From the moment I found out that I was about to become someone’s mommy, there were no questions asked on what I was and wasn’t going to do with my spawn. I am what you describe as a health conscious person that still eats whatever I want, but will pick a healthier alternative when it is possible (unless I am pregnant, then fuck that give me the carbs, calories and sugar!). One of the things I said I wasn’t going to be was a “chicken nugget mama”. See, a chicken nugget mama is what I call a mom who primarily feeds their kids chicken nuggets instead of opting for a regular meal like the rest of the family. I always thought these mamas were “lazy” and didn’t care about putting processed crap into their kids systems. Granted, I ate the shitty ass kid cuisines growing up and turned out fine (BTW those things are super gross in reality but they are amazing when you are 4).
Growing up I had a mom who was a stay at home mom and cooked every day for the most part. I don’t remember ever having just chicken nuggets for dinner or for lunch unless it was a rare occasion where I got a Happy Meal. Lunch was usually a PB&J, hot dogs, kid cuisine or the special outing of going on lunch-dates with my mom and her gossipy friends to Red Lobster. My friends would tell me about their nuggets and I am like, “pssst I don’t eat those like that”, like I was eating the bees knees of kiddie foods at home.
When Cameron was a baby and even when he became a toddler, I did really good at making sure he ate a balanced and nutritious meal. He wouldn’t turn down any veggies or fruits and practically ate whatever I handed to him. I was doing what a good mama is “supposed” to do. Once Kennedy came into the picture, she threw us for a loop. This kid wanted nothing to do with baby food, veggies, and most fruits. Kennedy was a meat and potatoes kinda girl. We overcame the picky eater stage but not without a fight. Once we started adding people to our family, and found ourselves with 3 kids (now soon to be 5 kids); Things started to get interesting in the food department.
My kids had the nuggets before, but I always had to get them from places like Chik-Fil-A or Zaxbys. Other fast food joints, I wasn’t buying it because well, I couldn’t really “tell” it was really chicken lol. My dad went to Sam’s one day and saw these “healthy” chicken nuggets and picked them up for the kids. He called and said he got something for the kids and to come pick it up. I got everyone ready and headed over to see what this big surprise was. I get there and it’s a big ass box of frozen dinosaur chicken nuggets.
Now when I saw these nuggets, I immediately thought who is going to make these damn things, and what was in them because they weren’t made by one of the brands of chicken that I know of. I said thanks, tossed them in a bag and left. The whole way home my kids beamed with excitement and talked about how they couldn’t wait to eat these damn nuggets. They stayed untouched in the freezer for a while because I refused to make them. Until one day, while my husband was on shift at the fire station, I simply didn’t feel like cooking a whole meal for just me and the tots. Usually on nights like this I order food, make sandwiches, or we eat cereal (don’t judge me). I mentioned it to the kids, and they immediately chimed in they didn’t want a sandwich, they wanted chicken nuggets. So I dragged the damn things out the freezer and popped them in the oven, cut up some fruit and put a side of ketchup on their plates. They played with the nuggets, made them roar, and devoured them quickly. The sounds of the giggles and the fact they ate dinner without a fuss was just amazing. Meat is expensive as is, so with little ones it tends to be hit or miss in that department. I usually buy all kinds of meats and just give it to them but it has turned to be such a waste. Mama gets tired of eating the basics when it comes to the meat department so a light bulb went off. I need to start buying fucking chicken nuggets.
Parenting is a learning process and I am still learning, I am only 7 years in the game. So my next grocery trip, I went to the freezer section and painfully opened the freezer door and picked up a bag of chicken nuggets. Well I fucked up….I grabbed REGULAR chicken nuggets and not dinosaur chicken nuggets. They also were not the ones my dad had bought. When I tell you that you would think that the shape, color etc of things shouldn’t matter when you have kids, well it does.
I bought regular nuggets and fucked up my toddlers little world one by one big time. They all refused to eat them. One of them even got up and trashed it. I am like okay, what is the big deal?! My oldest then informs me that those were not dinosaur chicken nuggets and didn’t taste the same……are you fucking kidding me?
I called my dad and told him about the nugget meltdown in my house and he went out the next day and got them another box. I made the glorious dino nuggets for lunch one day and was a little hungry myself and wanted to see what the hype was about. I tried one..or two…or five and realized these fucking nuggets rock!
I continued to beg my dad to get me boxes of nuggets on his weekly Sam’s shopping trips until I got my own Sam’s membership. Everyone was happy in the land of chicken nuggets until…the Sam’s I shopped at stopped carrying that brand of dino nuggets. In fact they had no dino nuggets at all. Not even made by Tyson. The walk of shame through the check out line and what was about to ensue warranted a glass of wine.
I went shopping a few weeks later in another store and saw the Tyson brand dino nuggets and picked them up. They looked nothing like the ones they were used to, but I went out on a limb and figured I would try it anyway.
These nuggets went over well and the village accepted them! Now these bad boys are a lil costly. So mama had to find an alternative that still had a good flavor to it. I am a big big big Target shopper and go there weekly, if not multiple times a week. I started doing some of my grocery shopping there when I don’t need to replenish the bulk food items that I buy from Sam’s. They had this AMAZING sale and I saw that their Market Pantry brand of dino nuggets were 2 for $6 which is like the price of one bag of the name brand ones. I instantly tossed those fuckers in the cart and went on my merry way.
Now these damn things look and taste just like the Tyson ones. I keep two bags in the freezer at a time and it is always on my grocery list. I realized that it is okay to let kids enjoy some of the shittier things in life that I wouldn’t necessarily want for myself. I also realized that when you have more than one kid at some point you stop giving a fuck about being picky with certain things. The goal is to keep them alive. It’s just funny looking back on all the things I said I would and wouldn’t let my kids do. Because guess what? ALL OF THAT SHIT GOES OUT THE WINDOW ONCE THEY GET HERE. It’s survival of the fittest! The smiles on their faces and the cheers for chicken nuggets makes my day. Not to mention I am a tired mama and nuggets usually save the day when I don’t want to cook any real food…But they have to be dinosaur nuggets.