● By Rick McGarry
Halloween is a time for tasty treats, but it can also mean fun family meals, including this kid-pleasing pizza. Since the kids have helped make dinner, there are fewer complaints about what we are eating! We like to make our pizza from scratch, but using a pizza kit can be a time saver.
1. While the oven is preheating, sprinkle your clean work surface with flour and let the kids help roll out the dough. (Set to 450° or follow the directions on your package, if using a kit.) If you have more than one child, it is helpful to have a rolling pin for each.2. After your dough is rolled, spray your pizza pan with cooking spray. Then shape the dough into a circle to fill the pan. If desired, you can save a little bit of dough to make a stem for your pumpkin.
3. Let the kids spoon pizza sauce onto the dough. Depending on their ages, you may need to help spread it evenly. Mia, age 6, is obviously better at this than Logan, age 3.
4. Adding cheese is easy for even the littlest ones, but you may have to monitor how much is used and where it ends up. (We had to redistribute some cheese after Logan was done.)
5. Next is the fun part that makes the jack-o’-lantern really come to life: adding toppings! This is the simplest step for your little helpers. Most any toppings will work, but we favor pepperoni because it is easy for kids to work with, plus you can cut it into shapes like squares and triangles for noses and mouths. (Having a pair of kitchen scissors at the ready is a good idea.) My husband added crumbled bacon “hair” to Logan’s pizza, prompting Mia to add some pepperoni “hair” to her pizza, as well.
6. Once your jack-o’-lantern pizza is decorated, slide it into the oven to bake. (Ours were in for about 10 minutes, but yours may take longer, depending on your package directions.)7. Let the pizza cool, slice it up, and serve up some happy Halloween memories.
Kids of all ages will enjoy helping in the kitchen, especially if pizza is on the menu. This allows for teachable moments: measurements, motor skills, counting, and shapes, for example. However, Logan summed it up best, stating, “It’s just fun!”
Former teacher Meg Koenemann enjoys being a stay-at-home mom of two.
To make paper bag Jack O' Lanterns, see Meg's article on page 10 in the October issue.
For more kids' crafts and other family fun, visit her blog, Because I Said So (and Other Mommyisms).