Building a Healthier Pizza

Sept. 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day. It’s a perfect time to take inspiration from our Balanced Menus, designed to introduce children to diverse foods while fostering lifelong positive nutrition habits.

Pizza night is always a favorite for many children. Put a healthy spin on it by skipping delivery or takeout and turning pizza night into a fun family activity. 

Start by creating a build-your-own cheese pizza bar — a fun way to get the children involved in making their own food, which makes your life easier, and can also help them try new food combinations. 

A few helpful tips:

  • To encourage kids to try a variety of toppings, have a contest to see who uses and eats the most “colors” on their cheese pizza.
  • Roast extra vegetables one night for dinner and then use the leftovers as toppings for pizza night.
  • If your family can’t do without meat on pizza, then choose turkey pepperoni, grilled chicken breast, turkey sausage or lean ground beef as options.
  • Be creative and have fun!

Ingredients:

  • Whole-grain mini naan or whole-wheat sandwich thins
  • Tomato sauce
  • Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Precooked or raw veggies (e.g., onion, bell pepper strips, mushrooms, sliced tomato, steamed spinach, broccoli)
  • Lean meat choice (optional)          

Instructions:

  1. PARENT STEP: Preheat oven to 425 F. 
  2. Set up a workspace on the counter so each person can make his or her own cheese pizza.
  3. Arrange ingredients in separate bowls with serving spoons.

    4. Have each person make a mini cheese pizza with his or her preferred toppings and place them on a large sheet pan.

   5. PARENT STEP: Bake pizzas for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned.

For more healthy meal inspiration, consider these delicious sample Balanced Menu ideas.

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