Archive for the ‘ Chicken ’ Category

Healthier Chicken Fingers Your Toddler Will Love

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My little precious has a love-hate relationship with chicken. Sometimes he gobbles it up, especially if I serve it with a dipping sauce, other times he takes one bite and tosses the rest from his tray. As alternatives to roast chicken, I feed him chicken-apple soup and organic chicken-apple sausage. But I’ve been getting bored with these go-to chicken dinners, and I’m sure Mason is too, so I’ve been looking for a new kid-friendly, mom-approved chicken recipe to spice things up. A couple of weeks ago at a birthday party, I found just the recipe. We were celebrating Mason’s friend Lina’s first birthday and her mom, Elif (one of the LIC Mamas), served homemade chicken fingers for the kids–and they were a hit. Golden brown and crisp on the outside, and juicy on the inside, the chicken looked and smelled so delish even the adults were eating it up. Elif was sweet enough to share the recipe with me, so I made the chicken tonight for Mason’s dinner (it took about 10 minutes) and served it with steamed corn and applesauce. Hope your tot enjoys the chicken fingers, as much as mine does. Do you have a chicken recipe that your tot loves? Share it here!

 

Chicken Fingers

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
Olive oil (enough to keep chicken from burning)

Directions
Cut chicken breasts into strips and set aside. Beat egg in a large bowl. Place bread crumbs on flat plate. Coat chicken with egg and then transfer to bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Make sure oil is very hot. Slowly place the coated strips in oil until brown, turn over, brown other side. Remove from pan and lay chicken strips on paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Serve immediately.

NOTE: I call this chicken fingers recipes healthier because it’s not deep-fried and it uses heart-healthy olive oil. You can also skip most of the olive oil by spraying (or brushing) a baking dish with olive oil and baking the chicken fingers on 350 for about 25 minutes (or until center is no longer pink); broil the last five for a crispier texture on the outside.

Top photo by Elif Memisoglu

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Tuesday Timesaver: 12 Easy Sauces & Dippers for Roast Chicken

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Cool, creamy Cucumber-Yogurt Dip is delish on plain roasted chicken — and it’s rich in calcium.

Best for Babies 10+ Months Old

Mason is still in his Mr. Picky phase, which means mealtime is always a gamble. It’s either super fun or super miserable, depending on Bug’s mood. Last night I was hoping for super fun. It was a Monday, after all, and I had just started my (awesome) new job, so I was pretty tapped out. I turned to an old stand-by — store-bought, free-range rotisserie chicken, one of his faves — and served it with mashed butternut squash (roasted the night before and mashed with whole milk, a little butter, and a dash of nutmeg), and chunks of cooked apple. Bug dug in but quickly got bored with his chicken. On a whim, I gave him some Roasted Red Pepper Hummus to dip it in; he loves hummus almost as much as he loves cheese.  That chicken disappeared from his tray fast! Guess Dr. Sears was right when he said dips are a great way to inspire 1-year-olds to eat.

Since the hummus and chicken combo went so well, I’m going to try serving lots of different sauces and dips with Mason’s roast chicken from now on so he can dip each piece before eating it. Check out my quick and easy picks below. I’ll make big batches ahead so we have plenty for the week. Stay tuned for great veggie and fruit dippers!

1. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

2. Peanut Sauce

3. Roasted Eggplant Dip

4. Easy Marinara Sauce

5. Cilantro Mint Sauce

6. Apricot BBQ Sauce

7. Classic Pesto Sauce

8. Mustard-Dill Sauce

9. Mint-Yogurt Sauce

10. Baby Cheese Sauce

11. Plum Sauce

12. Cucumber-Yogurt Dip

How do you spice up chicken for your toddler?

Photo courtesy of BHG.com

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What Mason Ate Today, Part 2

Friday, July 22nd, 2011


On Fridays after work Mason and I meet up with a group of neighborhood moms and their babes. I’m so lucky to have met these women:  They’re dynamic, talented, and inspiring, my sisters in motherhood. Our kids are all about the same age and we can share any parenting quandary without fear of judgement — we’re all first-time moms who met during those particularly vulnerable postpartum months and we formed a bond. I can count on them. When my nanny had a last-minute doctor’s appointment that conflicted with a mandatory meeting at work, Diane arranged for her nanny to care for Mason. When I failed to find the frozen fruit-holding teether that so many moms think is a miracle, it was Florence who finally found it and bought one for Mason. And so on. Tonight we watched as Zann and Mason entertained sweet, serene Charlotte with their rambunctious little boy antics and we  marveled at how big they’re all getting. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown and how miraculous they all are.

Today was special for another reason. In addition to enjoying my time with the girls and watching Mason delight in his time with the other babes, today was another one of those days where Mason ate a fun variety of foods, everything that was served to him as well as a little of this and that from our plates. Here’s today’s magic menu. What did your babe eat today? Did he/she try anything new?


Breakfast

Oatmeal with yogurt mixed with organic peaches
Part of my cheese omelet
A few bites of blueberry muffin

Lunch

1-1/2 veggie-filled meatballs
Organic sweet corn
Cherry applesauce
An organic strawberry, mashed

Snack

Organic apple puffs
Organic banana, diced

Dinner

Chicken-apple soup
Organic sweet potato, diced
Greek yogurt with cinnamon-spiced blueberries and apples

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Baby Chicken-Apple Soup

Friday, July 8th, 2011

chicken_soup

Best for Babies 10+ Months

Dinnertime is our special bonding time. Mason is happy and smiley. We sing , we recite our ABCs, we talk. He’s getting the hang of finger foods so every meal includes some combo of his faves, along with yogurt and a fruit or veggie puree. To change things up, I decided to make soup last night. Mason loves apples and chicken so when I saw this Parents.com recipe for a soup with both ingredients I just had to try it. My variation of the recipe is below. I used ground ginger instead of parsley–I love ginger in chicken soup. Instead of pureeing the ingredients, I chopped the onion, carrot, celery, and chicken into tiny pieces. I mashed the garlic in a garlic press, and I added in frozen corn (a veggie Mason hasn’t tried yet). All the chopping took extra time but it was kinda fun; you can also puree my version of the soup for younger babes. The soup smelled so delish I had a bowl myself. Yum! Try it out — and let us know what you think!

Baby Chicken-Apple Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 medium Gala apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small  onion, diced
1 medium  carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove  garlic, minced
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup frozen sweet corn
4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock

*You can also add brown rice or small pasta noodles to this soup, as well as greens such as chopped spinach or kale.

Directions

 

1. Wash, peel and/or chop all veggies and chicken.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add apple, celery, onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir for 6 minutes. Add in chicken, corn, ginger, and broth or stock. Bring to a boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. 

 

3. Cool slightly and serve. Or puree soup, in batches, before serving. Freeze leftovers for up to three months. Soup can stay in the refrigerator for up to three days.

 


carrots

 


apples

 


celery

 


corn

onion

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Tuesday Timesaver: Chicken for a Week

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

chicken

Best for Babies 8+ Months Old

Mason adores rotisserie chicken. Adores it. We first discovered his passion for it while we were at a friend’s house. Chris was eating takeout roast chicken and he broke off a few pieces and gave them to Bug. Mason is not one to go out of his way to feed himself — the child still refuses to hold his own bottle and you know about our sippy cup woes — so I was amazed when he stuffed the chicken in his mouth as soon as it hit his tray. No coaxing required. And then he reached for more! Finally, a healthy finger food more substantial than puffs and easier to pick up than squishy bits of banana or avocado.

Inspired, I picked up an organic rotisserie chicken on the way home from work last night. At home, I cut up the whole chicken and removed the skin. Then I removed the meat from the bones, shredded it into thin, short strips and divided the chicken into two-ounce portions. One portion went in the fridge for Bug’s lunch today and the remaining six went in the freezer for later. Seven portions of a healthy protein for just over $1 per serving (in New York City) — and the entire process only took about 15 minutes!

I loved this chicken shortcut because it was healthy and it saved time. It was also so inexpensive! Of course, you can save even more money by roasting your own chicken at home, which I often do, but last night time was more important to me than saving a few bucks. (Mason’s affinity for roast chicken also means no more pureeing chicken, thank God). You can stretch this timesaver to cover your entire family too. If Chris weren’t out of town, I would have whipped up this Dijon-crusted variation with Brussels sprouts for us (it’s one of our fave chicken recipes), then frozen the leftovers for Mason. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than that!

What are your favorite dinnertime shortcuts?

 

shredded_chicken

*This post is the first in my new weekly series about saving time and money on eats for your babe. Hope you enjoyed it! If there’s a topic you’d love to hear about, please let me know.

 

Top photo: Evan Sung, Parents.com

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