ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Build Your Own" Meals Kids Love: Pizza Please

Updated on June 27, 2012

One of the best ways to get your kids to eat is to involve them in the cooking process. With really little ones, this can be a challenge, especially when cutting and cooking on the hot stove are involved. One way to include them in the process, without risking bodily harm, is to create a meal that your kids can assemble themselves. You do the prep, they create the masterpiece!

Build Your Own nights have become a weekly tradition in our household. The kids love it, and it is a fantastic way to have them try new things. The basic idea is that I put out a buffet of different ingredients and let the kids pick and choose what they want to include in their meals. Try to see beyond the bounds of what you consider normal in terms of ingredients. Cranberries on pizza? Pineapples in a burrito? No problem! It’s entertaining to see what little people think will work and even more fun to see what they will actually enjoy eating. Who knows, they may be the next “Top Chef” and may even surprise you with a new combination you hadn’t considered.

By far my kids’ favorite Build Your Own meal is pizza. It’s simple and quick, and who knows, they might even add some veggies to their diets! See my posting, "Build Your Own" Meals Kids Love: Burrito Bar for more Build Your own night themes.

Here are the easy steps to having Build Your Own Pizza night.


Step 1: “Roll” the dough
There are many ways to create a pizza crust. My personal favorite is to buy fresh or frozen pizza dough at the store. The kids can watch or help as we roll out the dough into individual sizes. They love to pound the dough and watch it transform from a ball into a round disc. Of course, you may need to do a little patchwork afterwards to make sure there are no gaping holes. If you’re really adventurous, you can make your own dough as well (many recipes can be found online).

The other, super simple way is to buy commercially prepared individual crusts, such as Boboli, or whatever your local store sells. I usually keep a couple of these in the freezer for nights when I want a quick and fun meal. We’ve used tortillas, pita bread, and bagels as the “crust” and they all work pretty well.


Step 2: Prepare the toppings
The basic toppings, of course, include sauce and cheese. For the sauce, I often use a can of crushed tomatoes with basil. Or, you can use commercially prepared “pizza sauce” or a jar of pasta sauce. For cheese, we usually stick to mozzarella, but other varieties can work equally well. Lots of kids gobble up feta or goat cheese, so don’t be shy about trying other varieties.

Now for the fun: get together other toppings the kids can put on their pizza. Basically, the sky is the limit. Open your fridge and see what's there, and ask your kids what they want! Here are some of our favorite toppings:

  • sauteed onions, mushrooms, broccoli, or zucchini
  • corn
  • grape tomatoes
  • olives (can be easily used to make fun faces!)
  • basil or other fresh herbs
  • mozzarella balls
  • different kinds of cheese (parmesan, feta, cheddar, gorgonzola)
  • mini meatballs
  • chicken
  • pineapple


Step 3: Assemble the pizza
This is the fun part. I give each child an individual size bowl of sauce and one with cheese with just the right amount. Then, I put the rest of the toppings out on the table in individual bowls with a spoon or fork. Let the kids have fun, try toppings, and experiment. If the first time they stick to sauce and cheese, that’s fine. Over time, they will try new, different toppings. Throw the leftovers on top of some lettuce for a salad!


Step 4: Cook and serve
Kids love to watch the pizza cook, checking in every few minutes and seeing the cheese melt and the crust rise.

What you cook the pizza on will depend on what kind of crust you’re using and what kind of cookware you have on hand. Of course, if using fresh dough, a pizza stone works great. But, you can pretty much cook all types of pizzas on a basic cookie sheet. Just brush it with a little oil and you're good to go.

Enjoy!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LauraGT profile imageAUTHOR

      LauraGT 

      6 years ago from MA

      Thanks Vespawoolf. The sky's the limit! My son once made a pizza topped with cranberries. Seemed yucky, but he loved it!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      We have also enjoyed building pizzas with kids. I love your ingredient ideas!

    • LauraGT profile imageAUTHOR

      LauraGT 

      6 years ago from MA

      Awesome! It's so funny what kids like. We grownups could learn a lot from them about what tastes go together! :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      6 years ago from France

      This is a fantastic idea to get children interested in cooking and eating healthy meals. I especially like the idea of including unusual ingredients in everyday recipes like pineapples in a burrito.

      My girl's favourita pizza topping has become goat's cheese and honey! Might be a bit unusual but she loves that, it was the only way she agreed to try a pizza for the first time.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)