Vegetable Chicken Fingers For Babies and Toddlers

by Eat Well with Lex

Vegetable chicken fingers are a healthy twist on traditional chicken fingers. They are made with a medley of nutritious veggies like zucchini and carrots along with wholesome quinoas. Because they are packed with nutritious ingredients, this easy homemade recipe is a great way to introduce textures and flavors to your little one. Plus, they’re perfect for baby-led weaning or for toddlers who are learning to eat finger foods.

They’re easy, they’re nutritious, and most importantly, they’re delicious.

For more healthy homemade chicken recipes for babies and toddlers try these Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets. You may also like these Easy Turkey Meatballs for Toddlers (With Veggies).

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Vegetable Chicken Fingers for Babies and Toddlers

I’m excited to share one of my all-time favorite chicken recipe for babies and toddlers that has been on repeat since my daughter started solids. These homemade chicken fingers are not only packed with wholesome veggies and protein-rich quinoa but they are always a hit with babies and toddlers, especially picky eaters.

This is a recipe I can always rely on and I know you (and your little one) will love it too. I’ve tested and updated this chicken finger recipe twice to ensure the best results every time. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

Reasons Why Parents Love This Veggie Chicken Fingers Recipe

Nutrient-Packed: These healthy chicken fingers are loaded with veggies and quinoa which provides as wholesome combination of nutrients.

Easy to Make: As parents, we’re always on the lookout for hassle-free recipes, and this one fits the bill perfectly. I ensured to keep this recipe as easy as possible so all you need are a few simple ingredients, one bowl and a baking sheet. I promise they are easy peasy.

Kid-Approved: Despite being packed with veggies, these chicken fingers are incredibly tasty and my toddler loves them. And, if you’re really into hiding those veggies, you can chop the veggies as fine as you’d like.

Adaptable for Baby-Led Weaning: These chicken fingers for babies are the ideal finger food for little ones learning to feed themselves. It was one of our first meals in our solids journey.

Ingredients for Vegetable Chicken Fingers:

  • Ground Chicken: chicken provides a good source of lean protein for your children’s growth and development.
  • Zucchini: zucchini is a mild and versatile vegetable. It adds moisture to the chicken fingers while providing additional nutrients.
  • Carrots: carrots are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and fiber. Grating them makes it easier for your baby to chew and digest.
  • Quinoa: Adds additional protein, fiber and essential nutrients.
  • Onion: adds flavor to the chicken fingers. It complements the other ingredients without being too strong.
  • Garlic: Enhances the flavor profile of the chicken fingers.
  • Dried oregano, Parsley and Paprika: For extra flavor.
  • Cooking spray: cooking spray is used to lightly grease the baking sheet, preventing the chicken fingers from sticking.

Feel free to adjust the ingredient quantities based on your baby’s preferences and dietary needs.

What is the Benefit of Using Quinoa Instead of Breadcrumbs

Adding quinoas to these vegetable chicken fingers is a great way to incorporate an additional source of protein and fiber. Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that is gluten-free.

Nutritional benefits: Quinoa is a complete protein. It is also rich in dietary fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system.

Textural Enhancement: When cooked ad mixed into the chicken fingers, quinoa adds a subtle texture and slight crunch for a more interesting mouthfeel. Texture is an important factor when introducing solids to babies.

Binding Properties: Quinoa acts as a natural binder in this recipe, helping to hold the chicken fingers together.

To incorporate quinoas into these vegetable chicken fingers, you can cook it according to the package instructions and then mix it with the other ingredients.

Why Texture Matters When Introducing Solids to Babies

Texture is an important factor wen introducing solids to babies. As babies transition from purees to more solid foods, it’s essential to gradually expose them to variety of textures to support their oral motor development and promote self-feeding skills. We introduced a variety of textures to our little one early on and these are some of the results that I observed:

  1. Introducing varied textures helps develop baby’s oral motor skills, including chewing and swallowing.
  2. Exploring different textures provides a sensory experience for babies.
  3. Offering a range of textures prepares baby for transition to family foods.
  4. Exposing babies to a variety of textures helps expand their palate and encourages them to accept different types of foods.

How to Make Vegetable Chicken Fingers

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Cook quinoa according to the directions on the package.
  3. In a food processor, finely shred or chop the zucchini, carrots, onion, and garlic until they are in small, uniform pieces.
  4. n a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, garlic, onion, cooked quinoa, dried spiced, paprika, salt (if using), and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.
  5. Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into finger-sized pieces, about 2-3 inches long. If desired, you can roll each chicken finger in breadcrumbs for an extra crispy coating. Lightly spray the chicken fingers with avocado or olive oil cooking spray.
  6. Place the chicken fingers onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart to ensure even cooking. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the exterior is golden brown and crispy.

Crispy Homemade Chicken Fingers in Air Fryer

These veggie chicken fingers are incredibly versatile. While they bake beautifully in the oven, achieving that golden crispiness we all love, they can also be taken to the next level by rolling them in breadcrumbs and popping them into the air fryer for an extra crunchy texture.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) . Place the chicken fingers into the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not overcrowded to ensure even cooking.
  2. Cook the chicken fingers in the air fryer for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

Tips for Vegetable Chicken Fingers

  • Opt for lean ground chicken
  • You can use any vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, bell peppers, or beets.
  • Squeeze out the excess moisture from vegetables like zucchini and spinach to prevent the chicken fingers from becoming too wet or mushy.

Tips for Introducing Textures and Solids to Babies

  • Remember, always consult with your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby and ensure that the ingredients used are suitable for their age and dietary needs.
  • Make sure to consider your baby’s readiness and abilities.
  • Always closely supervise baby during feeding to ensure safety and minimize the risk of choking.
  • Start small and be patient with your little one.

Find more baby-friendly recipes and tips on raising healthy eaters healthy here.

Storing leftovers

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you are making a larger batch for future use, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, simply reheat them in the oven until warmed through.

I like to store them in these Stasher bags because they are freezer-friendly, microwave ready and dishwasher safe.

More Baby and Toddler Recipes

Sweet Potato Tots with Carrot

Spinach Banana Pancakes for Babies

Easy Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast CookiesBreakfast Cookies

DID YOU MAKE THESE VEGGIE CHICKEN FINGERS?

Don’t forget to leave a ★ star rating and comment below to let us know much you loved them. We’d love to hear about your experience and any creative variations you’ve come up with.

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Vegetable Chicken Fingers for Babies and Toddlers

Vegetable chicken fingers are a healthy twist on traditional chicken fingers. They are made with a medley of nutritious veggies like zucchini and carrots along with wholesome quinoas. Because they are packed with nutritious ingredients, this easy homemade recipe is a great way to introduce textures and flavors to your little one.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 20

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots about 1 medium carrot
  • 1/3 cup shredded zucchini about 1/2 or 1 small zucchini
  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • breadcrumbs for coating optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
  • Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on package.
    1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • In a food processor, finely shred or chop the zucchini, carrots, onion, and garlic until they are in small, uniform pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, cooked quinoa, garlic, onion powder, dried parsley and oregano, paprika, salt (if using), and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.
    1 lb ground chicken, 1/3 cup shredded carrots, 1/3 cup shredded zucchini, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 small yellow onion, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into finger-sized pieces, about 2-3 inches long. f the mixture feels delicate or sticky, lightly coat the palms of your hands with cooking oil to aid in shaping. If desired, you can add breadcrumbs or roll each chicken finger in breadcrumbs for an extra crispy coating.
  • Place the chicken fingers onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart to ensure even cooking. Lightly spray with avocado oil or olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the exterior is golden brown and crispy.
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken fingers from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. Serve your vegetable chicken fingers with your little one's favorite dipping sauce, such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, or a creamy yogurt dip.

Notes

Make Them in the Air Fryer
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) . Place the chicken fingers into the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not overcrowded to ensure even cooking.
  2. Cook the chicken fingers in the air fryer for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your creations on Instagram! Tag us @Eatwell.withlex and use #eatwellwithlex! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment.

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2 comments

Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets | Eat Well With Lex August 25, 2023 - 10:24 pm

[…] For more toddler-friendly recipes, try these Vegetable Chicken Fingers for Babies. […]

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Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies for Babies | Eat Well With Lex August 29, 2023 - 11:55 am

[…] Vegetable Chicken Fingers […]

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