I love to cook. I love to experiment in the kitchen and change up recipes to make them more healthy and more appealing to my kids. Most of all, I love shopping at Whole Foods Market where they make cooking with my kids easy!
My kids can be quite picky with their food choices, so I use whatever tricks I can to get them to eat better and make better choices when it comes to their food. One of the best ways I know to do this is to get my children involved in the cooking process. By letting them help make choices and be involved, they are more likely to eat the fruits of their labor!
Let them do the cooking
For this OCD mom, letting my kids help, heck, letting ANYONE help is a difficult task. But, it’s important for me to let go of some of my OCD tendencies so that I can teach my boys independence in the kitchen and to take pride in their cooking accomplishments!
My children, like most red-blooded children, LOVE pizza. My younger son would eat pizza every single day if I let him! One of the easiest and quickest things to make in our busy house is pizza. I’m not talking a frozen, out of a cardboard box pizza, although that would be quick. I’m talking about homemade from scratch pizza, that’s also healthy, full of vegetables and is virtually gluten free. And did I mention that it’s delicious?!
Whole Foods Market to the Rescue
My boys and I headed to Whole Foods Market to pick up the essentials for our pizza making extravaganza! When shopping at Whole Foods Market, not only can I get local vegetables freshly picked, but I also know the “packaged” food I buy is not made with additives and ingredients I can’t pronounce! That’s important to me when I’m cooking for my family. The boys grabbed their own carts and we started off to shop. They picked out the vegetables and picked out the type of cheese they wanted to use on their pizzas.
Gluten-Free Zucchini Pizza
Here’s how we make our gluten-free pizza crust, complete with “hidden” zucchini which my boys now declare is their favorite type of pizza!
3/4 Cup Mozarella Cheese (Or substitute a mix of cheddar and mozzarella at a 1:3 ratio)
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Shredded or Powdered)
Garlic Powder, Oregano, Basil, or Italian Seasoning
1/2 – 1 Cup Shredded Zucchini
(I usually double or triple the recipe depending on how many people we are feeding. A regular serving will be a 9-inch round pizza (8 small slices).
Getting my boys involved in the pizza making process is great! They LOVE being able to help and getting more “grown up” tasks always makes them take pride in their work.
Mix the cheeses, egg(s) and seasonings. I don’t use measurements for the seasonings as it varies per individual. This is the part the boys had fun with as we were making up rhymes as we were shaking away. Anything to make this fun and enjoyable and not a “mundane” task! Shred the zucchini and add to the cheese mixture.
Mix all of the ingredients and then put in a pan or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it out to about 1/4″ thick, even layer. Bake at 35o degrees for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and set and starts to brown around the edges. Add your sauce of your choice and then your toppings and then top with a TINY bit of cheese (since the crust is cheese, you don’t want to go overboard). Your topping choices are endless! My oldest loves bacon on his pizza and my youngest is happy with just cheese. I make one with ranch sauce with chicken, bacon, tomatoes and onions. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes depending on how many toppings you add, and voila! Healthy food that your kids have helped create!
Don’t Forget Dessert!
And of course, you can’t have dinner without dessert! The easiest way we found to have a healthy and tasty dessert, especially in the warmer months, is to just freeze some vanilla yogurt and then add our favorite fruit, granola and even some sugar-free chocolate chips! I LOVE that Whole Foods Market has so many granola options in the bulk section. This way, we can all have our favorite flavors of granola and in just the right amount. No waste and we all are happy with our choices!
Cooking with your children can be a great experience. Involving your kids to make their own healthy choices contributes to good early eating habits. Plus, when your kids are used to the kitchen while they are young, you might just get a night off from cooking one of these days. A cooking win for all!