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Toddler Time! Crispy Chicken Tenders & Eggplant

December 1, 2016

image1-4Post submitted by
Fit Toddler Mom, Team Blogger, Strong Momma Anita 

Getting my picky 2-year-old preemie to stop and eat anything is still a daunting task. The “you’ll eat what I make you or you’ll get nothing” strategy doesn’t work for us given he’s still barely clearing 20 lbs. at 28 months. While I withhold late afternoon snacks and only offer fruit AFTER dinner, he still more often than not would rather bounce around the kitchen during dinnertime than sit and eat.

So, rather than rely on packaged food like hot-dogs, nuggets or Mac, I try to clean up traditional favorites, so they are not only more nutritious, but also flavorful. I also like to make things we’ll eat so when he refuses it, it doesn’t go to waste by going straight to the trash.

Here I made Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders and Eggplant Rounds. I used gluten-free and organic ingredients. I didn’t go the Paleo route as Almond Flour fritters never feel or taste the same to me, but you could. I also fry in olive oil which does get pricey but rich in omega 3’s, it outweighs the inflammation-causing, fat-storing omega 6 fatty-acids in canola or vegetable oil.
Sadly, I can’t tell you he gobbled them up, but at least he tried them. I enjoyed some for a treat as well, without the guilt, and I fried up part of the batch for my husband. Win!

*1/2 cup gluten-free or whole-wheat flour, your choice
*1/2 tsp Himalayan saltcrispy-chicken
*2 large eggs
*1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably gluten-free or whole-wheat Panko, your choice
*1/2 cup organic Parmesan
*1 tsp paprika
*1/8 tsp garlic powder
*1/8 tsp onion powder
*olive oil, as needed
*1 lb. organic chicken tenders

If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix flour and salt in one bowl. Beat eggs in a second bowl. Mix breadcrumbs, seasoning and cheese in a third bowl.

Dredge chicken tenders in the flour mixture, then into the eggs, then into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat completely.

Put the baking sheet of breaded tenders into the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 22 to 25 minutes.

If frying, brown on the stove in hot oil in batches, turning, 5-7 minutes.
I doubled the recipe and made eggplant as well.

I’ll continue to tell myself to just keep trying, and hope you’ll do the same!

Butternut Squash Fries up next!

More recipes and tips at littlebitoffitness.org

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