Friday, July 1, 2011

It's For The Children

Long ago, when I was pretty new at parenting, I bought my son a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli as a treat. It wasn't something I would normally buy, but I thought as a special splurge I'd get it for him. He wouldn't eat it and I initially was angry. I'd bought it as a treat, why wouldn't he eat it? Then I tried it and I could see why. It was nasty!

For some reason we, as a society, reserve some of our nastiest foods for our children, and then we package them up as special treats. Canned, frozen, packaged, or fast food - if you look at the ingredients list you realize that we are feeding the least developed and most vulnerable bodies the most repulsive and often harmful foods.

I used to purchase food (or foodlike items) without a thought as to the ingredients and the effect they might have on my kids. After all, if it wasn't safe for kids, it wouldn't be sold for kids, right? Right?

Actually, the onus is on parents to safeguard their kids. It's up to us to read labels, be informed, and make good choices for our children. The companies who sell snacks loaded with hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors and colors aren't going to go out of their way to let you know the health threat their products pose to your kids. They are in business to make money, not to do your job for you.

With cartoon characters (you wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've bought just because it had Mickey or Donald on it!), catchy jingles, toys, and ads with cute, laughing kids, advertisers try to lure unwary parents into buying foodlike products for their tykes. And if you're not convinced that it will make your children happy, they show you how much easier your life will be if you just open a can, pull it out of the freezer, or go through the drive-thru.

But what are you really buying? Is it nutritious? Is it going to help their growing bodies? Or is it even food? This short (about 4 minutes) clip shows how to make chicken nuggets and also how advertising has brainwashed our kids.

So what's a mama to do when her chilluns clamor for fast food? Make her own, of course!

My daughter is doing her best to meet the nutritional needs of her daughter in the healthiest way possible. Her research has shown her that including organ meats in the diet of a toddler is extremely important for growth and development. That's good to know, but how on earth do you get a toddler to eat liver? Hide it in nuggets! If it works for nasty chicken paste, it works for healthy chicken livers, too.

See how much my granddaughter loves them? Seriously, she gets so excited when her mommy makes her chicken nuggets. She'll yum up three in a meal (and she's a tiny person). Because it's chicken liver, not beef, it's got an easy texture for a person with three teeth to handle. It's good for her, it's easy to fix, and she loves it. What could be better?

Now if you're inspired to try this for yourself, just be sure you get organic chicken livers. The liver is a filter organ and you don't want to eat what's in a non-organic chicken's body!

Real Food Chicken Nuggets

Organic chicken livers
Organic psyllium husks
Grated Parmesan cheese

1- Cut the livers up in to baby hand holding size. Rinse them off.

2- Combine the psyllium and cheese on a plate. Sprinkle some pepper over the mixture. Dredge the livers in the psyllium mixture.

2- Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the nuggets, turning to cook on all sides.

How easy is that? Lots less trouble than getting in the car, driving to a take-out place, and then having lots of trash to deal with. Plus look at the happy consumer! That's advertising that doesn't lie.


hobby baker Kelly said...

I think if more people read labels with the knowledge to understand them, they'd be appalled. It was only after all our problems surfaced with food sensitivities that my eyes were opened to the cluster blank that is our food system at large. And my daughter's two biggest triggers were, guess what, corn and soy. The two most ubiquitous, GMO'd, pesticided, misrepresented, adulterated and subsidized crops in the US. Hidden in myriad forms with as many names. It's no wonder so many kids are turning up with food induced behavioral issues and autistic tendencies. We have processed and pasteurized the life giving properties out of our foods. I have to make just about everything from scratch now and am working on rebuilding my daughter's gut flora with raw milk and probiotics. And the progress has been wonderful even with the paltry changes I have made.

Whoa, sorry for the rant. Our journey has developed very strong feelings in me toward the food industry. :)

I will definitely try this out, I did a mix of livers, thighs and peppers breaded and fried in coconut oil and it went over pretty well with the family, so this should be even better with the cheese in the coating. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your darling granddaughter!

PS, I'd love to know the name of your dairy...

Unknown said...

wow that video, I am shocked they choose to eat it!

Adam said...

I am a firm believer that all food consumption should be in moderation whether it's considered "healthy" and "pure" or it's a manufactured "treat." The difference nowadays is not necessarily that parents aren't reading labels, it's that they're allowing their kids to have too much of it. We always had packaged cookies, Chef Boyardee (which I still love :)), chips etc. in the house, but it was never open season. My parents were always in control of what we were given, and we had to ask for it, we didn't just go and get it ourselves. I don't think kids should be denied candies, chocolate bars and chips but they should not be in control of the amounts they eat, because lets face it, kids can pack away some serious food :).

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I was shocked that the kids still wanted to eat the nuggets. I think my own daughter was always destined to be a nutritionist. She would head off to McD's with her friends all all she would eat would be processed nuggets, no burgers...she did like their pizza though back in the day.

Katie said...

Your granddaughter is so cute!

I have to make these for my son, who's two. He doesn't like the beef liver that I enjoy, but he might like chicken liver. Especially in nugget form.

Jennywenny said...

So cute! And I agree! I think you might want to watch out for a baby eating too much liver as it is extremely high in Vitamin A. Yet another thing to worry about!

The Honey Nut said...

Haha. This would probably be way better than the McDonalds nuggets I devoured as a kid

grace said...

i ate plenty of mickey d's chicken nuggets as a child, and i was perfectly fine with it. obviously. now that i know more about what's in them and how they're made, i'm rather disturbed. good for you for taking the time to make them correctly--the test subject is absolutely precious!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Wow....that I am sad for our kids :( breaks my heart.
On a lighter note, love your blog! :)
Thanks for sharing xxoo

Anonymous said...

Making some of these for Rose tonight. Thanks for posting this recipe!