Okay. Most kids love pizza but should it be served regularly as a meal? We have shared ways to reduce the calories by creating whole wheat crusts with veggie toppings and limiting the cheese. Eliminating some of the cheese certainly cuts back on the saturated fat but we have found that kids like pizza because of the cheese. They also love Mac & Cheese, toasted cheese sandwiches, and string cheese. The real issue then is will they like pizza made with reduced saturated fat and less sugar? We think they will and here’s how.
Cheese comes in many flavors, textures and levels of saturated fat. So, the trick is to choose a cheese that is low in fat but has the right flavor and texture. Research bloggers at Greatist.com have found a way to create a healthier pizza that kids will love. Here is their recipe for Pesto Cheese Pizza.
They suggest using low-fat Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese . The mozzarella gives the stringy texture and Ricotta has a strong cheesy flavor. The good news is they are lower in saturated fat.
Fat is also found in pizza toppings and crusts. The Greatist team therefore suggests using vegetable oil in whole wheat dough and toppings that are veggie-based.
Here are some Tips N Tricks we use with kids to accept a milder tasting pizza:
- Use low-fat whole wheat or corn tortilla shells. The 6 inch size with 1/8 cup Mozzarella, Parmesan, Ricotta cheese mix will please their taste buds.
- They will like it even more when each child makes their own with added veggie toppings.
- Make the dinner an event by decorating the table with a Southwest theme complete with sombreros and music.
- Serve tortilla soup and taco salad with the meal.
- top off the dinner with a Mexican quesadilla made with apple sauce filling and lightly sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
- Finish the evening with a discussion about how Kangaroo rats can survive in the Southwest Deserts without drinking water. (Or other interesting topic.)
The objective is to eat for health and sit around the table for fun and conversation. No TV, phones or books. When the meal is fun kids are less likely to focus on the food.
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