Cooking with kids can be a ton of fun—but it’s no small feat. One needs to be organized and have a menu that’s not too complicated for little fingers to manage. That’s why a hands-on pizza party is an easy solution.
Sound surprising? All kids love eating pizza. And what kid wouldn’t be thrilled to make their own, given the chance? It pretty much guarantees they’ll eat it—and, without even knowing it, they’ll benefit from the fun-filled education at the same time.
From a market shopping spree to sitting down and enjoying the final product with a brood, making pizza is a treat at any age. A little preparation, a good recipe, and a little age-appropriate guidance are all you’ll need.
For kids ages 4 to 7
Try using individually finished crusts. Kids can easily manoeuvre a small spatula or the back of a spoon to spread a tablespoon of sauce over the crust before placing toppings of their choice. Provide them with an array of chopped ingredients to pick and choose from for assembly before you take over the baking.
For ages 7 to 11
Do-it-yourselfers in this age range can adeptly use their fingers to flatten and shape pizza dough in individual pans before spreading their pizza sauce and assembling their chosen toppings.
For ages 12 and over
Given another age level up, kids can venture into handling some of the necessary equipment to make the dough, purée the sauce, and slice the toppings before assembling to their own specifications.
Whether the mix of kids includes vegans or not, a vegan pizza party is an excellent way to get them collectively engaged in making healthy food choices while also learning how to create and cook their own meal. Let the fun begin!
Start ’em young!
Teaching kids how to have fun while learning about healthy food is a necessary and practical life skill. And starting at an early age takes advantage of their natural curiosity. But be prepared for a bit of cleanup, because learning can be messy!
6 simple steps for budding sous chefs
- Wash up—from fingertips to elbows before starting.
- Tuck them into a smock and tie their hair back.
- Start with an easy recipe so they can fully participate.
- Be sure to have all the ingredients and necessary tools on hand.
- Be prepared to take the time to explain the ingredients and the steps. It’s an activity— not a race.
- Touch and taste—a good cook’s rule— but always with a clean spoon. No fingers!
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Kid Food Nation
For parents who’d like to explore other opportunities for their kids to become engaged in preparing nutritious food, there’s the Kid Food Nation (kidfoodnation.ytv.com), a program supported by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada in partnership with several corporate sponsors.
What is it?
In-club program: A food skills curriculum is delivered at a local Boys and Girls Club over eight weeks, with each week focused on healthy recipes and a specific set of food skills, such as how to use kitchen equipment safely.
Online hub: A fabulous online food template that’s chock-a-block with recipes, activities, cooking videos, and games for kids of all ages. Also available online are topics covered within the in-club program.
National recipe challenge: Kids from the ages of seven to 12 are invited to submit “healthy, flavourful, and original recipes” to the annual challenge, with winners attending a luncheon gala in Ottawa and served some of the winning recipes.
Why parents love it
Kid Food Nation is designed to teach kids (specifically aged seven to 12 years) the importance of nutrition; how to plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals and snacks; how to read labels; and what foods provide great fuel for the cause. It also has great material for planning a kids’ party.
Why kids love it
Kids find the program and the online resources incredibly fun. Kids love to scroll through the videos where they can be inspired by the unique creations made by kids especially for kids.
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