My oldest daughter, Leilah absolutely LOVES cooking. Whether it’s helping me in the kitchen, or pretending in her own kitchen with play food, she is a little chef. I love her interest in cooking and always wanting to be involved, so I try to find ways to let her help and get a little messy along the way.
I think getting kids to help in the kitchen is great for making them appreciate their meals a little more. It allows them to learn that food doesn’t just appear on the table in front of you. There is a little more respect and appreciation behind it when you have to put forth a little effort. So, starting them young, even with little tasks, is always a good idea.
I’ve also noticed that as a picky eater, Leilah is a lot more likely to eat her food if she has a role in making it. She has a sense of pride about her meal and wants to try it out! It’s the cutest thing.
So here’s how our little pizza night usually goes.
- 1 and 3/8 cup (or 11oz) of warm water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
Throw all the ingredients in the bread maker, select the “dough” setting and start it. Mine takes about an hour and 45 minutes. So, plan ahead!
Preheat the oven to 400*F. Stretch the dough out onto greased a 9x13in baking sheet. Dimple the dough through out with your finger tips. This part is fun for the kids. Leilah loved poking the squishy dough. Create a crust edge and bake for 3-5 minutes. I do this to make sure it bakes all the way through, since I love adding a ton of toppings.
This is where you can take your creativity and run with it! I usually add a cup of sauce, go crazy with cheese, if Leilah doesn’t eat it all, and whatever else we feel like that day. This night we used ground beef, onions, and spinach. Spread it all evenly on top and it’s ready for the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is starting to turn a golden brown. Let it set for 5 minutes before slicing.
*if you like flavored crust, something I do right after it comes out of the oven is melt a few tbsp of butter, add some salt, fresh garlic, and parmesan cheese and spread it all over the crust.