Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Cooking Guilt-Free Meals With Your Kids

Preparing food can be just as enjoyable as eating the food, especially if you involve your kids. Veggie pizzas are a fun way to let your kids be creative.

two kids shelling peas

Photo: willem velthoven (flickr)

These two kids are helping out in the kitchen by shelling peas.

Family Time In The Kitchen

Food lends itself to spurring excellent family time regardless of it being a holiday or just a regular day during the week. Food brings families closer together!

As a parent, the prep time in the kitchen should be no different. Preparing the food can be just as enjoyable as eating the food. This is also an excellent time to find out what is going on in the lives of our kids. By cooking what I call ‘no-guilt’ meals, you also give yourself an excellent opportunity to educate your kids on healthy eating choices.

I know that there are numerous benefits to spending family time in the kitchen preparing a family meal. From personal experience, I know that kids’ confidence is improved when they can be complemented for making a great meal for others to enjoy.

Personal Veggie Pizzas

An excellent meal to prepare with the kids is individually sized veggie pizzas. Depending on their age, the kids can clean and chop the veggies into small pieces. They can take the different veggies and place them in their own bowl. This will create a buffet style selection process.

There are several brands of whole wheat and gluten free pizza crusts available on the market today. If you have time, it is a lot of fun to role out the pizza dough with your kids. This may be messy, but you are creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Your pizza sauce can also be a family recipe that you all make up together. If time is an issue, simply purchase some from your local market. Veggie pizza can be made in any variation that you like, but here is one recipe that we like to use.

Veggie Pizza

Photo: svacher (flickr)

An excellent meal to prepare with the kids is individually sized veggie pizzas. Depending on their age, the kids can clean and chop the veggies into small pieces.

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Crust of Choice (Whole Wheat, Thin Crust)
  • Pizza Sauce of Choice
  • olive oil (rub just a little on the pizza crust)
  • cheese of choice (low fat)
  • 2 squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of olives
  • 1 cup of Fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of pineapple (just for a little sweetness)

Method:

  1. Build pizza with the toppings that you prefer.
  2. Place in oven on 375 degrees until cheese melted.

During the preparations time, let your kids know the nutritional value of the veggies that they are putting on their pizza. I also have let my kids know that by not cooking the veggies all of the way down we are keeping a lot of the nutritional value around so that our bodies have more to gain from the meal.

Make this time enjoyable and educational at the same time. It is also fun to make it a little competitive to see who will have the best tasting pizza once they are cooked. Perhaps even crown a pizza champion at the end of the evening!

Nicole I. Henderson

Nicole I. Henderson is a wife and mother of three kids. The question that she gets asked everyday is ‘What's for dinner?’ She has realized that what we put into our bodies has an impact on our health and well being. Nicole is coaching parents on how to transition and maintain healthy eating habits for their kids from her own journey as a parent. Nicole is also the owner of Selsi Enterprises, a marketing communications and event planning company based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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