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Best homemade chicken finger recipes for kids

Ditch frozen foods and whip up a batch of these kid-friendly favorites.
/ Source: TODAY

There's a reason chicken nuggets or tenders are on most kids' menus across the country. Crunchy and bite-sized, this portable food is pretty fun to eat. But many deep-fried restaurant versions contain a lot of extras your little ones don't need.

Using a homemade recipe can certainly beat frozen options when home cooks want to minimize sodium content and reduce the fat in a meal.

If you're seeking simple and straightforward lunch or dinner ideas to feed the fam on remote learning days or busy weeknights, try one of TODAY Food's favorite chicken finger recipes.

Crispy Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

Quinoa is incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet and it's a great way to get more fiber. This recipe uses the ancient grain instead of bread crumbs and, when mixed with a bit of Parmesan and seasonings, creates the perfect crunch.

In addition to just being fun to say, these "so money honey" nuggets also only take 30 minutes to prep and cook. The chicken is tossed in the honey-mustard mixture before being breaded and baked. For anyone who loves dipping chicken in an irresistible sauce, this recipe is a keeper.

Pump up the flavor of chicken and ketchup with this recipe. The breading has warm spices like cumin and turmeric. Paired with a spicy and sweet avocado-mango salsa, this relatively nutritious meal packs a lot of punch.

Some folks may be familiar with using Corn Flakes cereal in breading, but how about Honey Nut Cheerios? The secret to the incredible texture of these chicken fingers is the two-stage cereal pulverization process. The finer bits add a delicate crispness, while the coarser crumbs add major crunch.

When talking about deep-fried meats, it's impossible not to include a recipe from Guy Fieri. The Food Network host shared his air-fried chicken fingers recipe that's a staple at his Chicken Guy! restaurants.

This flavorful spin on crispy, boneless chicken is easy to make and is also a great option for both adults and young kids. The green ranch dressing is also irresistible. Adding avocado gives it an attractive color and makes it even creamier.

TODAY Nutritionist Joy Bauer coats her chicken fingers in a whole-grain crust (with a touch of cheese for extra flavor), then bakes them so they turn golden brown and get ultra crispy without ever coming close to a deep fryer.

Anyone who loves swooping a piece of chicken through a nice bowl of sweet and sour sauce will love this easy DIY recipe for the sauce and crispy panko-crusted tenders.

Use crushed cheddar crackers, like Cheez-its or Cheese Nips, for an easy, cheesy weeknight recipe that can be on the table in just 25 minutes.

Easy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

Easy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN

Kids love the fried coating on chicken, but the restaurant versions are usually full of saturated fat and sodium. Registered dietician Frances Largeman-Roth created an oven-baked recipe that has all the flavor kids love, without excess breading. Feel free to experiment with the seasonings, like adding a little more spice for kids who like it.

These chicken tenders are completely free of gluten and so delicious they'll be gone in seconds. Restauranteur and TV personality Ming Tsai developed this recipe for his son, who has food allergies — but his whole family absolutely loves this dish.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Short on bread crumbs? No problem. Rachel Hollis ditches the breading and goes straight for the bacon to create a super savory spin on chicken tenders meat lovers will adore.