Schools Out Summer Prep
As a food producer, we want to ensure kids are eating healthy and getting all the necessary nutrients to support their growth and development, but many times, the healthy choice is not necessarily the kid-friendly choice. We’re good with healthy dining choices, but have you ever tried to give a “hangry” toddler a kale and chickpea nugget? Speaking from experience, it won’t go well.
Luckily, chicken is a great source of protein and other important nutrients, and it is a guaranteed kid-pleaser! Chicken nuggets and boneless chicken wings get the stamp of approval from nearly every child of every age. They're the perfect summer snack and they can be paired with a veggie option for a dinner that comes together in a snap. However, not all chicken options are created equal!
When you're looking for a healthy chicken choice, there are many ways to level up your selection. First, opting for baked or grilled chicken is always going to be the healthiest option, but if you’re looking for a breaded option, choose breaded chicken that is baked or grilled instead of fried. You can also look for products that are made with whole-grain breading or other healthier coatings like almond or coconut flour. Next, opt for lean chicken breast instead of dark meat to reduce fat intake.
Health-conscious consumers should also always check the ingredients list first before making a decision about what chicken products to purchase. Look for products with simple and whole food ingredients, natural and no antibiotics ever labels, and minimize products that contain added sugars, artificial flavors or colors, and highly processed ingredients like hydrogenated oils.
In addition to the ingredients, be sure to check the nutrition facts label to see the amount of calories, fat, sodium and sugar contained in each serving. Choose frozen snacks with moderate to low amounts of these nutrients. Keep in mind that some frozen snacks may have smaller serving sizes than you expect, so be sure to check the serving size and adjust your portion size accordingly.
For hungry kiddos ravenous from a day of swimming and summer fun, opt for foods high in fiber and protein which can help them feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time, making these products a good choice for snacks. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues in the body, which makes high protein optimal to start or end your day. By paying attention to these factors, you can make better decisions for your family and choose healthier options that will benefit overall health and wellness in a tasty way that everyone will love.
For more ideas on how to prep your chicken snacks for the summer, check out our snackbytes on endless summer snacks!