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A Child Who Only Eats Chicken McNuggets

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At age 16 my daughter saw the movie Supersize Me at school in health class.

The segment highlighting how McDonald’s chicken nuggets are made disgusted her.

The movie was so disturbing to her that she and a friend decided they needed to detox and went 100% raw for a week.

 What exactly is in chicken nuggets?

Here’s a fun fact: McDonald’s “chicken” is actually about 44 percent chicken.

shutterstock_54041719The rest is mostly corn, salt, preservatives, and a few other interesting nasties.

Corn and corn products are abundant in  “chicken” nuggets.

Yes, I absolutely have to use the quotation marks.

Sue me.

Ingredients in Chicken McNuggets:

  • Chicken (McDonald’s chickens have been fed genetically altered – GMO – soy and corn, by the way. But is that really much of a surprise?)

  • Modified cornstarch (GMO corn, again. Without this, the “chicken” nuggets would not be able to hold themselves together, due to the extreme processing of the nugget.)

  • Autolyzed Yeast Extract and Natural Flavoring (These ingredients act like MSG.)
  • Dextrose (It’s a sugar usually made from GMO corn.)

  • Yellow corn flour (GMO corn, no doubt.)

  • Vegetable oils with may include GMO canola and GMO soybean oil.
  • Citric Acid (usually made from GMO corn).
  • Sodium Phosphates – (additive to keep meat moist).

  • Trans Fats – Hydrogenated soybean oil.

  • Bleached wheat flour (Bleaching flour causes the production of alloxan, a poison used to give lab rats diabetes.)

Interestingly, perhaps even moreso than the above, are ingredients actually purchased from chemical plants that go into the “chicken” nuggets.

  • Aluminum phosphate

  • Calcium lactate, to help prevent the rancid vegetable fats in the nuggets from starting to rot visibly.

  • Dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone chemical that is added to breast implants, Silly Putty and McDonalds Chicken McNuggets. It is a  defoaming agent for frying oils.

  • Preservative Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is derived from petroleum and is sprayed directly on the nugget to preserve freshness.  A single gram of TBHQ, when ingested, can induce nausea, vomiting, delirium, collapse, and worse. Three to six grams of TBHQ can, and have, killed people. Somehow we are not to worry because one would need to eat 11 pounds of chicken McNuggets to get 1 gram of TBHQ.

Do You Know a Child Who Will Only Eat Chicken McNuggets?

Once exposed to chicken nuggets, many kids become almost addicted and limit their options when eating out to these salt-filled breaded wonders. The Daily Mail reported that one teenager ate Chicken McNuggets (and almost nothing else) for 15 years until she collapsed at work, struggling to breathe. Now she and her mom realize that was probably not a good idea.

The low quality ingredients in chicken nuggets are one issue.

Looking at the 10 piece option:

  • 900 mg sodium – more than half the sodium recommended per day.
  • 470 calories
  • 24 grams carbs (turns into 6 tsp sugar)

Why do parents cave in when a child demands chicken nuggets and refuses to eat anything else? It is easier in the moment but as you can see from the story above, they may not grow out of the McNugget Addiction. Stop buying chicken nuggets. They can’t eat what isn’t available to them.

Try this:

  1. Prepare dinner and have the family sit down at the table together to eat. Have a conversation! Prepare simple food but not processed food. Try meat and vegetables. Real Food. Burgers and roasted vegetables. Grilled chicken and sweet potatoes. Meat loaf and carrots. Family members who are not hungry still need to sit at the table with everyone else. Encourage that they try a few bites then keep their plate covered until they are hungry for the meal, otherwise there are no other food options until tomorrow. Yes, it is ok to go to bed hungry if they are not willing to eat the food that has been prepared.
  2. Do not become a short order cook. Prepare only one meal and avoid making special food for the kids. Let them help you make the food if possible.
  3. When kids are hungry between lunch and dinner, offer them a fruit or vegetable snack. It will be met with rebellion at first (I know, I had to make this transition when my kids were in grade school). If the message is consistent, they will adapt. I had success with making salads and having them on the table when the kids came home from school. If they were hungry I would say, “Eat your salad first. Dinner will be ready after that.”
  4. Stop trying to force the child to eat. Just offer the food and enjoy your meal while they sit with you. Keep the dinner table free of electronics.
  5. Try to incorporate a little fun into the meal choices. Lettuce wraps with filling options like ground beef, cheese, tomato, and olives. Have little bowls of dressing or sauces for dipping veggies. Prepare vegetables in different ways. Many kids love roasted vegetables or interesting options like roasted kale “chips” or zucchini muffins.

Do you need some Real Food lunch box ideas?

Try these ideas from and from







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