Pizza can taste especially yummy when you make it yourself.
A pizza project with your kids doesn't have to involve complicated bread dough. You can ditch the yeast and make a simple pizza base from scratch using some all-purpose flour, milk and olive oil. Your kiddo's creation will have that fresh-from-the-oven taste -- and your little chef will likely gobble it up since he made it with his own little hands.
1To start your pizza, have your little one help mix 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of milk, a drizzle of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of tomato puree, which this gives your base a subtle tomato flavor and an appealing pinky/red color. Your mini chef will probably enjoy mixing the dough with his hands, but be ready to add a little more flour if the mixture gets too sticky. When he finishes "squidging" his dough, have him roll it out on a floured surface to form a circle that's about 1/4-inch thick and about 10 inches in diameter -- or two smaller circles of about 5 inches in diameter.
2Once the dough is ready, it's time for the sauce. Your kiddo can help you pour a can of chopped tomatoes into a saucepan, along with 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of olive oil -- and then stir it all together. You can then place the saucepan on the stove, letting the mixture cook on a low heat for 10 minutes while you prepare some toppings.
3Your child will likely enjoy getting to choose her own toppings for the pizza. It's always a good idea to offer a selection of healthy and nutritious toppings instead of simply asking what she would like to add -- as she might decide that all she really wants is a candy and ice cream pizza! Healthier options might include grated cheese, sliced tomatoes, sliced olives, small pineapple chunks, cooked chicken pieces, mushrooms and sliced pepper. You could tell her that "Cheese is good for making your bones strong," or "Tomatoes help your body fight germs."
4Give your little chef a large spoon -- and show him how to spread the tomato sauce onto the pizza base. He won't use all the sauce, so you should store the rest to use as a dipping sauce at another time. Once the sauce is on the pie, encourage your child to get creative with the toppings. He might like to arrange them in a pattern, or make a smiley face with them. You should then transfer the pizza to a baking tray -- and place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Explain to your kiddo that he shouldn't go near the oven because it's very hot and he could get burned. The pizza will take about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how brown you like your toppings and how thick your topping is.