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BBQ Chicken Nuggets Recipe for Picky Eaters


Picky eaters.  Ugh.  That’s one of the number one struggles I’m asked to address in cooking class.  It only takes one parent mentioning their child doesn’t like a certain food group to send shudders of fear through the class with frightened murmurs of “picky eater”, as if it’s a contagious disease they’re afraid their own child might catch.  I’ve worked with a lot of parents on ways to get their kids excited about healthy foods, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually had to cook for my own picky eater at home on a regular basis. Our exchange students usually eat pretty much anything and everything.  They’re thrilled when I serve food from their respective countries, but also happily eat food from other cultures as well, excited to learn about cuisines around the world.  I find that Italian food is usually their favorite, with Mexican a close second.

But last August, we got our first picky eater.  The first time I served spaghetti, which all our other students would eat by the gallon, he picked all the noodles out, then searched through his digital translator to inform me that he thinks “tomatoes are a garnish”.

When I made enchiladas for dinner, he took two bites then got up to make himself instant ramen, saying that “cheese makes me want to vomit”.  The night that I served chicken caeser salad, he ate all the chicken but left the salad because “vegetables should be cooked”.


In fairness, it wasn’t all bad.  He loved my Asian cooking and said my rice is as good as his mother’s (a HIGH compliment).  But cooking for him was definitely a challenge.  We love cheese, tomatoes and salad, so a lot of our favorite dinners were on his “not delicious” list.

I wouldn’t make him a special meal on nights we ate something he didn’t like; either he could eat what we had, eat leftovers, or make himself noodles.  Once in a while I could adjust the recipe slightly, leaving the cheesy topping off his corner of the casserole for instance.  But I tried to make sure that at least three nights a week I would make something I knew he’d like to eat.

One of his favorite foods was barbecue sauce, and he’d pour it on just about anything.  He also loved chicken, so these barbecue chicken nuggets were high on his “very delicious” list.  I love this recipe because it’s so easy to make, and it’s ready in less than thirty minutes.

The nuggets are baked so much healthier for you than fried chicken nuggets or, even worse, the frozen nuggets made of horribly processed chicken parts.  Eric and I love these as much as our exchange students, so they’re the perfect solution for our picky eater.


Don’t forget to check out the Chicken Change Up on Facebook.

You’ll find tons of easy chicken recipes, tips, and videos from Celebrity Chef Tim Love. There are also daily giveaways and an awesome $5000 grand prize grocery store gift card!

I’ll also have an awesome picky eaters giveaway prize package posted tomorrow, so stop back by to enter for goodies to please the pickiest of palates.

I love these barbecue chicken nuggets, but am always looking for ways to change it up.  Do you have a favorite nugget or dipping sauce recipe?

Yield: 4 servings

Barbecue Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 3/4 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Mayonnaise (or Light Mayonnaise)
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 TBS Italian seasoning
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and mustard. Divide, and place half the sauce mixture in a small bowl in the refrigerator, reserving the rest for breading the chicken.
  3. In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs with Italian seasoning.
  4. Cut the chicken breasts into nugget sized pieces.
  5. Coat the chicken pieces in the reserved sauce mix, then coat in the seasoned bread crumbs.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.
  7. Serve with refrigerated sauce for dipping.


Approximate cost/serving:  It’s less than $1 a person, cheap!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 619mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 20g

Nutrition information is an estimate only.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

5 thoughts on “BBQ Chicken Nuggets Recipe for Picky Eaters”

  1. These look so yum and I think my beans would love them–with nori on the side! (They’re huge fans of nori, those kids. They have nori on the side with everything.)

    Not sure how I would do this since we are pretty much wheat-free now. I read somewhere about buying gluten-free waffles, toasting them, and then throwing them in the food processor to make crumbs (I think it was from Gluten-Free Goddess).

    • Hi Salina, what are you looking for with healthy? Hellmann’s is made with eggs so it’s actually really healthy fats. BUT, if you’re trying to lose weight and want a lower fat option, go for fat free Greek yogurt.


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