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Children's Health

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Chicken Nuggets Loaded With Fat, Salt

Chicken Nuggets May Taste Great to Kids, but They Often Lack Nutritional Value

Chicken Nuggets: Read the Label

Williams tells WebMD that Consumer Reports Health isn’t recommending that parents stop eating nuggets or feeding them to their kids because that wouldn’t be realistic.

“The reality is, many parents and kids eat nuggets,” she says. “I wouldn’t say what we found is a cause to avoid nuggets, but there probably are better food choices. If you are going to eat them, we are trying to tell you which ones have the best taste in terms of nutrition.”

Nutrition scores were for the 3- to 4-ounce servings suggested by most manufacturers, Consumer Reports Health says, but “double the size and most tested nuggets would score fair or poor.”

Kids who gobbled nuggets from McDonald’s restaurants said their food tasted very good, but the items, tested at Consumer Reports’ headquarters, rated fair for nutrition.

“Most members of our kids’ panel preferred McDonald’s nuggets to those from Market Pantry and Bell & Evans, though they liked all three,” the Consumer Reports article states.

The publication urges consumers to read health claims on packaging, conceding nuggets aren’t the best option for most people.

“Busy parents who are trying to get dinner on the table really do have their work cut out for them,” Williams says in the news release. “You want to feed the kids something they’ll like — and kids do like chicken nuggets — but you don’t want to overwhelm them with fat and sodium. The best you can do is keep an eye on those labels and try to round out the meal with some fruits and vegetables.”

The average person gets about 3,500 milligrams of sodium daily, which is considerably more than the maximum daily recommended amount of 2,300 milligrams. About 77% of sodium in the American diet comes from packaged and restaurant foods, Consumer Reports says.

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