Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pizza Bar = Kids Lovin' Veggies

Have really picky veggie eaters like every other parent? Here's a way to get your kids to eat some veggies and actually like it! You can't argue with these faces now can you? Well..I guess you could, but I warn you...they will argue back.
Okay so on to my new found, not all that new really but shh don't tell, secret to get kids to eat more veggies and have a blast while doing it.
PIZZA!! What kid does not LOVE some pizza? Not only that but it that pizza crust is a blank canvas for just about anything your heart desires. Hell you can even cross out the typical pizza crust and go nuts. Dessert pizzas are really good, and a lot of fun too.
So here's what we did.
I made a huge batch of pizza crust, I don't have the recipe on hand to share. Sorry! But I have used Bobby Flay's flat bread recipe over on and it's really good. Remember to plan ahead when working with yeast doughs so that you have proper timing. I can't tell you the number of times I've wanted to make something with yeast and then looked at the proofing times to see it just wasn't happening. (It's 10:00 a.m. let's have cinnamon rolls for breakfast!! it)
I know a lot of you will look at this next part and question my sanity but trust me.
Let your kids help you.
It gives them ownership of they're meal and lets face it, things always taste better when you make it yourself. Remember the first time you made some Mac n cheese? I do. 7th grade. FACS class. It was the best macaroni and cheese from a box I had ever tasted.
Little hands will love the task of rolling out the dough into their very own mini pizzas. I even let my son join in and he caught on fast. You are never too old or too young to get in on kneading/rolling a ball of dough.

Be patient with the kiddos too, it will take them longer to get it rolled out. Step in and help them by getting it started a good bit of the way so that you aren't baking pizzas at midnight.

With little man I let him roll out the dough until he was sidetracked by something flashy and noisy. Same with Ms. Cheesin, so it might not take all that long before they're on to something else.

Since you took the time to make some homemade crust, take a break and use a canned sauce. Even better, use a jar of sauce you canned yourself back in the summer. wink wink. Don't worry there will be tons of canning fun on this blog as well. Like I said..self sufficiency.
Come up with an array of veggie toppings but make sure you have some indulgent ingredients as well.

We decided on a red sauce (a white sauce would be great too) and our topping choices were crisp crumbled bacon, fresh broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, sliced onions, sliced sweet peppers, roasted garlic cloves and baby spinach. Make a big space to let them top their own pizzas or you can always top them but let them tell you what they want on it. We set ours up on the dining room table so they could get to it easier.

They all had bacon (I knew that was coming) but they also had a ton of veggies! I mean they used all the broccoli! It was fantastic. I was so very very proud of them.
We topped them off with mozzarella cheese and some Parmesan cheese as well then baked them up and voila. Healthier personal pizzas. The kids devoured them. So fast. They even ate some of our leftover parental veggie and bacon pizza.
The oldest lady even asked if we could do this every week. It will become a weekly event, which also is a bonus because it clears 2 nights out of my 2 week menu planning.
Go out on a limb and try this with your (little/big) kids and you might just be surprised at what they make. Get your kids into the kitchen with you as often as you can. Even if it's you cooking but walking them through it like their very own food demo class.

1 comment:

  1. I remember my first pizza. That thing looked terrible, but it tasted better than any other! A great idea I had almost forgotten. Thanks!