From Wikipedia:  Internet Meme – An Internet meme is an idea that is propagated through the World Wide Web. The idea may take the form of a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or just a word or phrase, such as intentionally misspelling the word “more” as “moar” or “the” as “teh”. The meme may spread from person to person via social networksblogs, direct email, news sources, or other web-based services.

I am ashamed to admit that, prior to yesterday, I had never heard of this term.  But my Facebook friend MarsupialMama (or Twitter) suggested to me that we start one, based on an idea I had this morning. My idea was born this morning, following serving my food-averse autistic toddler chicken nuggets for breakfast.  Just like dinner last night.  Just like the previous lunch.  He, like thousands of ASD kids, has severe food aversions.  At this point, he has eliminated almost every food he used to eat, and we are down to chicken nuggets and various forms of bread.  He will not eat beans, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, cheese, or even ice cream.  His food must be dry and either round or square.  I know I am not alone in this.  So I got to thinking.  Here’s my idea, from my Facebook page:

The Autie Nugget 

“For you entrepreneurial types, I have a GREAT idea: Speciality chicken nuggets! Seriously. Chicken nuggets containing veggies, beans, whole grains – lots of varieties. You could even do a chicken nugget shaped fruity type of dessert [Fruit Fritters]. Frozen, non-toxic, [vitamin-enriched] and ready to heat. I’ll even name it for you – Autie Nuggets. If you’ll perfect, market, and ship ’em in dry ice, I won’t even ask for a portion of the profits. Admit it. I’m brilliant. And if you tell me it has already been invented and is currently being sold, I’ll accept my non-brilliance and declare that guy brilliant instead.  [Furthermore], if somebody, [based upon our plea], invents and sells them – and my son eats them – I will give free advertising [and promote via social networking] for life on my blog. No, REALLY.” 


1.  Smell is going to be important.  If it doesn’t smell like a chicken nugget, a lot of ASD kids will refuse to eat it.

2.  Shape is non-negotiable.  It must resemble a standard chicken nugget.  No variations possible, as- again – ASD kids will refuse to eat it.

3.  Color must be standard as well.  It needs to be golden, with a crispy outer surface.  And the coating will need to stay on the nugget.  

4.  The texture will have to also resemble a firm chicken nugget.  If it falls apart, ASD kids will refuse to touch it again.  

5.  One reader suggested the veggie blend remain in the center of the nugget.  Not sure if that’s possible, but it seems like a good idea.  I’m thinking the outer layer will have to be chicken for the outside texture to be right.

So, readers and bloggers, what do you think?  Want to help spread the word for someone to invent these?  It could change the nutritional intake for autistic children with severe food aversions everywhere.  It’s a call to action – somebody, somewhere, please create and sell a healthy version of the Autie Nugget!

Bloggers:  If you will promote the idea, I’ll add you to my blogroll.  Yes, I know that’s kind of an anti-climactic incentive, but it’s all I’ve got to offer you.  LOL  😉

24 responses »

  1. dvyss says:

    Reblogged this on DVYSS.

  2. just posted this to my blog and fb for you! totally AWESOME idea!

  3. k.d. says:

    My ASD girl will eat Quorn brand chik’n nuggets. Made from mycoprotein, and also has filling of onions and wheat flour. Very smooth texture and flavorful. Even smoother than the standard processed nuggets made from real chicken. She has severe texture reactions to most food (screams and scrapes at her tongue like the texture is burning or stabbing her) and won’t touch any variety of fruit or vegetable but for applesauce in those expensive squeeze pouches, and the expensive Brothers Natural freeze dried apple crisps. Keyword: expensive. Quorn brand is spendy too.

  4. kristie says:

    Puree vege of your choice, cut chicken in desired shape. Coat chicken in vege puree and then roll in desired coating. Fry or bake if you can. No one will know the veges r there UNLESS u pick a green veg, then a child may get wise. I have put pumpkin in chocolate cake & spinach in brownies a la Jessica Seinfeld. I am fortunate that my son is now a “foodie”. He loves food shows!

  5. Marlene says:

    I can identify with all your concerns having raised a son with Autism and significant underlying sensory issues. Now that he is age 38, I can say I have probably gone through every phase imaginable, though at each stage I was certain the current stage would always stay in the status quo. If it is of any help to young parents, let me just say that the phase of “chicken nuggets” will pass. What I’ve learned from this long process, called life’s experience with Autism, is that just as soon as you think you’ve come up with something to resolve one issue, the child will have moved on to a whole new phase in food favorites, or move on to a new behavior. Today my adult son had brussel sprouts. I never thought I’d live to see this day. Did I mention that last week he ate broccoli? He still has his distinct food preferences, strong likes and dislikes but, all in all, what he does eat is healthy, albeit for our rule that french fries and “junk” food are treats for once a week. And then there is my typical grandson, age six, who also went through his own chicken nugget phase. Sometimes these phases are just typical kid’s stuff. Think positively, this, too, shall pass!

  6. Re-blogged should go to my facebook page. Also found this blogger who idenitifes as Asperger’s to be fascinating.

    So glad you are out there helping people. Stay strong. Life is a struggle, but worth the battle.

  7. Reblogged this on Emotfit's Blog and commented:

  8. Robin says:

    Jennie you are lucky she will eat salad, I’d give just about anything for Finn to eat salad! Like many other moms I struggle daily with my son eating anything that has a remote bit of nutrition to it! Alas my son will not even eat chicken nuggets! I have been able to at times get him to eat vegan nuggets ( brand name : Garde*in). Go figure right? He is the king of cheese however, which might be a great thing considering he won’t touch milk, yogurt, ice cream, pudding…… I’m sure you all know! He will do grilled cheese, occasionally pizza (from pizza parlor Ny style & frozen), chicken quesadilla from taco bell only with no sauce. He will not eat mozzerlla sticks which kind of surprises me since they remotely resemble a French fry which he loves! Oh yeah & did I mention the only kind of cheese he will eat is provolone? Really? It has to be prepackaged & sliced on the thicker side, believe me if it’s not he knows by the wiggle! LOL!

    My idea is for toddler sized snap crotch shirts, made like polo’s, or regular t-shirts for special needs children that are not yet potty-trained. Finn has started this new thing where he puts his hand down the back of his diaper…..all the time. He’s not digging or anything,I think he just gets comfort from the skin to skin? But kind of disturbing. He won’t wear fuzzy footie pajamas, only cotton ones which he has gotten too tall for so I cut the feet out! At least I’ve made strides with him keeping his socks on!

    Your idea for the nuggets would be great for any kid that eats nuggets though….I say go for it!

  9. Jen says:

    I’m nowhere near an inventor in the kitchen, but I do love your idea! I really hope there is a way, and someone, somewhere, is able to create this product. It could literally change lives.

    I wonder, though, do they make vegetarian chicken nuggets? “They” make vegetarian sausage, chicken patties, burgers, etc. I just don’t know if they do or not, or if veg. nuggets would entice any of the pickier eaters.

    I really do wish you luck, though!

  10. goccediacqua says:

    Are the nuggets you use made of reconstituted chicken? This would make it easier to blend with other things.
    If it actually real chicken flesh, I can’t imagine how you could hide the healthy bits.

  11. As an Autie myself, the very idea of these had my stomach turning and my hands flapping and twisting in misery. I am *super* sensitive to textures in foods, and have had severe issues with mixing foods and textures together. My mom used to give me chicken nuggets with a small bit of cheese filling, and I still remember the awful way they felt in my mouth. You’d have to be very good to get it past me. That’s not to say that some other Auties with different sensory issues from me wouldn’t benefit from them. Neat idea, even if it definitely isn’t for me.

  12. It’s such a great idea, I really hope it takes off!! Thanks so much for the mention, but you really deserve all the credit!! Hope you had a great weekend!

  13. Interesting idea. Probably hard to do, though! My son has a very keen sense of smell. Nothing gets past him!

    • FlappinessIs says:

      Perhaps if they were lighter veggies, pureed with the chicken and then with a bean binding of some sort? I’ll take cauliflower and sweet potato, even if I can’t get spinach!

  14. Jessica says:

    When my son was 3, all he would was chicken nuggets. It was awful. As other ASD moms know, there isn’t much we can do about it. We are happy they will eat anything. However, I feared for his overall health and development.
    I began making healthier versions of chicken nuggets with flax seed and baked. After a couple weeks I hid pureed vegetables. I became a master at hiding veggies and fruit in nugget form. I found broccoli nuggets and they were a hit too – and much easier to make than homemade since some company throws them together. He is now 7 years old and I can say he is a phenomenal eater. We can finally snub our noses at something autism has thrown our way. Take that AUTISM!
    Thank you for the fun read and check out the broccoli nuggets

  15. I’ve actually tried to make a “nugget-like” product out of other foods in order to entice my autie into eating new foods. Alas, FAIL!!!! If it doesn’t look, taste, smell and FEEL like a nugget….it’s NOT A NUGGET!!!!!

    But I like the way you think!!!

    p.s. Please keep us posted just in case some absolute genius figures out a way….. 🙂

    • FlappinessIs says:

      Will do, Tiffany. I’m hoping some ASD parent out there has a sibling or cousin looking to start a new business. lol I also tried to make nuggets and failed. Somebody smarter than me can surely do this. We’ve put men on the moon and all – why not an Autie Nugget?

    • Lisa Lease says:

      They sell veggie pattys here that look like chicken patties… and corn nuggets… that look and smell like chicken nuggets… but.. guess what… my children with autism won’t eat them. As soon as they see the color in the middle of the patty they stop eating.

  16. don’t forget french fries either. my autie princess will nearly anything that looks like a french fry. although i have to admit, she does eat a bunch of fruit so i don’t have to negotiate on that. it’s the veggies that kill me, although she’ll eat salad no problem-she’s 3.

  17. Suzanne Keyes says:

    I will buy stock in this!!!

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