My Fave Low Stress Toddler Meal: Pizza
Toddler Meals are a Challenge
Let me set the scene for tonight-I had my spinal injection so my leg is all tingly. Basically in reference to my chronic pain, I finally got my shot. It’s a weird experience that I will write about later. There’s a pinch and burn with the lidocaine and while you know it’s coming-it’s hard not to brace for it. Needless to say, I was feeling weird and we still had to get a meal for my toddler. There are all kinds of challenges with this.
The food has to be chewable. Their little teeth can’t handle it.
It has to be healthy. They need their baby nutrients.
It can’t be too messy. My son likes to rub food in his hair. Future punk? Who knows?
You have to chop it up and factor in that time. Seriously, all the chopping into bite size pieces. Million Dollar Idea- frozen veggies chopped into toddler size bites. Get on it companies!
It has to be tasty. Toddler palates are discerning. They won’t eat just anything.
So we did what working parents have done since time and memoriam-we banged out a tasty meal using pretty much premade ingredients. Here’s how we did it.
Confession time: pre-baby I was really judgy of cooking shows where people just put stuff together without finesse. I was like “I watch cooking shows to learn technique not make a quick meal!” Flash forward to working and having a child- you are exhausted. I have tried to find toddler meals that aren’t super stressful to make because on top of cleaning dishes you have to clean a high chair and a child. Now, I’m like get it on the table and get that baby smiling! For real. So here’s an old goodie from my family. My Dad was one of nine kids-no joke. My Mom loved letting my sister and I cook. This is where my love of cooking comes from. Also, it’s like my meditation where I can focus on precision. These two things combined when making homemade pizza. My Dad’s family calls them Pizza Burns and it fed tons of people cheaply. In my family cookbook with family recipes, many of them are for over 20 people. Re my graphic-my Dad used to always say “capisce?” It’s Italian for understand and it’s pronounced capeesh. I’m too much of a nerd to spell it phonetically. I figured we could have some We’ve discovered this is a cleaner meal we can have on hand that’s less messy than spaghetti and my son loves it.
THE RHYSIE PIZZA
1 can premade pizza dough.
-Seriously, this is a kitchen staple for when you just need something quick. I like to have a few on hand.
4 tablespoons tomato sauce (your choice).
-In Columbus (where I live) we have this fabulous local sauce from a place called Carfagna’s. My Mom believes that the sauce makes the pasta and if you get a good sauce, it is totally worth it. It’s still less than you would pay going out right?
½ cup skim milk mozzarella cheese.
-Put it in a small bowl and have your toddler wash their hands and sprinkle it on the pizza. Rhys loves it!
12 pieces of turkey pepperoni
-This is a little healthier. I try to cut calories and not eat so much red meat for environmental, health, and personal reasons.
½ cup of spinach
-Trust me this shrinks in the oven. It also adds some color to the pizza.
Parmesan cheese, sprinkled on top.
-This adds some crunch and some saltiness. Also, your toddler can help sprinkle it.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or just follow the instructions on your pizza dough). Roll out dough on greased baking pan.
Assemble the ingredients sauce first and end with the parm on top.
Bake for 8-12 minutes until you feel the pizza is done. Generally this means that the edges are brown and there is some crunch in the dough.
It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy
My son ate two pieces! There is some leftover and it just makes a great meal. Again, basic recipe but one that works for our family. Honestly, I’ve learned that’s what parenting is all about