• Meredith Stone Wellman, RD, LD

Simply Homemade Chicken Tenders and Fries (with Honey Mustard!)

The kid in me will always love a good ole

chicken tender, fries, and honey mustard meal. The purpose of this post is to share that not only is it healthier to make a common fast-food meal at home, but it is also cheaper and truly does not take as much time as you may perceive. *Don't be scared if your kitchen skills are rusty, there are instructions and pictures. I'm more than happy to help if you need more thorough instructions!

Don't get me wrong, this girl loves some Wendy's from time to time, but it is not something I have every week or even every month. I appreciate Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants attempting to make fast-food healthier for us. For example, they have recently removed artificial trans fats from foods, thanks to the FDA. Also, for kids' menu items, Wendy's has taken soft drinks off the options and added nutritious fruit, yogurt, and milk! In addition to these changes, I appreciate the convenience fast food brings to those who do not always have access to a working stove and fridge, or a caretaker who can cook for them. Like stated in my Gathered Around Vicki's Table post, I wish I could cook for every hungry little kid out there... I'm working on that!

All in all, this post is not to scare you away from Wendy's or McDonald's, it is to make you aware and encourage you to give homemade a try when possible. Have your kids join in and teach them how to make their favorite meal.

It all starts at home!

Why is homemade the best choice?

Price: My take on the meal cost $3.82 per serving (That is using organic meat!). Wendy's 3-piece chicken tenders with small fry is $5.02, not counting a drink and frosty...

Time: When you make a grocery list and add chicken tenders & fries to your weekly meal plan, it takes no additional time at the store. As for cooking the meal, all together it took about 20 minutes of prep time, and 25 additional minutes of oven time. How long does it take for you to drive to and from the drive-thru?

Nutrition: My take on the meal is 518 calories per meal, Wendy's 3-piece tenders, small fries, and honey mustard is 700 calories. Although my meal is lower in calories, I don't want the focus to be just on that. My meal has 42 less ingredients... Yes, you read that right! Making a meal homemade is an easy way to do without ingredients such as dimethylpolysiloxane, hydrogenated soybean oil, yellow #5, and high fructose corn syrup. Do you have those in your pantry?! Also, you know what oil is going in it, instead of "May contain one or more of the following...." Lastly, the calories of the homemade version are more nutritionally dense. This means the homemade version provides more vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, less sodium, and a better ratio of fat. AKA... You're gettin' a bigger bang for your buck!

Check out the nutrient analysis:

Note: All Wendy's information was available through their website, except the honey mustard dipping sauce. Honey Mustard nutritional information was sourced from Fooducate.com.

Now time for the recipes...

*Tip: Make the fries before the tenders because they take longer. They can be baking until the tenders are added to the oven, then they will come out together all warm and ready to enjoy!



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