Getting edible green things into a toddlers mouth can take the stealth and creativity of a secret agent. Mission accomplished!
A few weeks ago, this recipe was passed from a mommy friend to her sister to me. It is easy to get stuck in a major rut with a toddler’s food since little ones tend to promote habit.
My husband read an interesting tidbit a year or two back that I remember often. It said that toddlers are picky eaters due to an innate survival instinct. From the time that they can walk until they are old enough to make their own, reasonable decisions about food, they do not like to eat things that they don’t recognize. In primitive hunting and gathering days, this instinct kept toddlers from eating poisonous things. It makes sense and gives us a little reason to cut the tiny tykes some slack.
I am lucky that Mini Whipped is not an overly picky eater. She is able to detect and reject the most minute morsels of onion. And, she isn’t a huge fan of green things. But, she DID accept the broccoli in these nuggets and even lauded me with a “Like chicken nuggets Mommy. Mum mum!” That is equivalent to a double thumbs up.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Made about 18 1 1/2 inch patties
2 chicken breasts
1 head of broccoli (florets only, not big stem)
2 cups of shredded cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten and then mixed in.
1/2 cup of panko for coating patties
Start by poaching the chicken breasts. If you need instructions, find How to Poach Chicken here. Wash broccoli and cut florets off. Steam the broccoli until tender. Chop the poached chicken in chunks and put it in a food processor pulsing until finely ground. Add broccoli and cheese and pulse until combined. The mixture should be very fine. Pour the ground mixture into a bowl and stir in the lightly beaten eggs.
Put the panko or bread crumbs on a plate. With your hands, press the chicken mixture into patties. Press each side on the patty in the crumbs to coat. Place the nuggets on a cooking sheet that is sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray. Spray the tops of the nuggets as well.
Bake nuggets in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning them over half way through. Serve with ranch, barbeque sauce, ketchup or the dipping sauce of your little one’s choice.
TO FREEZE: Place nuggets on a cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour. Then, remove them and store them in a tupperware container or freezer bag. You can take them out and cook as you need them. Add about 5 minutes to the cooking time for frozen nuggets.