Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chicken Nugget Throwdown

So, as we all know chicken nuggets seem to be a staple in our childrens diets. Whether we like it or not, our children will eat their fair share of them at school, at birthday parties, at friend's houses and without the watchful eye of Mom and Dad overseeing or approving of the quality and quantity of their meals.

When I started my catering and food business one of the first items we created was a healthy and tasty chicken nugget. During this process, I did a lot of research and the more I learned, the more disgusted I was with the most popular options and their nutrition info (or lack thereof). At Green Plate Foods we work regulary with a dietitian on all of our meals. She complied the comparative nutrition information on the most popular chicken nuggets and it is astounding!

I often speak on health and nutriton and present this info and it always seems to be a real hot button with parents and never give a talk without it now! Majority of parents do not know what is really in the food they are feeding their children on a REGULAR basis. The sad thing is that everyone in the south LOVES Chic-Fil-A, they have a cult like following and parents seem to think they are the "healthy" fast food? What? How is this concept communicated to the public? Well, all that salt and fat are addicting I guess!! (and marketing!) Beware and BE AWARE!

Prepared by Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CNSC
with An Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting

A note on sodium: the Daily recommended value for an Adult is 2300mg, Chic-Fil-A is almost 1/2 of the daily recommended (max) value for an adult, and this is a child's portion.

Bottom Line: Read your labels! Don’t get sucked into marketing traps and what the Jones' are doing! Create your "normal" for your house and don't fall prey to big budget marketing and don't make these over-processed, preservative laden, over-salted and fatty foods a mainstay in your child's diet. While having it on rare occasion won't make your child have diabetes or become overweight, however eating these foods on a regular basis just might! It is your job as a parent to make the rules and protect their health.

When I am not offering Green Plate Foods nuggets to my daughter, I prefer Applegate Farms (although they are lacking in the flavor department) or also like Bell & Evans. I prefer organic, but hormone-free and humanely raised I think it just as good when it comes to meats.

While, I can't share Green Plate Foods' top secret Chicken Nugget recipe, I did find another great baked and gluten free option that I am anxious to try (and simpler to make than ours): Kyle's Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!

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