Pizza is a pretty common kid-friendly meal. Most little munchkins will tolerate a pie, if not salivate over the very idea. But the toppings your little fuss budget will endure are probably much less interesting than the fig and prosciutto pizza you were craving. The solution: Make individually sized pizzas and prevent the whining and complaining that can often plague family mealtime.
1 Choose a base. A regular-sized pita is big for a little person, but you can save the leftovers or buy smaller pitas. Half an English muffin is a reasonable size for a squirt with a small appetite. A flour tortilla is a good option if you’re not too heavy on the toppings. Heat the tortilla on both sides until crispy before topping it. If you’ve got more time on your hands, buy ready-made dough or make your own, and form it into individually sized pizza crusts.
2 Prepare the sauce. Grab half a shallot or small onion and place it in a pot over medium heat with some olive oil. After a few minutes, add a clove of crushed garlic and stir for about 15 seconds until fragrant. Pour in a jar of pureed tomatoes and bring it to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste and about half a tsp. of white sugar. Simmer on low until it thickens into your desired consistency. Or just buy a jar of premade sauce.
3 Preheat the oven. For pitas, English muffins and tortillas, bake them at 450 F for five minutes or so until the cheese is thoroughly melted. If you’re using raw dough, heat the oven according to the instructions in your recipe. Some recipes suggest prebaking the dough prior to putting on the toppings. You'll also want to lightly oil or dust with cornmeal the pan on which you're baking a raw dough or it will stick.
4 Prepare the toppings. Meats are usually favorites, including small bits of ham, pepperoni or crumbled bacon. If your kids aren’t fussy, by all means, throw on a whack of veggies. But if they’re like most toddlers and preschoolers, some meat, cheese and maybe some pineapple will suffice. Offer a variety of toppings and let your little chef go to town creating his own culinary masterpiece — even if he only puts seven shreds of mozzarella.
5 Stick the pizzas in the oven and wait. Ideally, the cheese will be fully melted and the crust just starting to brown. Once you remove the pizzas from the oven, allow them to sit for 10 minutes or so for the toppings to set. You also don’t want your little munchkin burning the roof of his mouth, so be patient.
Items you will need
- Pizza crust
- Tomato sauce
- For toddlers, cut the pizza into bite-sized portions.
- If you like to sneak veggies into your tomato sauce, make sure they’re cooked until soft, then throw them into your sauce to simmer. Puree it and they’ll be none the wiser. It’s best to use milder tasting veggies for this, such as celery, carrots and peppers.
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