Five-Second Rule

Last night at dinner one of my kids dropped some food on the floor and promptly picked it up and ate it. He was obviously applying the five-second rule: If you drop food on the floor, you have five seconds to pick it up and eat it before it gets the cooties.

I would say he picked it up in about 2 seconds, not long enough for me to even to stop him. Although I am happy to report he gave it a quick wipe on his shirt just to make sure it was really “clean”. My kids are not in the habit of eating off the floor. Usually whatever food accumulates during dinner tends to stay where it lands until I clean it, so this was an exception to the rule.

You must be wondering what delicious morsel of food prompted such an action. None other than chicken nuggets. What is it about chicken nuggets? My kids absolutely LOVE them. The funniest thing is they’ll say they love MacDonald’s chicken nuggets and they’ve never even eaten at MacDonald’s.

I did some research into McNuggets and discovered they contain 38 ingredients! 44% of them account for actual chicken or chicken products. The other 56% are corn based and some include chemicals you might find under your kitchen sink (you know, the type you lock up so your kids DON’T ingest them.) One more reason to avoid eating at MacDonalds! The whole chicken nugget thing is a mystery to me. And it’s not only my kids, I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like them.

Obviously, I don’t advocate eating off the floor, but I will admit I was secretly happy that my kid liked his dinner so much he was willing to go the extra mile to eat it. Ironically, the “chicken” nuggets I had made weren’t even chicken, they were turkey. It was April Fool’s Day after all…

Fool’s Nuggets


1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp black pepper

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 Tbsp ketchup

1 lb. ground turkey or chicken



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a shallow dish mix the breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper.


Remove 1/2 cup of the breadcrumb mixture and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and ketchup to the breadcrumbs, mix until combined. Then add the turkey or chicken and mix until well combined. The best way to do this is using your hands, messy but it is the best way to get the job done!

Form 1” meatballs and roll them in the breadcrumbs, pressing gently down to form a nugget shape.


Coat both sides of the “nugget” and place on the baking sheet.


Bake for approximately 25 minutes until crispy. Turn them once halfway through cooking. Serve with favorite dipping sauce!


And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “These are the healthy ones, right?”

Liam (five days from 5): “Are they better than the ones at McDonald’s?”

Dylan (five days from 5): “Not as good as McDonalds’s Liam but I love these…”

Not as good as McNuggets but still a meal worthy of eating off the floor!




11 thoughts on “Five-Second Rule

  1. I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but the 3 second rule is a myth. anything that drops should not be eaten strictly speaking. Of course, everyone I know follows the three second rule, except me. I don’t even use cutlery that has dropped, it goes into the dish washing machine. But then again I never even juse a tea bag more than once. I am very extravagant! I like to keep Twinings in business.

    There is a wonderful salsa that is mango and peach and not too sharp that Costco sells that would be wonderful with your nuggets. It is very healthy or you could even make your own dipping salsa sauce. Mango, honey, worcesthire, diced chili pepper (not too hot); the smaller the pepper the hotter it is! I like your nugget recipe, I have never eaten a Mickey D nugget either, just like the boys.
    Love, Judy and Bill

    • Yes, it is definitely a myth but to a little boy who drops his lollipop or a his chicken nugget it is true!
      I will look for the salsa next time we make a trip to Costco – thanks for the tip Judy!

  2. I lived by the 3 second rule — and then I got a puppy. Now, I’m reaching for the garbage pail before whatever it is hits the floor.
    Great idea making your own McNuggets. The more substitutes for junk food you can give the boys, the better off they’ll be.

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