be in heaven. There’s just something that is so fun about them – they are easy to make, easy to eat, and usually the simple snacks that most kids love, regardless of age (admit it, even you love them!). It can be hard, however, to find something that is actually healthy for our kids.

Now, if your child is anything like mine, chicken strips are a quick and easy meal or snack that are a hit with almost every kid. They are crunchy, can be dipped in sauces, and have a yummy, salty-sweet breaded crust to munch on.  But how healthy are they really?  Are they good for everyday, or more like a dessert – to be eaten in moderation? Here are a few bits about Chicken Fingers that may help you decide.

Chicken Fingers

They have protein.

Chicken is well known for having protein in it.  Any meat has protein in fairly generous quantities. Protein is something that your kids need to grow, as it is a major component of our ability to build muscle cells – and some proteins are even necessary for our cells to function, and are responsible for keeping us healthy.

 

They have breading.

This one isn’t really either way.  Breading in excess can contain extra sugar or carbohydrates that your little one’s body doesn’t actually need, but it can be good for them in moderation – after all, our body does need some sugar to function correctly as well. Just make sure that the breading isn’t the main portion of the chicken finger.

Options

You have a lot of options when it comes to Chicken fingers.  I prefer to take strips of grilled chicken, and I wrap them in bacon and cook them for my kiddos.  It’s still delicious, and has the crunch that kids like – with the added bonus of having protein and fats that we can use instead of breading.

Another option is to take your average Chicken Fingers and create a wrap out of them.  I love to take chicken fingers, Caesar dressing, olives, and most people enjoy lettuce and tomatoes. I wrap these in a tortilla and make a delicious Caeser Chicken wrap.

If you are in a hurry to get out of the door, the protein and carbohydrates can make a good snack for your child as-is. Simply grab them, and a small to-go container of any sauces your child might like, and you have a delicious, relatively mess-free snack for the car.

No matter how you choose to prepare chicken fingers for your child, it is a viable option as a snack or even a meal on a controlled basis.  While you don’t want to serve chicken fingers every day of the week, it is much healthier than pizza rolls, cookies, or other foods commonly associated as a snack. Plus, it’s almost as easy to make as something that your child shouldn’t eat often!

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Easy Chicken Soup

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For moms who are dedicated to making a healthy meal for their families every night, and can be difficult to find new recipes that are both easy to make and that are in your budget. Making soup or stew is an easy dinner that is both healthy and uses ingredients that are affordable. Chicken soup is a recipe that is quite versatile and can be easily changed to make it very hearty without much effort. The following is a description of how classic chicken soup can be changed into a hearty chicken noodle stew.

The first thing you will need to do is dice up three cups of celery, two cups of carrots, one cup on onions, and 2 cloves of garlic. Melt four tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a large soup pan and add the celery, carrots, onions, and garlic to it. Let this simmer for a few minutes, and then slowly add a half cup of flour to the mixture. Once this is mixed in, pour two 32 ounce boxes of low-sodium chicken stock into the pan and bring to a gentle boil. While this is boiling, cut up one cup of zucchini, one cup of green beans, and open one eight ounce can of corn (or equivalent frozen). Add these three things to the pan as well. Season everything generously with salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Allow this to simmer for about ten minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, you can begin working with the chicken. Cup up one pound of chicken (preferably beast meat) into small pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat four tablespoons of olive oil or butter a frying pan, then toss the chicken into the pan. Cook the chicken until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from the heat and set to the side until the next step is completed.

Once the chicken is done, scoop out one third of the veggies from the soup pan and place them in a blender. Purée them until they are smooth and then pour them back into the soup pan. This will make your stew extra thick and creamy. Mix the chicken into the stew along with twelve ounces of dried pasta. If you would like, use alphabet pasta to make it fun for the kids. Allow this to boil until the pasta is fully cooked. For best results, serve the stew hot with a loaf of crusty bread.