Are Chicken Nuggets BAD?
The article Chicken Nuggets: Good Intentions Gone Bad? by Karen Collins, published for the American Institute for Cancer Research, addresses our shift away from red meat to chicken, including the ever popular Chicken Nugget. Children love Nuggets but should children be eating them? Are Nuggets the first step on the road to obesity and poor health?
I am not a nutritionist or a food professional but after spending 16 years encouraging healthier alternatives for children attending elementary schools, I am concerned that we may be getting caught up in the Good Food, Bad Food Controversy. We have been shifting the blame for our tendency to get heavier with each generation from one food to another without solving the problem. What not to eat can be just as much a fad as what to eat. There is no weight gain mystery. We eat too much and too often! The simple solution is to worry less, eat more fruits and vegetables and eat smaller portions of everything else.
Collins writes “The complete answer about chicken nuggets can’t be found simply by comparing them with various alternatives. The nutritional impact depends on how the overall meal is put together”. She is so right! It’s the overall fat, calorie, sugar and sodium impact of whatever we eat that makes the difference. At the end of the day, Chicken Nuggets are just one little piece of a huge Food Smorgasbord. It’s how many you eat at one seating that counts – four Nuggets is a reasonable serving. Nuggets are not all created equal so read the box to check the nutritional content and bake them to avoid adding extra fat.
So are chicken nuggets bad? No, not really. What truly matters is how we put our food together and as time goes by, I realize that some of those old clichés our parents were fond of, like, “everything in moderation” [except fruits and vegetables of course – we need more of those] still make sense.
— Ruthie Burd
Ruthie Burd is a Mom and the Founder of the Lunch Lady.