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Chicken Fingers that are Mom-tested and kid-approved

Simple ingredients and great taste made these chicken strips a winner with everyone.

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I expected that my children would become adventurous eaters. After all, their mother had tried buffalo in Rio de Janeiro; green papaya salad from a street vendor in Bangkok, Thailand; kebabs (which may or may not have been lamb) from the medina in Marrakech, Morocco; and wild boar in the south of France.

Cookbooks were always on my holiday gift list. At home, my stove hummed with interesting recipes from the Wednesday New York Times.

When they were too young to eat anything that was not puréed, Alexander and Julia accompanied us to many great restaurants with their own meals in tow.

So I eagerly anticipated each one's toddlerhood as a time to say hello to interesting restaurant food.

Unfortunately, I was thwarted by the "children's menu," and its perennial star, chicken fingers.

Ah, chicken fingers. In its most popular incarnation, the poultry tends to take a back seat to its friends: bread crumbs, oil, and salt.

Sometimes the chicken is so overprocessed that it looks more like white cotton than meat.

On the kids' menus, the chicken is called cute names like tenders, nuggets, fingers, or toes. So convenient but so scary to a mom is the supermarket version, which lists at least 20 ingredients not found in nature. It does, however, come in child-friendly shapes such as footballs and dinosaurs.

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