Who doesn’t like cheese and tomato sauce? This is a healthy alternative to the regular version, which is often heavily breaded and fried, made with full fat cheese and served with white pasta. Offer this version early in your little one’s life, and they will prefer your version to the original.
Ingredients: Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) pounded thin with meat tenderizer. 4-5 egg whites in bowl, 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or whole wheat panko, spices as desired (see below), 1 can tomato sauce (choose one without added sugar), olive oil or Pam (or other) cooking spray, part-skim mozzarella and/or grated parmesan cheese, 1 box whole wheat pasta.
- Dip thin or pounded chicken breasts in egg whites.
- Next dip in organic whole wheat Italian bread crumbs. (Whole Foods has a great one, or you can add garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, etc. as desired to plain whole wheat bread crumbs.)
- Place on oven tray or pan sprayed in Pam or lightly coated w/olive oil and cook for 25-40 minutes at around 425 degrees, depending on oven and chicken thickness.
- Once chicken is fully cooked (check by cutting open and making sure there is no pink color), top with tomato sauce and sprinkle lightly with part skim mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese.
- Change oven to broil and cook until cheese browns/bubbles.
- Serve with a side of or on top of whole wheat pasta, and don’t forget to add a green vegetable!
****For kids under 12 months of age, dip chicken in olive oil instead of egg whites, or use egg yolk only. Skip tomato sauce as well for the little ones. You can add full fat cheese for kids under age 2. The chicken can be pureed for younger kids, or chopped into smaller pieces. For older kids, cut into strips and try sauce on the side for “chicken fingers” and dipping. For infants, cook the pasta way past the box-recommended directions and cut up into small pieces. Add olive oil and sprinkled mozzarella and/or parmesan, if desired. This can be great for a finger food (for example rigatoni cut up into “O’s”) for babies starting around 9 months. Apples, pears, or other fruits can always be added to puree chicken to add moisture and sweetness for your infants.