While my little ones are still fruit and veggie eating machines, I am just not able to fill them up on fruits & veggies alone any longer. It is time to introduce proteins into Daniel’s diet, so I looked into the best starter meat for babies. Chicken nuggets are highly recommended as a first protein because they are easy for babies to eat since they are made from ground meat then shaped into nuggets.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets For A Healthier Meal
Well, I wasn’t about to waste my money on store-bought nuggets, nor did I want to introduce many of the “non-real food” ingredients that they contain. So I decided to make them myself. I controlled the ingredients by grinding my meat (since I already owned the food mill, this was not too hard) and using bread crumbs from homemade bread. However, you can buy already ground chicken & store-bought bread crumbs and still turn out a healthier product than store-bought chicken nuggets are.
My kids have never seen store-bought nuggets, so I didn’t bother with shaping them this time. However, if they ever start asking me for shaped nuggets, I have a plentiful supply of cookie cutters to make my shapes from as well.
Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- 1 ¼ pounds ground chicken - this was the result of grinding one chicken breast and four thighs
- ⅛ cup cheddar cheese - grated, I used a mix of hard grated cheeses I had on hand
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cups breadcrumbs - I made my own from homemade herb bread, which added a little more flavour
- ⅛ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, oatmeal, grated cheese, paprika, garlic powder and pepper.
- Stir dry ingredients into ground chicken.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with paprika and parmesan. Use a spoon or a teaspoon cookie scoop to form the chicken mixture into balls. Press into a cookie-cutter for shaped nuggets or flatten with fingers for a basic nugget shape.
- Drop nuggets into bread crumb mixture and turn over, patting crumbs into the surface to coat evenly. At this point, you can either freeze the nuggets or bake them.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Arrange nuggets on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Lightly spray nuggets themselves with cooking spray or olive oil for a crispier coating (optional).
- Bake 15-20 minutes, turning once and checking – don’t overcook!