Set the dinner table with a chicken meal for your little one.
As if you didn't already know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that healthy eating during childhood contributes to your child's overall growth and development. While kids under 4 may only need 2 ounces of protein per day, sneaking it in between whines of, "Mommy I want a cookie" isn't always easy. Instead of making a whole new meal for your child -- unless you want to feel like a short order cook at home -- transform your leftover chicken into a kid-friendly dish.
1Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Prevent choking hazards and make sure that the pieces aren't too large, too stringy or have bones in them.
2Remove any sauces or spices that aren't exactly kid-friendly. While you might like your seasoned meal, it may not appeal to you picky preschooler. Instead of tossing the chicken in the trash and starting over, place the pieces into a strainer and run warm water over it. Don't worry if the chicken isn't 100 percent free from your former seasoning. Simply make sure that you get most of the spices or sauces off of it.
3Choose a few veggies -- making sure that in total they add up to 1/2 cup -- to add in or on to the meal. Boost the health factor of the meal by adding your little one's favorite vegetables. Try bright veggies that will attract your child's eye such as squash slices or carrots. Cut the vegetables into easy to chew and swallow pieces.
4Prepare a bland-ish side dish. It's entirely common for preschoolers and toddlers to favor less complex flavors. Mash a potato to make a basic accompaniment for your chicken.
5Grill or stir fry the chicken with a splash of olive or vegetable oil to keep it moist. If you plan on adding the veggies into the mix, toss them in with chicken and cook them together.
6Plate your leftover chicken meal. Keep it creative to get your little one into eating her healthy meal. Make a smiley face with the vegetables, top a mountain of mashed potatoes with shredded chicken snow or add a splash of color with some ketchup. Add a whole grain roll and a glass of milk to complete the meal.
- If your child likes sauces, try a sweet barbeque or teriyaki mix.Try a healthier version of a not-so-healthy kids' favorite such as french fries as a side dish to your chicken meal. Slice a baking or sweet potato into strips and bake them with a touch of veggie oil.
- Never use chicken with a full-on spicy sauce such as extreme barbeque wings.Avoid anything with a bone. Missing a small bone may mean that you are serving your child a chocking hazard.