Chicken nuggets and hamburgers are two popular food items for kids. I must admit, I enjoy these foods as well! I wanted to compare nutritional information for these items at three fast food chains, and then try out a healthier version at home.
I want to point out that the restaurants listed below do offer healthy alternatives to nuggets and burgers. For the purpose of this article, I focused on these two food items.
The restaurants I choose were McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s. The nutritional information came from each restaurant’s website.
Let’s start with comparing the four piece chicken nuggets:
McDonalds 4 piece chicken nuggets:
Calories: 170 Fat: 10
Burger King 4 piece chicken crowns:
Calories: 170 Fat: 10
Wendy’s 4 piece chicken nuggets:
Calories: 190 Fat: 12
4 Piece Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets:
Calories: 65 Fat: 2
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 box of Kraft Shake and Bake, extra crispy
Note: 1 chicken breast is enough to make two servings of four nuggets.
1. Cut chicken breast into nugget size pieces. One breast should be plenty for a four or six nugget meal, however you can make two or three breasts and save the rest for later.
While instructions may vary slightly depending on which brand of seasoning you have, most will follow these basic steps:
2. Moisten chicken pieces with a little water.
3. Pour season packet into the bag provided, or on a plate.
4. Dip (or shake) the chicken pieces into seasoned mixture.
5. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Once they cool, place 4 to 6 nuggets in plastic snack bags and store in the fridge.
Let’s take a look at hamburgers. Here is the nutritional information for a basic hamburger, with no toppings compared to a version I made at home.
McDonald’s (3.5 ounces--I could not find information for a 4 oz. hamburger):
Calories: 250 Fat: 9
Burger King Hamburger, 4 oz.
Calories: 290 Fat: 12
Wendy’s Hamburger, 4 oz
Calories: 370 Fat: 16
Grilled Seasoned Hamburger: 4 ounces
Calories: 270 Fat: 6
1 pack of 96 lean ground beef (150 calories, 4.5 grams of fat)
1 pack of buns (120 calories, 1.5 grams of fat)
Mrs. Dash steak seasoning (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Shape patties into a quarter pound each.
2. Season with salt, pepper, and steak seasoning.
3. Cook on the stovetop or grill until patties are cooked throughout.
Patties can be made ahead and frozen, taken out the night before you need them
and thawed in the fridge. At dinnertime, your family will have four patties ready to be thrown in the pan (or the grill).