I wanted to create a recipe for you guys that I knew would be husband and kid approved! I know cooking gets exhausting and it’s especially frustrating if half the food goes uneaten.
I did a bit of research. I was running errands with my kids and decided to consult my four-year-old son, “Hey, I want to make a recipe for my blog that’s healthy and that kids would like. What should I make?” Together we came up with chicken tenders “like chick fil’a but healthier” and zucchini fries. I wanted to get all fancy and add parmesan to the zucchini fries, but Henry said, “No, mom. You need to leave them plain.” I decided to go with the assumption that my four- year old knows what he’s talking about in this department.
I was excited to make this meal all week to see if he would actually love it. You guys he did love it AND he has a yuck cold and still ate it! He chewed most of it and asked if I wanted to get a picture of his half-eaten food for the blog. No thanks.
Don’t think my kids are perfect eaters. They are not. I used to think it was pretty easy. Henry would gobble up avocados and salmon and most anything that was fresh, but then he went through a phase where he barely ate for a whole month. It totally freaked me out. Ha ask my friends. I learned a lot about kids and food during this time. I am by no means an expert, but here’s what we learned together. P.S. Ella is still in the stage where she mostly eats anything we offer if she’s actually hungry.
Tips to get your kids to eat
- Give them very small portions. Too much of anything is overwhelming.
- Don’t give them too many options. Stick to 1-3 items on their plate at a time.
- Try to take a deep breath during dinner. We started reading fun story books at dinner. Everyone would need to take a bite before we could turn the page. The end of a page was a good visual reminder for him and was a lot less stressful than my husband or me barking, “take a bite!”
- Try very simple foods that do not have multi textures. The texture really seems to matter to kids.
- Don’t give them sugary meals just to fill up on because you think they will never eat. You don’t want to build bad habits, instead, you want them to grow out of a phase. *I feel like I need to add give yourself grace here. There are days where a compromise may need to happen and that’s okay!
- 2 zucchinies
- 2 teaspoons of naturally refined coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 package of chicken tenders
- Chicken Tenders (around 14 oz)
- 2/3 cup of almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/8 fresh ground pepper
- 1/3 cup of milk (use almond if you don't do dairy)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil (refined so it doesn't last like sun tan lotion)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Slice the zucchinies into home fry size.
- Put them on a cookie sheet.
- Massage the two teaspoons of coconut oil on them and cover with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Cook for 15 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes.
- Remove the zucchini fries from the pan immediately (this helps them not wilt).
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.
- Stir almond flour, chili, salt, and pepper together in one bowl. Stir egg and milk in another.
- Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then dredge in flour.
- Fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden.
- Bake in the oven for 400 for 5 minutes (I use this time to make sure the chicken are fully cooked and I can set the table without having to babysit the chicken).
Don’t want to eat like a kid? I served our chicken tenders over a bed of shredded kale and made a peanut butter thai sauce to go on top (use almond butter if you are paleo). For the sauce I combined, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of coconut amino’s, 1 tablespoon of white rice vinegar, and a dash of red pepper. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and whisk together. Enjoy!