family life

give a kid a pizza, feed him for a day; teach a kid to make a pizza, feed him for a lifetime

What’s your favourite fun food? I ask my husband who is a seasoned, fine dining connoisseur. His answer: peanut butter.

As with all things on Fun Friday, food has got to be fun, but peanut butter is not on my schedule.

On Fridays, the weekly schedule is finished, possibly even completed, and we’re settling into a somewhat less scheduled weekend routine, so why not make this evening a kick-off for fun?

To you, cooking is doldrums; but to a kid who’s not accustomed to play in the kitchen, with real utensils, cooking is fun! Fun Friday is an easy way to introduce cooking lessons.

If this is an introductory cooking night, ask them what they want to eat.  They’ll come up with something, I am almost certain, that might include: mac n’ cheese, pizza, hot dogs, tacos, or pasta. Repeat the teaching process a few times and you’ll not have to cook every meal in the week.

Madelyn’s favourite fun foods surprised me: meatballs, pizza, lasagne, perogies, and that stuff we always make on New Years (vereneke, a perogy-like pocket with cottage cheese curd)

What is your favourite fun Friday food? I ask my five year old.

He says, “don’t know…” I asked him at the wrong time. He was playing Minecraft.

What’s your favourite food? I try again.

Uh, hot dogs“. Okay, so he’s too young to know that hot dogs are not actual food.

I could teach him how to prepare hot dogs, and perhaps one day I will, but I’ll convince him that learning to top a pizza is far more fun. And if I can convince him that hot dogs belong at baseball games and carnivals, all the better…

Myself, I can always eat pizza. Never a North American restaurant meal without one of my littles ordering the kids’ pizza. Though I don’t want to order it, I know I’ll want a bite.

If you’ve got these ingredients in your cupboards…

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…it’s super easy to accomplish an inexpensive and flavourful crust: salt, flour, olive oil, and yeast. Consider mixing in a teaspoon of basil, oregano, or garlic salt for heightened flavour.

I’ve discovered throwing crust ingredients into the mixer and letting my red machine knead the dough, and letting it sit on the counter for a couple hours, is a super-easy way to make your own crust.

IMG_4225[1]These crusts really are favourable to the grocery store pre-bought pizza crusts (and a lot less salt). But that requires a little 3 o’clock prep and I don’t know about your schedule, but mine often has plans then. So if you’re not as industrious as I was on this day, you can always buy a Pillsbury dough roll, tortillas, pitas or pre-packaged pizza round.

Throw a few pizza ingredients on the counter and let them cut, and build, their own pizza.

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Show them how to tuck their fingers and let them cut the Caesar salad with a steak knife…

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Let them feel you roll out that dough, but don’t insist on perfection. An oblong pizza is as tasty as a circular pizza.

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Cooking for the littles might not be more exciting than learning to cut safely with a knife…

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Or understand that boiling something requires boiling water before putting in the pasta…or teaching them how much dried rice is required for a family of six. You might teach them meal planning: the art of menu combinations, when to start the veggie steamer or when to turn the slow cooker on in the morning.

Why not start with mixing muffins?

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Throw together a skinny tortilla soup…

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Yes, I know it is EVEN MORE WORK to teach them to cook than just DOING IT YOURSELF. But the more effort expended in the beginning, means less effort required for you later.

Give a kid a pizza; you feed him for today. Teach a kid to make a pizza; and you feed him for a lifetime.

3 thoughts on “give a kid a pizza, feed him for a day; teach a kid to make a pizza, feed him for a lifetime

  1. My kids love make your own pizza night. If fact they have a babysitter coming over tonight and so that is what is on the menu 🙂

  2. I always love reading your blog . . . my 6yr old helped me make dinner a few nights ago. She is involved in meal preparation and planning often enough that we are getting very close to that point where she is more of a help than a hindrance! It is true that there is some rather tedious moments in the beginning as the little chefs and bakers learn the tasks involved but when you get to listen to the gleeful description of “seasoning the chicken” while they beam with pride at a (simple for us, but huge for them) accomplishment, or watch as they dig happily into a salad prepared with ingredients on THEIR list of yummy instead of what mommy thinks is good, it is worth every extra moment that it takes! And, I am so happy to hear that I am not the only one who does not consider hot dogs actual food!

  3. That is so neat that even 5yr old Zachary gets to prepare foods. I am so impressed with how you are teaching the children all the basics. I love it.

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