Wednesday, June 2, 2010

School Lunch Tuesday 6/1: Chicken Tenders

The menu reads as follows: Chicken Tenders, Tater Tots, Seasoned Veggie, Wheat Bread, Banana

What they got: Chicken tenders, tater tots, mixed veggie, wheat bread, a pear and lowfat milk

Another processed chicken meal. This is just a chicken nugget in the shape of a tender. I'm happy to see some vegetables and a fresh fruit on the tray. I must tell you that as much as it pains me to say this, the kids really love chicken tenders/nuggets. And while laden with fat and sodium, balancing the meal out with fruit and vegetables is an absolute must. Only problem here is that the kids will just eat the chicken and leave the rest, so there goes any 'balancing' one may have attempted.

Recently, Consumer Reports rated 14 supermarket brands of refrigerated and frozen chicken nuggets — including two chicken-like nuggets made from soy and what they found was that they all came with high sodium and fat content and were low (not poor) on nutritional value. Surprise!

They also warned consumers not to be mislead by the "All Natural" or "Organic" labeling.  My advice is to always read the nutritional facts and ingredients on the back to see if this is what you are looking for.

I came across an article done by MSNBC: The 20 worst kids' foods in America. They dissect and rate the worst meals ranging from pb&j to chinese food and then recommend what your kid could eat instead. Worth a read for sure.

My favorite was the classic grilled cheese sandwich, which won worst kids' sandwich and here is why:
Au Bon Pain Kids' Grilled Cheese
670 calories
41 g fat (25 g saturated)
1,060 mg sodium

You wouldn't even consider feeding your child this if they called it by its real name: an oil sandwich with cheese. So soaked is this sandwich that you'd need to eat 25 strips of cooked bacon to equal the amount of saturated fat found between the two slices. Wait until you get home — in about 5 minutes you can make a pretty mean 300-calorie grilled cheese sandwich.

Eat this instead!
Kids' Macaroni and Cheese
250 calories
14 g fat (9 g saturated)
690 mg sodium
 Wow! Who would have thought.....


  1. Glad to see there are more schools out there blogging about their success!!
    please drop by my blog if you get the chance!!

  2. Hi Chef Dennis...Great blog...Love your recipes, first one I'm going to try out is the Blueberry Muffin recipe.

    Thanks for following!