Home-made pizza are a nutritious and delicious meal which give kids plenty of opportunities to “explore” and learn about cooking, the senses and flavour combinations

Pic: V. Au
Pic: V. Au

With Christmas decorations already up in shopping malls and the warm breeze carrying hints of hay-fever, its time to get excited for the summer holidays! This might also mean scratching your head for activities to entertain the little ones. Look no further, we’ve got your back, with this fun, easy DIY pizza recipe, with just the right amount of mess!

There are so many wonderful things about home-made pizza:

·       Preparation can involve the whole family. All you need are hands willing to get sticky, and some guidance with chopping (depending on the age of your child).

·       They are versatile and allow kids to “explore” different flavours and topping combinations.  

·       They are packed full of nourishing goodness. A wholemeal no-added-salt pizza based with the added the goodness of yoghurt. Top this with a range of veggies and calcium rich cheese and it’s a nutritional win for all!

·       There’s less of the not-so-good ingredients, and more of the yummmm. This recipe has substantially less salt than commercial and store-bought products.

·       They are easy to prepare for dinner, lunch or parties. Prepare the pizza before guests arrive, and pop it in the oven to welcome your guests with the mouth-watering smell of freshly baked pizza!

·       They can be stored away for lunch the next day, or even freeze a whole bunch so your future self can give your current self a pat on the back.

Vegetarian Pizza

Preparation time: 1 hour

Baking time: 20 minutes

Makes approximately 6 small pizzas, or 3 large

“Exploring” food with all the senses is an important part of the “learning how to eat” process.
“Exploring” food with all the senses is an important part of the “learning how to eat” process.

What ingredients you’ll need:

·       1.5 cups wholemeal self-rising flour

·       1 cup Greek yogurt

·       2 cups tomato paste (preferably not added salt variety)

·       Vegetables (these are only limited by the imagination)

o   Mushrooms

o   Capsicum

o   Tomatoes (also try cherry tomatoes or sun dried varieties)

o   Red onions

o   Baby spinach

o   Eggplant

o   Zucchini

·       2 cups cheese (either shredded, or block cheese grated yourself). Try feta cheese, bocconcini or mozzarella if you are feeling adventurous.

·       Herbs (fresh or dried) & spices – basil, oregano, rosemary, paprika, pepper

What cooking utensils you’ll need:

·       Mixing bowl

·       Baking tray and baking paper

·       Rolling pin (use any cylindrical object if rolling pin is not available)

·       Oven (set at 200 ° Celsius)

Guide on how to make the pizza:

1.       In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and yogurt and mix until combined. Use your hands to knead into a soft dough – it should be a slightly wet texture, but if it is too wet, add in a ¼ cup of flour to balance the texture.

2.       Cover the dough, and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, prepare vegetables.

Pic: V. Au
Pic: V. Au

3.       Finely (or roughly) slice up any vegetables of choice (make sure they are small enough to cook in the oven). For younger kids, help them cut up softer vegetables such as mushrooms or tomatoes. For older kids, guide them through cutting more difficult veggies such as onions or capsicum. 

4.       After the dough has rested for 30-60 minutes, sprinkle flour over a clean surface (table, kitchen bench or you can work on top of the baking tray with baking paper).

5.       Flatten a small piece of dough with your palms, around the size of a child’s fists (for a smaller pizza) or an adult’s fist (for a larger pizza) on the flat surface.

6.       Using the rolling pin/cylindrical object, roll out the dough until it is a thin circle (or as close to a circle as you can), around the thickness of 10 pieces of paper stacked together (~3mm).

7.       Spread a generous amount of tomato paste over each pizza using a spoon/spatula.

8.       Layer on the veggies, cheese, herbs and spices – make sure they are generally flat to prevent burning.

Pic: V. Au
Pic: V. Au

9.       Place in the oven set at 180 ° Celsius (fan-forced oven) and bake for around 20 minutes.

Pic: V. Au
Pic: V. Au

10.       Serve while hot, but make sure not to burn your tongue! Tip: cut the pizza up with food scissors instead of a knife for the best looking pizza