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Katherine Lee

How Healthy are Chicken Nuggets?

By May 24, 2010

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Sometimes, at the end of a hectic day, a box of frozen chicken nuggets can be a parent's best friend. Just pop these in the oven, microwave some frozen veggies and pour a glass of milk to go along with them, and voila! Dinner is done in a few minutes.

But just how healthy are those convenient chicken nuggets? In a report released last week, Consumer Reports found that many brands rated high in taste are loaded with sodium and fat and provide little nutritional value. Some highlights from the report:

  • Market Pantry, by Target, rated highest for taste. The downside: it contains 500 milligrams of sodium and 10 grams of fat. (The daily recommended maximum of sodium for children is 1,200 to 1,900 for kids ages 4 to 8 and 1,500 to 2,200 for kids between ages 9 to 13.)
  • Bell & Evans Breaded, which scored second best for taste, came in at 360 milligrams of sodium and 9 grams of fat.
  • Kirkland Signature Disney (Costco) came in next in taste. It contains 370 milligrams of sodium and 9 grams of fat.
  • Perdue Baked was found to 370 mg of sodium and 8 grams of fat. Consumer Reports also points out that Perdue Baked claims "whole grain breading" when in a single serving contains a measly one gram of fiber.
  • Tyson's chicken nuggets contains 470 milligrams of sodium and a whopping 17 grams of fat.
  • Consumer Reports also tested two soy imitation-chicken nuggets. While soy nuggests had a little more fiber (about 3 to 4 grams), they were loaded with sodium:

  • Boca Original Meatless Chik'n contains 500 milligrams of sodium.
  • Morningstar Farms Chik'n has 600 milligrams of sodium.
  • The bottom line for parents is that while chicken nuggets -- or meatless imitation chicken nuggets -- may be a quick, convenient dinner that kids like, parents need to keep an eye on the sodium and fat levels. We should also reserve them as a once-in-a-while quick dinner on the run, not make them a regular part of kids' diets.

    May 27, 2010 at 6:08 am
    (1) Castro says:

    How about that all those condiments(Ketchup), with High fructose corn syrup? my son can’t have fake or real chicken nuggets with out his ketchup…

    October 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm
    (2) Jess says:

    Chicken nuggets r not good for you Look on the video man

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