Pizza is not a common thing around our house, but sometimes it shows up. And although this looks dowsed in cheese, it’s not. This is how to make a healthier pizza. The cheese is only sprinkled on the very top – think of cheese as a spice rather than a main food. That will help with proportioning it right. And if you’re not ready to give up cheese, it will allow you to have it, but changing the way you think about cheese will change the way you use it (refrain from slicing the dubliner sharp white cheddar to snack on…that was my favorite cheese).
Pizza is crunchy and soft all at the same time. It has flexible ingredients and can be made to order. It can be heavy or taste healthy. There really are some benefits for our tastebuds here! That said, this is a sometimes food and should be made as healthy as possible.
Pizza is full of carbs, typically covered in cheese, and often has greasy components added to it.
I’m out to fight some of this.
I don’t think food needs to be greasy and thick and stick-to-your-ribs to enjoy it. Actually, the reverse is true. With food, as with a lot of things in life, less really is more; more of you feeling good. If we really think about every single thing we eat, we’ll probably get the figure we desire more easily and be a lot healthier physically.
whole wheat crust (I still need to try a cauliflower crust)
diced red peppers
canadian bacon slices (if you’re feeling like a sometimes meat option)
salt and pepper on top (don’t leave this off)
You want to know something weird, I love carrot sticks with pizza. (See the carrot sticks in the background). Always have. It is most satisfying to have both at the same time. I think it probably has something to do with sweet and salty things together. Carrots are definitely sweet. Anyone else? Carrots and pizza? I might be the only one out there.
Seriously though, this is a great alternative to a smothered cheese, pepperoni, or other pizza. My kids won’t always eat all this, but we usually make two pizzas when we make it, one will have simple ingredients: bread, sauce of some sort, and cheese flavor (think cheese sprinkles or cheese spices). Everything is about balance. You might argue that this is totally unhealthy. I agree, there are healthier choices than any pizza! However, minimizing the use of cheese, using whole wheat, providing veggies with your meal, and talking about the effects of good and bad foods on your body – this is all a win.
I want to teach my kids how to be healthy in a world where sugar is added to everything, where food is a reward for everything, and where so few think about what is actually in the food they are eating and how it will affect them. One of the best ways to do this is 1) have them cook with you and 2) show them how to make healthier food choices over indulgent ones more often. You do this through recipes like healthier pizza. It’s something familiar, but in a healthier fashion because your mindset is switched. Talk about the ingredients you’re putting on, tell them how things are made, and involve them in the process so they’ll learn. I want them to have their own voice in their head telling them “always food” or “sometimes food”, not my voice. I want them to think, “how can I make a healthier choice for my body’s sake?”
Last week my 8-year-old was competing with his dad to see who could eat the most salad. I’m serious. He won and was gloating about how he won. Tyler turned to me and said out-loud, “I think mommy and I won.” Yes we did, at least in that moment. I have to remember the good moments and press through harder ones, I know we’ll come out on top eventually. I know the kids are learning some good stuff.