Lauren and I work with so many fussy eaters, and we know how much they love to eat plain, white, easy-to-chew foods. Chicken nuggets are often a fussy eater’s staple food. Most parents would prefer if their kids ate other sources of chicken (that’s where we can help to expand the variety of foods your child will eat) but for many kiddies, chicken nuggets are LIFE! So, which ones to choose. Let’s look at the Ingham’s Dino Chicken Veggie Nuggets- surely with chicken and veggies these would be a good option for your fussy eater?
🔶Ingredients: chicken breast (34%), Flour, Wheat Bran, Water, Vegetable Oil, Corn (6%), Carrot (6%), Soy Protein, Gluten, Salt, Yeast, Semolina, Natural Flavours (Milk), Dried Vegetables (2%) (Pumpkin, Garlic, Onion), Corn Fibre, Cheese Powder, Thickener (407, 415, 1404), Mineral Salts (450, 451, 508), Herbs and Spices, Maltodextrin, Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Acidity Regulator (270), Emulsifier (322 from Soy), Natural Colours (100, 160c), Vitamins (Thiamin, Folic Acid).
🔹Common allergens include: wheat, soy, milk
🔶 The positives:
🔹One of the lowest contents of sodium (salt) on the market at 340mg/100g.
🔹Also the lowest saturated fat content (1.5g/100g) of all of the 14 nuggets I surveyed (although this isn’t an exhaustive list)
🔹No artificial colours or flavours
🔹No added hormones and 100% Australian chicken
🔹$1.50 per serving ($15/kg)
🔹One of the lowest chicken contents (34%) on the market. Most of the other suggest have somewhere between 45-60%. You might think this is compensated for by veggies, but to be honest the 14% (mainly carrot and corn) really don’t cover this.
🔹Lower protein content than many other nuggets, mostly because of the lower chicken content. Remember though that most Australian kiddies eat enough protein to easily exceed the protein requirements
🔹Slightly higher sugar content than some other nuggets (but realistically all are less than 2% sugar anyway so this is negligible)
🔹This product proudly states 100% Aussie chicken. This is cleverly worded to make you think it’s 100% chicken. Instead, it means that the 34% chicken in the nugget is all Australian chicken.
🔹The declaration about the absence of hormones and steroids also adds an element of confusion for customers, given that all Australian chicken is free from hormones and steroids.
The pumpkin and cheese crumb is a bit over the top given it’s some pumpkin and cheese powder (less than 2% by weight of each) mixed into the breadcrumb
🔹The dinosaur shapes are probably the smartest marketing of all!
🔹Some positives and some negatives with these nuggets. I’d would suggest choosing a nugget with a higher percentage of chicken if you can. This way you get a bit more iron and protein, which is important for fussy eaters. If your child doesn’t eat veggies, I really don’t think the amount in these nuggets makes any difference at all.
🔹As always, working towards homemade nuggets or plain chicken is a good nutritional step. I do realise this is really tricky for some particularly resistant eaters, so if your fussy child enjoys these dinosaur nuggets then you can breathe a sigh of relief that they’re not the worst in the world!
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page. You can also email them.