As parents, we often struggle to find that magical combination of healthy, interesting, easy, cost-effective food, add into the mix pleasing children and it seems impossible. Pizza is the answer. Kids love pizza. Everyone loves pizza! While a pizza from your local take out might not fit the bill in terms of health benefits, homemade pizza can be unbelievably healthy. A nice thin crunchy base, smaller amounts of cheese, and you’ll be amazed at how children don’t seem to mind vegetables as much when they come on a pizza! If you have younger kids, or fussy eaters, why not let them use the toppings to make cool faces or shapes on their dinner. These are some of my favorite child-friendly pizza recipes. They’re so easy that the kids can help you make them. If you like the idea of making your own pizzas, click here, for information about buying your own pizza oven.
All of these recipes use a basic, thin base made from bread flour, sugar, dry active yeast, salt, water and olive oil. Get the full recipe and method here. The base is then spread with an Italian style tomato sauce; you could buy this, or use a tomato purée, but making your own is always a healthier option.
All pizza starts life as a margarita (although the BBQ base is becoming increasingly popular). It’s a classic. Spread the base with tomato sauce and add cheese. You could make it more exciting by using different varieties of cheese; mozzarella always goes well on a pizza. A margarita is the first choice for a fussy eater.
Ham and pineapple
There are people who find the idea of fruit on a pizza a bit strange. Cooked pineapple is gorgeous though. It gives your pizza a sweetness that kids really enjoy. Use fresh pineapple if you can, but canned is a healthy alternative if you’re worried about waste. Just make sure it’s in fruit juice and not syrup.
Bean and Sausage
Kids think this is hilarious: a baked bean pizza? Madness! But why not – we have beans on toast, after all. Beans and cheese is a classic combination. Kids will enjoy the messiness of spreading the beans around, and sausages make a great mouth for pizza face.
Ham and Mushroom
This is another simple alternative. Mushrooms cook beautifully on a pizza, and any vegetable addition is always good. Ham is an easy meat to tear and cook, but substitute for any meat you like. Fresh is a much healthier option than processed.
Pepperoni and Pepper
This is for the slightly more adventurous child. Pepperoni makes excellent pizza-man eyes. Kids will love delicately placing the slices to make patterns.
Getting kids to help you cook is a great way to teach them about healthy eating and getting them to try new things. Making pizzas together gives you an opportunity to expose them to new foods. Using the basic dough and tomato sauce recipe, you can substitute any of the toppings. Why not get really creative once you’ve mastered the basics?