What’s Baby Eating? | Homemade Chicken Nuggets

While my little ones are still fruit & veggie eating machines I am just not able to fill them up on fruits & veggies alone any longer.  I is time to start introducing proteins into Daniel’s diet so I looked into the best starter meat for baby. It seems that chicken nuggets are highly recommended as a first protein because they are easy for baby to eat since they are made from ground meat then shaped into nuggets.  Well, I wasn’t about to waste my money on store bought nuggets, nor did I want to introduce many of the “non-real food” ingredients that they contain. So I decided to make them myself.  I further controlled the ingredients by grinding my own meat (since I already owned the food mill this was not too hard.) and using bread crumbs from homemade bread. However, you can buy already ground chicken & store bought bread crumbs and still turn out a healthier product than store bought chicken nuggets are.

My kids  have never seen store bought nuggets so I didn’t bother with shaping them this time, however, if they ever start asking me for shaped nuggets I have a plentiful supply of cookie cutters to make my own shapes from as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4  lb ground chicken (This was the result of grinding one chicken breast and four thighs)
  •  1/4 cup ground old-fashioned oats
  • 1/8 cup grated cheese (I used a mix of hard grated cheeses I had on hand)
  •  1/2 tsp  paprika
  •  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  •  1/4 tsp black pepper
  •  3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own from homemade herb bread which added a little more flavor)
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, combine chicken, oatmeal, grated cheese, paprika, garlic powder and pepper.
  2. Stir dry ingredients into ground chicken.
  3. In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with paprika & Parmesan
  4. Use a spoon or a teaspoon cookie scoop form chicken mixture into a balls.
  5. Press into a cookie cutter for shaped nuggets or flatten with fingers for a basic nugget shape.
  6. Drop nuggets into bread crumb mixture and turn over, patting crumbs into surface to coat evenly.

*At this point you can freeze or…
To bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange nuggets on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper.
  3. Lightly spray nuggets themselves with cooking spray or olive oil for a crispier coating (optional).
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, turning once, and checking – don’t overcook!

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Doesn’t this look like a better lunch than….

nuggets2

This…

nuggets3

This…

nuggets1

Or even this?

And you should have seen the grins on my little ones faces when they took their first bite! Unfortunately, I was too busy passing them more food to catch it on camera.

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