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Beyond Chicken Nuggets: New Ways to Use Turkey

Surely chicken nuggets rank right up there with ice cream as a kid’s favorite food. Chicken nuggets are ubiquitous on the children’s menus at restaurants and at home, but why not turkey nuggets? Is turkey healthier than chicken?

Simply put, it is. Turkey has more nutrients than chicken, and is one of the leanest sources of animal protein available. But until turkey nuggets get top billing on restaurant menus, consider making them at home. They aren’t as difficult to make as you might think.

  • Buy turkey cutlets sliced into thin filets.
  • Let them use a meat mallet and pound the filets flat.
  • Have them cut out desired shapes using cookie cutters with metal edges, or help them with a knife to make actual nuggest.
  • Dip the shapes into a beaten egg and then into a plate of breadcrumbs. (At this point, the nuggets can be frozen and cooked later.)
  • Place nuggets on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.
  • Cook at 400-degrees until the feel firm and done, about 7-10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of shapes.

Another way to interest your kids in a turkey centered meal is to let them build their own sandwiches. For a twist on the familiar sandwich bar, set up a turkey wrap bar with whole grain wraps, turkey lunch meat, dark chopped romaine lettuce or baby spinach, sliced reduced fat cheese, tomato, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red bell peppers and any other vegetable you think your children would eat in a wrap. Turkey also tastes great in a baguette or pita pocket. In these breads, it’s easy to sneak in some sweet cabbage slaw, dark green romaine lettuce or baby spinach for added nutrients. These kid friendly recipes also provide easy ways to add the veggies that can be difficult to include in their diets otherwise.

Tacos are another appealing food for kids, and they are delicious made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. Sautee the turkey meat just as you would ground beef. Then set up the table with bowls of shredded cheese, baby spinach or some other dark leafy greens. Don’t forget the salsa and guacamole. Here are some great recipes to try:

When Thanksgiving hits, there are, of course, countless ways to use left over turkey in ways kids will enjoy. A homemade version of macaroni and cheese with turkey chunks and broccoli can provide a healthy hearty dinner. Turkey quesadillas are appealing to kids and easy for them to make. Consider making turkey soup with the left over carcass as another way to get the kids in the kitchen to chop and add vegetables to the broth.

Just think about it, and you’ll find some smart ways to incorporate turkey into your every day diet.

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