Chances are — if you’re a child between the ages of 0 and 97 — you’ve had chicken fingers at one point or another. You may have had them more times than you can remember since they’re a very popular food at restaurants around the country.
But did you ever stop to think about what you’re eating? Have you ever seen a chicken with fingers? Not likely…
Chicken fingers — also called "chicken strips," "chicken tenders" or "chicken fillets" — are boneless, skinless pieces of chicken that are usually breaded and deep-fried. Since chickens don’t have fingers, they’re obviously not made from chicken fingers! Chicken fingers are mainly white meat from the small, thin “tenderloin” portion of breast meat.
So why do we call them "chicken fingers"? No one knows for sure. Although they’re meant to be eaten easily with your fingers, the name probably comes from the fact that they’re shaped a bit like fingers — human fingers, that is!
Chicken fingers are usually served with your choice of a dipping sauce. Popular sauces include ketchup, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard and buffalo wing sauce.
You’ll find chicken fingers on just about every children’s menu in any type of restaurant around the country. Since they’re usually deep-fried and served with french fries, they may not be the healthiest option on the menu, though.
When eating out, here are a few tips you can use to make healthier food choices:
- Many restaurants offer healthy alternatives today. Check menus for these items.
- If you have a choice between fruit and french fries, go for the fruit!
- Choose a salad with fresh vegetables, grilled meats and low-fat dressing for a lighter alternative to burgers and fries.
- Go small! Watch your portion sizes and choose small sides rather than large ones.
- Ditch the soda. Drink milk or water instead. Add lemon to your water for more flavor.
- Watch your toppings. Mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese and bacon add unnecessary calories and fat to many items.
- Slow down! Chew thoroughly and take your time while you eat. Eating slowly gives your body time to digest. If you eat more slowly, you may be surprised that you start to feel full before you’re finished with your meal.