Cooperation required: High
Mess made: High (including tomato pesto, which stains)
Likelihood of Vegetable Intake: Medium
Minimum Preparation Time: Fifteen minutes (toppings can be chopped in advance the night before)
Pizza is often frowned upon in healthy circles, but it can be a great source of vegetables for fussy children. You can cut down on carbs by using flat bread, or you can make dinner-time a big event by making your own dough (adding grated zucchini or carrot for extra vegies if you like - but it's tricky to balance the water content). We recently made pizza while on a holiday with extended family - it was healthy, delicious and fun!
If you make several small pizzas, it's easy to accommodate people with food intolerances by setting aside one 'safe' pizza for them to eat.
Ingredients (almost anything works)
Pizza base prepared/bought in advance
Sundried tomato or basil pesto (or tomato paste)
Cooked chicken pieces
Baby spinach leaves
Method Step 1: Either chop vegetables in advance, or have your pre-schooler wash them while you prepare.
Step 2: Turn oven to 200 Celsius and sprinkle flour on baking trays, laying your pizza bases on top. Spread pizza bases with pesto or paste. Your pre-schooler can help with this.
Step 3: Lay out all the ingredients except the mozzarella cheese and let your pre-schooler choose what goes where. If you don't like the idea of a pineapple and fetta pizza with no vegetables, it might be best to stealthily modify your child's work and/or reserve one base for yourself.
Step 4: Sprinkle mozzarella on top - if you portion out a sensible amount into several empty bowls (one per pizza) it should work well. Your pre-schooler can do this, although you'll need to tidy up the many pieces that fall directly on the tray if you don't want them sticking.