How to Make Pizza with Kids

Are the kiddos getting bored being stuck in the house during these hot, hot days? Brittany Maroney, director of marketing for Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, offers up a boredom-bashing solution: pizza-making with the little ones.

The kitchen was once a place of shared family memories, with recipes being passed down from generation to generation. It fostered an environment in which generations of family members were able to bond, talk, and pass down cooking techniques. Today, it’s seemingly impossible for working families to make time for this important ritual. It takes time out of our busy schedules, patience and extra effort with cleanup, to make quality time in the kitchen happen. But it is very significant tradition we shouldn’t let slip away. That’s why it’s so important to make fun and easy choices, when carving out time to cook with kids. One item that’s always a hit with the family—and not to mention, super easy—is pizza!

Pizza is a great way to get kids interested in new foods, it teaches them about balanced diets and it is a great way to instill cooking techniques. It also gets kids involved in meal planning, shopping and food preparation. Who couldn’t use a little help with that? Pizza is a great option to cook with any age group.

grimaldi's dough

Age appropriate skillsets:

2-4 years old

Roll dough

Top with sauce and cheese

Select toppings and arrange

5-7 years old

Roll dough

Top with sauce and cheese

Select toppings and arrange

Talk about nutritional values

Can assist in putting pizza in oven or on grill

Can assist in cutting the pizza

8-10 years old

Roll dough

Assist in prep work, including: cutting cheese, slicing veggies, chopping and dicing

Top with sauce and cheese

Select toppings and arrange

Talk about nutritional values

Can assist in putting pizza in oven or on grill

Can assist in cutting the pizza

grimaldi's toppings

Steps to make a pizza:

  1. Stretching dough.
    1. You can choose to make your own dough or pick up a premade dough ball from either the grocery store or a favorite local pizzeria.
    2. There are two ways to stretch the dough. Either with a rolling pin or with our personal favorite, your own hands. Pizzas don’t have to be perfectly round. Have fun and encourage your kids to make their own unique shape.
    3. Lay dough on a pizza pan or flat area slightly larger then the pizza. This will help with cleanup in the next stage.
  2. Saucing and cheesing the pizza.
    1. Usually the messiest part its also the most fun. This is a great time to discuss balance. Just enough sauce, just enough cheese.
    2. Tip: Try using low-moisture mozzarella and making your own sauce. This reduces fats and calories.
  3. Toppings
    1. Make sure to lie out a variety of toppings. Include meats, vegetables and don’t be afraid to put out toppings your child would not normally try. Kids are more likely to experiment when they are making their own pizza and you’ll surprises on what they will be willing to try.
    2. Great topping ideas: meatballs, pepperoni, green and red peppers, olives, basil, grilled chicken and sliced tomatoes
  1. Cooking the pizza
    1. There are two ways to have fun baking a pizza. You can choose to bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Or throw directly on the grill at medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, turning quarter clockwise once. Great idea for backyard barbecues and pool parties.

grimaldis sauce

Dining Out Tips

Cooking at home is not the only great way to teach your kids about food preparation, healthy diets and making smart choices. Dining out can also be a memorable experience for the family:

  1. Include your children in the ordering decisions of family-style meals. This will encourage them to make smarter choices and may make them more interested in trying new foods.
  2. Open kitchen restaurants often are more interactive and allow you to talk with your children about food preparation. Grimaldi’s open kitchen allows kids to watch the pizza making process through glass walls.
  3. Choose places that have physical interactions to keep the kids quiet (Grimaldi’s offers dough balls for kids to stretch and form, while you wait.)

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