One thing I told myself before becoming a parent was that my kids will eat “normal” food. Not “kid” food. I’ll take a moment while other moms pick themselves off the floor after laughing so hard. We’ve all had these “MY kids will never _________”, right? I think my other big one is that “My kids will never misbehave so badly that we have to leave a restaurant/store/activity.” Yeah right, 26 year old Meagan.
I think I’ve done pretty well introducing my kids to a wide variety of foods, and a lot of nights they eat some form of what my husband I are eating. Maybe its just the protein, with raw veggies on the side (my daughter doesn’t like foods that are cooked together OMG). I’ve found ways to compromise my love for spice and my daughters sensitive palate. They love sushi, and my son will literally drink salsa. But there are definitely some battles around food. Some I choose to fight, and others I don’t. Enter turkey rolls (a slice of deli meat around a cheese stick).
One way I can help with the food battles is find ways to make delicious food look like kid food. If I make chicken breast, chances are they will find a problem with it. But if I cut up the chicken to look like strips or nuggets for them to dip in ketchup, they will inhale it! I can expand their palates by using different flavors and spices, and if its tasty who cares if it looks like “kid food”. Plus, I’m pretty sure every adult wishes it were more acceptable to order chicken tenders off the kid’s menu every now and then!
These chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice, making them super flavorful and tender! I make the tenders for a kid friendly meal, but they are even better with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs if you want to try that! The air fryer make the skin get super crispy! If you don’t have an air fryer, first of all what are you waiting for?!? They are life changing! But you can totally cook these on the stove or in the oven if you want.
Here is the air fryer I have if you are curious (affiliate link):
- 1 lb chicken tenders (or just slice up a chicken breast into tender shaped pieces like I did).
- Pickle Juice
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Marinade chicken: place chicken into a food storage bag and cover with pickle juice. Let sit for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and pat dry so it gets crispy.
- Season with dill, paprika, and garlic powder
- Preheat air fryer to 400 for 5 minutes.
- Cook chicken for 8 minutes, until fully cooked and crispy!