Kid-Approved Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders

 coconut chicken tenders

Even though I haven’t been posting many recipes lately, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking! You can imagine trying to work from your home with a two and four-year-old has its challenges but we still have to eat so I have been cooking up a storm!

I haven’t really talked about this on my blog but for the past 6 months my oldest has been in speech therapy for speech delays and since January he started OT for some sensory issues (he is a seeker). This is part of the reason I have been “quiet” here on my blog. I have been taking him to therapy sessions, reading every book I can find on the topic, posting comments in groups and trying to do everything I can to help my son succeed. So after lots of research I have made some pretty big dietary changes in his diet. He has been gluten and grain-free for pretty much his entire life but I have been reading more information that suggests I should further tweak the foods he is eating.

There are many success stories from mothers who have eliminated dairy and even foods high in salicylates such as strawberries, blueberries, apples, almonds, etc., and witnessed a positive affect in their children’s behavior.  My Hunter is a sweetheart but he has lots of energy and is really hard to focus. He has not been diagnosed with ADHD but when I read the symptoms, he pretty much fits every one of them. So what do I do? Do I ask for medication? Do I ask for an official diagnoses? Nope, I do what I’ve been doing for over 10 years, I look at the food he is eating to see if there is anything I should change.

I’ll post more on this topic later but if you’re interested, check out the Fenigold Diet. There are lots of groups you can join, and I encourage you to ask other holistic minded mamas what benefits they have seen from eliminating dairy from their children’s diet.

So far in the past two weeks from starting Fenigold Diet (low salicylates) he is finally getting the body-brain connection and letting us know when he has to go to the bathroom. This is huge! We have been potty training since last July, nine months and it had never clicked! The brain just wasn’t firing for him to feel that he needed to go and verbalize it. It is been amazing to see the changes in him, especially this past week. The greatest words I heard this week were, “I stopped the poop!” I know that is too much information but this made my heart full! Even his teachers at school noticed positive changes and his speech and occupational therapist did too. 


I am not jumping on a fad diet. I am making these changes because I believe that the food we put in our mouths fuels our body and brain. If I have a headache, I do not have a Tylenol deficiency. If I have digestive issues, that doesn’t mean that my body is just low on Milk of Magnesium. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” This pretty much sums it up! 

So you’ll be seeing some different types of recipes coming your way, those without almonds, which is high-in salicylates. Since I’ve also cut dairy out of his diet, I will be sharing with you some new kid-friendly and dairy-free recipes like a cheese sauce made using Baker’s yeast. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s actually really good! I made my 12-Minute Hamburger Helper and eliminated the cheese and made a new non-cheese sauce that tasted like cheese and the boys gobbled it up!

These new dietary restrictions have forced me to become extra creative in the kitchen. Even though it is a little stressful, I have enjoyed creating new recipes and I am excited to see improvements in my sweet son!

Please share in the comments below your experience with eliminating dairy from your child’s diet (or yours) or if you have any experience in the  Fenigold or Failsafe diet which limits salicylates.

Here are some links if you’re interested in more information. I’ll keep you posted on our success but so far so good!

About the Recipe

collage chicken

These chicken tenders are REALLY crunchy and my boys gobbled them up. They are best eaten right after they come out of the oven. If  you refrigerate them for later in the week, simply put them back under the broiler or in a Counter-top oven (I LOVE mine) to reheat and re-crisp. 

Kid-Approved Coconut-Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce
Serves 4
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  1. Tenders

    • 1 lb. chicken breast cut into stips or nuggets
    • Salt and pepper or Cajun Seasoning
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup shredded coconut (medium shred)

    Honey Mustard

    • 1/4 cup mayo
    • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
    • 1 tsp. vinigar (it doesn't matter what I kind, I used coconut)
    • Sweetener to taste


  1. Tenders

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place an oven safe cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and set aside. 

    Generously season the chicken strips with salt and pepper or my Cajun Seasoning.

    Beat the egg and then place the chicken strips in the same bowl as the egg and stir until the chicken is coated.

    Place the shredded coconut in a bowl and add the egg covered chicken, a few pieces at the time. Toss until the chicken is evenly coated and then place on the prepared cookie sheet. 

    Bake chicken for about 15-20 minutes until chicken is done and then turn the oven to broil to allow the coconut to slightly brown but be careful not to burn.


    Blend all ingredients in a bowl and adjust sweetness to suit your taste. 

    Serve sauce with tenders and enjoy!

Satisfying Eats
cookbook collage 3-5-14


  1. Patricia R. says

    I can totally understand what you are going through. My 8 year old grandson was just diagnosed with being borderline ADD. While we have been eating healthy, he is only with my son half the time. His mother and stepfather eat very differently and we have no control over it. While they lean towards a whole grain and more vegetarian diet we tend to eat meats and some vegetables. But I do lean on almond flour for some things, but not a lot. I will have to experiment more. I will be looking forward to your future posts to see what you come up with.

  2. Wenchypoo says

    I have tinnitus, and I’ve noticed that eating low-salycilate foods helps tone down my ear ringing. Broccoli was a fave around here, but is no more–it makes my ear ringing louder, and raises Hubby’s blood sugar levels (from the Omega-3). We now use coconut flour instead of almond flour for the same reasons.

    I’ve recently found that glycerine also brings on the loud ringing, so no more MCT oil or stevia glycerite for me.

  3. connie m says

    When my oldest son was 7, (he is 45 now) he was allergic to foods, hyperactive, would start talking during the night and eventually started to sleepwalking. When I found him starting to walk out the front door around 2:00 in the morning, that’s when I said enough is enough. I had heard of Feingold and would read about the diet, but up until that point, didn’t do anything. I called the local support group (yes, even that far back), and went to their meetings. When I started him on the “diet”, especially artificial colors, flavors and sugar, he was young enough to really not notice some things. On the third night after the “diet” was started, he slept through the whole night and didn’t do any talking. It was fantastic! My Feingold group were enthusiastic to hear the news too. As the school parties and birthday parties were growing, I would bake something comparable to what was being served and he never really knew. Of course I only bought things that he should be eating at home and I have always done the cooking/baking at home, especially since I have allergies myself. To make a long story short, I had good results pretty fast.

  4. melody brown says

    This is quite interesting! I feel for you and your family! So a question I wonder since we’ve been to Europe in November…have you considered…the dairy in the U.S. is subject to hormones and anitibiotics? I know while in Europe I didn’t have issues with any of their foods including dairy. Just a thought. Plz keep us updated! ~melody aka Mi Mim aka Mrsbootc~

  5. Delaine Allen says

    I’m commenting on the recipe, not the article.

    Loved the chicken strips. My husband’s not a fan of too much coconut so I used less and mixed it with tapioca starch.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Kelly says

    This looks great!. I love your recipes! and I have a recipe request – grain free & sugar free pizza rolls, I was thinking of using Cappello’s lasagna sheets and then use natural sugar free pizza sauce recipe with pepperoni or other low carb toppings.

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