Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"healthy crunchy chicken" and an eating update

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.


Kelly Jane Dahl said...

All sounds great Em! Want to share the chicken recipe? I do this, but never get the thumbs up. More like little nibbles. I think it's a texture thing for us. I always remind myself that all kids senses are much more sensitive than ours, so strong tasting foods are that much stronger to them. Way to keep up your good work!

Kelly Jane Dahl said...

Just saw the the link...didn't show up in my google reader. Thanks!

SNW said...

Ahhh, one of the few meaty meals I sometimes pine for. Crunchy crispy chicken. Don't tell anyone I said that!

Natalie said...

I'm soooooo glad the recipe was a hit! It's one of my favs. Sometimes I like to use honey corn flakes too. That's yuppy as well.

Kirsten said...

My kids don't eat kale. Niko might eat smoked salmon if we told him dinosaurs eat it, but I think his enjoyment would correspond with how deep into pretend world he was. My usual check out girl at our Co-op is appalled by our weekly food bill. Me too, but it's sort of funny to me that she gets so frantic. She is always pushing me to write to Organic Valley, Annie's and someone else I am forgetting (Muir Glen maybe) for free coupons that she sees other people get. I haven't gone this extra step yet myself but I thought I'd pass along the idea. I guess these companies mail big envelopes of coupons to people who ask. I think it sounds like a "streets there are paved in gold" idea, but who knows?

Cat said...

I made this tonight for hubby and I, with homemade 14 veggie soup. I am thinking of things I can make when I come home that my niece and nephew will eat and this is one! I had to try it before telling them that I am going to cook what THEY like (too many thumbs down last summer and I don't want Mac and Cheese and tacos every night!) I felt like a kid again! I used brown rice flakes to coat the chicken (free range and it does make a difference!). Thanks so much for continuing to make my dinner table a yummy place! When I have kids, your blog will be our kitchen Bible!