Dietitian Shares Why It’s Totally Fine If Your Kid Lives on Chicken Nuggets

a kid eating a chicken nugget iStock

This dietitian wants you to know that there are several reasons why nuggets are, in fact, a win

Parents of kids who will eat anything set in front of them will just never know the struggle of raising a picky eater. But for those of us who know all too well, it’s so easy to feel like you’re failing your kid when you simply cannot force fruits and vegetables into their body. But one dietitian is explaining why it’s OK if they go through a chicken nugget phase—even if it lasts years—because at the end of the day, as long as your kid is fed, you’re doing a great job.

Dr. Kacie Barnes, a dietician who specializes in toddler and kids’ nutrition, posted the video in response to a parent who asked, “My kid lives on chicken nuggets. Is that OK?”

Over a video of herself pulling some delicious-looking tenders out of her own air fryer, Dr. Barnes wrote a resounding yes.

“I’m a dietitian and it was the only meat my son ate for three years,” she added. “People who don’t have picky eaters don’t understand how hard it can be for some children to expand their diet. The chicken nugget phase won’t last forever.”

Amen to that.

In the caption, Dr. Barnes added even more insights for parents who are sure to be comforted by her expertise.

“There are much worse things than chicken nuggets, in my opinion,” she wrote. “I love nuggets because they’re an introduction to chicken that most kids will eat… they are on almost every kids menu, which means I could go out to meals with my family and know that my pickiest eater would have something to eat… they’re what got my anxious kid to try buying lunch at the cafeteria for the first time… they’re incredibly easy for any adult to prepare.”

But most importantly: “They fill kids’ bellies.”

Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters. Kids need full bellies. And sure, a plate full of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables would be ideal. But in the real world we live in, where not every kid will consent to eating that, a plate full of chicken nuggets is just fine.


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