If you're hosting a birthday party for your child, the first menu item that probably comes to mind is pizza. Not only is pizza known to be a kid-friendly food, but it's easy to customize as well. Rather than order a few plain cheese pizzas from your local joint, let the young guests create their own pies using a variety of fresh and healthy toppings. Not only will they have a personalized meal, but they'll get to participate in a hands-on activity as well.
Start by providing one pizza base for each child, and allow them to customize their pies from there. Some kid-friendly pizza base ideas include French bread, English muffins, tortillas, and small, round pieces of fresh dough. Set the pizza station up buffet-style, with each of the individual toppings in separate serving bowls. You can either provide just traditional marinara sauce, or pesto and Alfredo sauces as well.
Following are some pizza topping ideas kids can use to design their own pizzas at the party:
The most important component of pizza is cheese, so provide a few different options for kids to choose from. Some ideas include classic shredded mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and even smoked Gouda for the more adventurous young eaters.
Pepperoni is a traditional pizza topping favorite, loved by both kids and adults. Since pepperoni slices are pre-cooked, it's easy for kids to arrange them on their individual pizzas. Pick a healthier, nitrate- and nitrite-free pepperoni brand if possible.
Also, include some meat-free, soy-based pepperoni slices for the vegans and vegetarians in the group.
3. Fresh Veggies
A simple way to get kids to eat more vegetables is by putting them on a cheesy pizza. Give the party-goers a choice of sauteed mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers in a rainbow of kid-friendly colors, chopped red onions, and black and green olives.
You can also provide all of the ingredients for party attendees to make a taco pizza, complete with seasoned ground beef or soy crumbles and shredded lettuce to sprinkle on top of the cooked pie.
4. Creative Toppings
Another way to make the pizza-making process fun for kids is by including a few unexpected, yet delicious, topping options. Children will be pleased to see macaroni and cheese, bacon and scrambled eggs, and even sweet bread and butter or dill pickle slices on the menu.
Other unique toppings include canned pineapple tidbits, BBQ sauce, and cooked tater tots. For additional ideas, check out restaurants like Vento's Pizza.