After I vowed to stop buying my kids frozen chicken, my friend Natalie sent me this recipe from Rachael Ray. Which we love! And so, there has been NO processed chicken in our house since Christmas, only this "healthy crunchy chicken." Instead of straight bread crumbs, I use whole wheat panko with the corn flakes for the crust.
On the first night I made it, I asked the kids for their review.
Reed: With his mouth stuffed, said: "IT'S RIRY YUMMY."
Skyler: Held up both hands and said "10 thumbs up!" (wow!)
I have made this chicken for the kids about every 2 weeks, and I get about 3 meals out of it. The first time I made it I hand dipped each piece and it took forever. Now I just put all the chicken in a bowl and coat it all with flour. Then I beat 2 eggs and toss the chicken in with it. Then I put all of the flour/egg covered chicken in a giant Tupperware with the panko/cornflake mix and shake it until it's all coated. It is pretty easy, and very worth the effort becuase it's their favorite food.
Sam is not home at dinner time during the week due to swimming, so we still aren't sitting down all together for dinner very often. I've done much better being present during the kids' meal time. Reed is still pretty wiggly, and he has a hard time staying at the table. On a good night, he gets up once or twice, I say "Back to the table!" and he comes back and keeps eating. On a bad night, he ends up in time-out 8 times and he cries and I feel desperately tired. But on we go.
I feel good about everything they are eating. I am replacing more and more of our normal products with all-natural and organic varieties. It still makes me sad/mad that buying healthy groceries has to be so much more expensive. It feels very unfair to me that not everyone can afford organic meats and produce, and that the most unhealthy, processed foods are the cheapest.
We are not yet at the "feed them what we are eating" stage. I know many of you have opinions about this, but it makes my evenings easier, actually, to get them fed and settled in pjs, or even in bed, before Sam and I eat.
Right now, they are apt to have bland pasta, a veggie burger, or chicken with sides of fruits and veggies, and we are apt to have something spicy, or kale and pesto pasta with smoked salmon, which they won't eat. I know, some of your kids eat smoked salmon and kale. Ours don't, but we'll get there. Forward progress! I am slowly adding in new foods for them and assuming they will get more adventurous in food choices and easier to keep at the table with age.