Children are actively involved in various extra-curricular activities that requires them to be at the peak of their energy levels at all times. As moms, we all try to give our children food that’s good for them but sometimes balancing good-for-you with yummy can get a little difficult, especially if you have picky eaters. But this is where I find boneless chicken to be a huge lifesaver.
It isn’t enough to just ensure they’re well fed; but to ensure they’re eating nutritious food even at snack time. We all know how quickly chicken cooks and how well it works with different flavours and ingredients but when you consider that chicken is full of protein, minerals (including phosphorus and calcium) and vitamins like B6 in addition to being a lean, lighter meat with low fat (especially boneless chicken that doesn’t include the skin. It all makes it perfect for use in snacks that children will eat without complaint. So you will never run out of ideas for new offering to tempt the easily bored kids of today.
Nutrition served through variety
Variety is a huge requirement with children and here boneless chicken comes to my rescue every time! With so much chilled hygienically packaged chicken available chilled on the shelves these days, it’s easy to access. I usually have a few packs of boneless chicken in my freezer and a variety of spices, condiments and sauces in my pantry so I can quickly put together fun snacks for perpetually hungry children! It’s so easy to cook with and it can be used in so many ways, it works like a charm. Tikkas, kebabs, in pies, sandwiches, pastas, and wraps, as crumb-fried tenders, on pizza, in salads, even in bhel and chaats – you can use boneless chicken on virtually everything that kids like to eat.
Chicken Wraps / Roti to add spice:
Use your favourite spice mix, dried herbs, or even barbeque sauce to marinate boneless chunks of chicken – different flavours will make for a nice variety of chicken options- and keep ready to use in single portions. Grill or pan fry quickly and serve up in sandwiches or wraps along with cheese, and fresh salad veggies. There’s fibre in the roti along with a host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the veggies and in the chicken, which also has loads of good protein.
Variety served with Sandwiches:
In fact, you could set up a little sandwich bar! Flatten boneless fillets of chicken with a meat mallet to tenderize, then grill with a dash of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and herbs and cook for around 5 minutes till done. Cut the grilled chicken into strips and make Subway kind of sandwiches. You can use homemade or store bought mayo along with loads of crisp lettuce, veggies, slices of cheese and whatever else your little ones like. Fill it up with plenty of chicken and you will have a well fed and happy kid for sure!
Fun snacks made at home:
Alternatively store cooked chicken in the fridge and add them to bhel or chaat for a funky twist to an evening favourite. You can also cut cooked chicken really small, sauté lightly, and add to any soup making it more delicious and nutritious too! Use them on home-made mini pizzas loaded with colourful vegetables that will definitely appeal to the kids. Especially if you top them with plenty of cheese before you pop into the oven. In fact get your kids to help you, it will keep them busy too!
What I really love about using boneless chicken in snacks for the kids is how easy it is to prep and store, either marinated or cooked, so when the kids are hungry it takes me barely 10 minutes to put together something they will enjoy eating. And, I’m not hearing any complaints in my house!
Fun Food Recipe – Oat crusted Chicken Tenders
300 g chicken breast, cut into strips
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp green chilli ginger paste
1 cup oats
3/4 cup refined flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp dried mixed herbs (italian herb)
1 tsp garlic powder
Place the chicken breast on a flat surface lined with cling wrap and hammer it with a meat mallet until you get equal thickness.
Cut the chicken breast into 2 inch thick strips (horizontally)
Place chicken strips in a mixing bowl.
Add salt, ginger, garlic and green chilli paste and mix well, ensuring the marinade gets rubbed into the chicken pieces. Keep aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
To make the oat crumb, place oats in a food processor, and process for 20 seconds or until coarsely ground. Add flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs. Pulse to make a coarse powder and spread out in a n even layer in a plate.
To cook chicken tenders, heat a pan and brush with oil. Take each chicken strip, dredge in oat mixture and place on the hot pan, ensuring it is completely flat.
Cook until golden brown (3-5 minutes). When cooked on one side, flip over and cook on the other.
Serve Hot and Crispy!