This kid-friendly cheddar crusted baked chicken strips meal using is perfect for those busy back to school weeknights. This is a sponsored post with compensation received from Annie’s. As always, all opinions are my own.
Is it me, or has this summer absolutely FLOWN by? It seems like just yesterday, we were anxiously awaiting Carolina to arrive and, now, she’s already 4 weeks old and the kids will be starting school in less than 3 weeks again. Huh?
Soon, we’ll be back to early wake-ups, 3pm school pick-ups, backpacks, homework, prepping lunches each night, and busy weeknight dinners.
With all this right around the corner, it’s time I start planning so it all doesn’t come as such a shock when it’s here.
What will we make for lunches?
What snacks should we have on hand for the kiddos to easily grab?
What easy weeknight dinners can we have ready to go?
Anything nutritious I can prep ahead or have ready to grab will make the transition from summer to back to school that much smoother and successful.
When I can’t get to making everything from scratch on those busy weeknights, I have some go-to products that are both family-approved and still full of goodness, like Annie’s Homegrown sauces and dressings. This makes those busy weeknights easier and less stressful.
The kiddos love Annie’s cheddar bunnies so we make a fun coating for chicken strips that is super easy and kid-friendly and uses the cheddar bunnies for a crunchy coating. Not only does the coating add flavor and texture to the baked chicken strips, it also is fun for the kids to make.
Are Baked Chicken Strips Healthy?
Unfortunately, a lot of chicken strips aren’t the best for you or your kids, especially when ordered at restaurants. When ordered out or purchased from the frozen section, they’re often heavily coated in highly processed batters and then deep fried.
The way to make them much better for you is to bake them, instead of fry them. That way, you can avoid all the oils, but still have a yummy crunchy coating. Another option is to pan-fry them with less oil than you would use to deep-fry them, though oven-baked chicken strips are the best choice for a healthy option.
Tips For How To Get Your Kids To Eat Chicken
If you have trouble getting your kids to eat chicken (or any protein, for that matter), I’ve found a few things that work really well. Here are some tips on getting your kids to enjoy chicken:
- Coat the chicken strips in a flavor or texture your child enjoys. For example, if they love almonds or these cheddar bunnies, crush them up and coat the chicken with them to make it more enjoyable for your kiddo.
- Have fun flavors and dips for your child to make it more fun. We are big on dips in our house. Adding in ketchup, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, and ranch dips makes the experience more fun and enjoyable.
- Involve your child in the process of planning out the meal and then also with the cooking. The more invested they get beforehand, the more they’ll enjoy the meal once it’s time to eat.
If your or your kids love Annie’s cheddar bunnies, too, you can grab them and other Annie’s products at Whole Foods right now with their special offer of spend $15 at Whole Foods on Annie’s products & save $5 (valid through 8/22/17)*. Good luck with the back to school rush!
These kid-friendly cheddar crusted baked chicken strips are an easy, kid-friendly meal for those busy back to school weeknights.
- 2 cups Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Bunnies
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. Annie’s Homegrown Yellow Mustard
- 2 tbsp. raw honey
- 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 carrots, cut into sticks
- 6 oz. snap peas
- Annie's Homegrown Organic Cowgirl Ranch Dressing, for dipping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Transfer the cheddar bunny coating to a shallow dish and set aside.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1 tsp. olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
Starting with the egg mixture, dip the chicken slices until fully coated. Then give them a little shake to let any extra egg drip off.
Transfer to the seasoned coating and gently toss until the chicken strip is completely coated.
Transfer the chicken strip to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken, allowing some space in between the chicken strips for even baking.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle and the coating is golden.
* If you don't own a food processor, you can add the cheddar bunnies into a large ziplock bag, seal it, and gently crush the crackers using a rolling pin, mallet, or heavy-bottomed glass.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.
This is a sponsored post with compensation received from Annie’s. As always, all opinions are my own.
*Offer valid 7/26/17 – 8/22/17 or while supplies last. $15 worth of participating Annie’s products must be purchased in a single transaction at Whole Foods in-store to receive $5 discount instantly at checkout. Discount may not be combined with other offers or discounts. Net purchase determined after all discounts, offers and coupons. No rain checks.